Two of the biggest milestones in anyone’s life are to get married, and to buy a house. (Before having kids, of course.) So the Netflix series “Marriage or Mortgage” asks couples to decide between their two dreams. Will they use their life savings for an expensive dream wedding, or use that money on a down payment for a house? The series is hosted by a wedding planner named Sarah Miller and a real estate agent named Nichole Holmes. Both are competing to win over the couple to spend their money on either a house, or a wedding in the Nashville, TN area.
When I have kids, I’m going to show them “Marriage of Mortgage” on Netflix to say “Honey, this is what marriage used to be like before everyone had a backyard wedding.” Ahh, the good old days. It was 2019 when I first learned that the average American spends $33,900 on their wedding. At the time, it seemed insane, especially when I know that 90% of Americans had less than $1,000 saved for a rainy day, even before the pandemic. But after watching Marriage or Mortgage, I get it. These beautiful dream weddings are expensive. Every little details adds up, especially if you have over 100 guests.
Throughout the course of the series, a total of 10 couples decide between marriage, or a mortgage. It’s very much like the Canadian HGTV series “Flip, or Flop?” I kept wondering- How are they paying for this? Is this just more debt? In one episode, a future bride-to-be laughed at the cost of her ranch fountain, saying, “That could pay off my student loans!”
Will Life Every Be Like Marriage or Mortgage Again?
In retrospect, the answer between marriage or mortgage seems obvious. Anyone who purchased property before the Covid-19 pandemic saw an almost immediate increase in their home’s value. We are now experiencing a housing shortage The real question is- Will life ever go back to $30,000 weddings?
I personally know so many people who had to cancel or postpone their wedding this year. A few of my engaged friends even surprised all of us with impromptu elopement photos. And they’re not alone. According to a study conducted by The Knot, 47% of couples needed to postpone their ceremony for a year or longer to keep their family and friends safe. And 67% plan to have a “sequel celebration”- basically a big party for the guests who had to be removed from the list, with most venues only accepting 25% capacity.
Unfortunately, the economy will take years to recover. And more people are now beginning to realize that getting in $30,000 of debt for one day might not be the smartest thing to do. Only time will tell how this is going to impact the industry. But at least we have Marriage or Mortgage to document the decisions couples once made with their financial futures.