December 13, 2017

Survey Reveals Millennials Plan for Engagement (and Weddings) Earlier Than Prior Generations

New WeddingWire Survey Debunks Myth That Millennials Are The ‘Impulsive’ Generation — At Least When It Comes to Marriage

CHEVY CHASE, MD — December 13, 2017 — WeddingWire, Inc., the leading global online destination for wedding planning, released today the results of its Millennial Engagement Survey, revealing how much goes into planning for a proposal, what topics are discussed before getting engaged and married, and when couples start wedding planning. The survey asked more than 900 people who have been married over the last 10 years, including those identified as millennials and those as Gen X, from across the U.S. about their engagements and wedding planning.

While millennials are often identified as spontaneous and impetuous, WeddingWire’s Millennial Engagement Survey found the population to actually be planning more intently and farther ahead compared to generations who were married 10 years ago. Millennial engagements are more unique, elaborate and emotional, and the generation is also keen on discussing “hard topics” before approaching marriage, including finances, if they want children, managing household chores and how they will spend the holidays.

“It’s refreshing to see millennial couples prioritizing the planning process for their proposals, ensuring these big, memorable life moments are unique to them and oftentimes involve family and friends to make the day extra special,” said Anne Chertoff, WeddingWire Trends Expert. “This thoughtful proposal planning translates directly into their wedding planning process, which is now starting earlier than ever before, showcasing how important it is to have the right team of vendors for their big day!”

A Rare — Yet Traditional — Proposal

With planning an elaborate proposal comes grand plans that don’t always involve staying put at home. Only 28 percent of millennial proposals take place at home (compared to 41 percent of proposals 10 years ago), and 54 percent say their proposal was unique and unexpected. With proposals being a bigger production, there’s also higher levels of emotion and more pressure. One-third of millennial ‘proposers’ felt ‘a lot’ of pressure to plan a highly unique proposal — up from only 16 percent 10 years ago. Nearly half of millennial couples experienced challenges on their proposal day vs 36 percent of those married 10 years ago. Additionally, 45 percent say they or their partner cried during the proposal (+10 percent than generations 10 years ago).

Millennial couples are also more likely to have their family and friends present before, during and after the big moment to enjoy festivities. More than half of millennial ‘proposers’ told others about the proposal ahead of time with 15 percent more of millennials telling a best friend than those who were married 10 years ago (55 percent vs 40 percent). Additionally, one-quarter of millennials invited friends and family to witness the proposal (+11 percent than generations 10 years ago) and nearly 70 percent announce their engagement on social media (+34 percent than generations 10 years ago).

And while millennial couples are planning more detailed proposals than previous generations, they’re also more inclined to embrace greater formality and traditional elements of getting engaged. Sixty-three percent of millennial ‘proposers’ secured a blessing from parents to get married (+8 percent than generations 10 years ago), and 82 percent of millennials got down on one knee — up from 65 percent 10 years ago.

Here Comes the Wedding Planning 

When it comes to planning a wedding, millennial couples are getting started earlier than ever — oftentimes even before they’re engaged! Millennials are more likely than Gen X (no specification on marriage date) to:
– Check the availability/cost of a venue (29 percent vs 17 percent)
– Research wedding vendors (25 percent vs 13 percent)
– Create a Pinterest board with wedding inspiration (25 percent vs 13 percent)
– Look at wedding dresses/attire in store (28 percent vs 20 percent)
– Start creating a guest list (28 percent vs 8 percent)

For millennials, discussions around the vision for the wedding are also significantly more likely to happen before the proposal. Half are discussing the style of wedding (56 percent) and time of year for the wedding (50 percent), while 44 percent are discussing the type of location for the reception.

Only a quarter of millennial couples did no wedding planning before getting engaged, compared to 43 percent of Gen X (no specification on marriage date).

Paired with wedding planning, millennial couples are more likely to discuss life goals and long-term relationship topics before getting engaged as well, including finances (62 percent) and if they want kids (65 percent) — both up 9 percent compared to couples married 10 years ago.

For the full set of data tables, please contact

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About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, Inc. is the leading global online marketplace, connecting consumers with local wedding professionals and a suite of comprehensive tools that make wedding planning easier. Operating within a $200 billion industry, WeddingWire helps 13 million couples every month find the right team of wedding professionals to personalize and pull off their special day. Consumers around the world are able to read more than 4 million vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a directory of over 400,000 vendors. Founded in 2007, the WeddingWire portfolio serves couples and wedding professionals across 15 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. The company has more than 900 employees and is headquartered in Washington, DC with international headquarters in Barcelona, Spain. Visit WeddingWire online at and follow on social media at and @WeddingWire on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.