Millennials save money by breaking wedding traditions

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jun 24, 2016

Gone are the days of white dresses and diamond rings.

Millennial couples are breaking wedding traditions to cut down on costs and personalize their special day.

"We had been looking at reception halls for about two hours, and just looking at all the prices and what you actually get out of it,” said Chelsie Blancas, the wife of "The NOW" national photographer Isaac Blancas. “I immediately closed the computer and said, ‘We’re done!’"

The couple eloped in Paris last month.

“The elopements are incredibly intimate,” said Abbey Hoefling, owner of Purple Summer Events, a wedding planning service in the Denver area. "There is something so special about witnessing that moment with just a bride, groom and photographer.”

Hoefling says the couple is right on trend for their age group.

"They are moving more and more away from the traditional, cookie-cutter, really pre-packaged wedding types, and they’re really learning there are no rules anymore,” said Hoefling.

Everything about the Blancas' wedding broke tradition, from the pink dress Chelsie purchased for $8 at a thrift store, to her garnet and rose gold ring.

Major jewelers report diamond sales are down almost 20 percent, as the median age for marriage skyrockets.

Pew Research polls show the median age for women is 27 years old, and, for men, it’s 29. In 1960, the median age for women was 20 years old, and, for men, it was 23.

"It’s about us wanting to be different than our parents,” said Hoefling.

The average American wedding cost is around $28,000, but Chelsie and Isaac spent $10,000 total on their European wedding and honeymoon.

"A lot of people feel that pressure to do it the traditional way — to appease the family — but your family seeing you happy is going to win in the end,” said Isaac Blancas.

This weekend, the couple will hold a casual reception for friends and family. Hoefling says they are right on trend, serving S’Mores instead of wedding cake and skipping traditions, like the garter belt and bouquet toss.