Destination bachelor and bachelorette parties are becoming the new norm for many millennials who prize experience and grew up with The Hangover's depiction of pre-wedding adventure. However, those who attend just nine of these trips in a lifetime will have spent up to $13,788, or 34 percent of a down payment on the median U.S. home, according to a new Zillow report.
Most (69 percent) millennials say owning a home is necessary to live The American Dream. Yet saving money for a down payment is often their biggest barrier to homeownership. To help first-time buyers, Zillow calculated how much cash is needed for a 20 percent down payment on a home, and how much of it may be going toward bachelor or bachelorette parties instead.
A destination bachelor party costs on average $1,532 ($1,106 for a bachelorette), according to wedding website The Knot. If the average person attends nine parties in a lifetime, or three a year for three years, they will have spent up to 34 percent of the cash needed for a down payment on the median home.
In some metros like Cleveland and Pittsburgh, millennials can spend up to half (51 and 50 percent, respectively) of their future home's down payment on bachelor parties and well over a third of a down payment on bachelorette parties. However, in hot and expensive markets like San Jose or San Francisco, nine destination bachelor parties equates to only 5 or 6 percent, respectively, of the down payment on the median-priced home.
Bachelor and bachelorette parties are not the only expense associated with attending a wedding. On average, bridesmaids and groomsmen spend an additional $1,154 for things like wedding day attire, a gift for the bride and groom, as well as travel and accommodations for the wedding day. Guests not in the bridal party still pay $888, on average, to attend each wedding.
"Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases someone will ever make, and for most first-time buyers that means years of saving money to afford a down payment," says Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow chief marketing officer. "Attending your friends' bachelor or bachelorette parties can be a trip of a lifetime. While everyone's budget and priorities are different, big ticket expenses like vacations can add up surprisingly quickly – a lot faster than a $19 avocado toast."