Let this sink in: The average cost of a wedding was $36,000 in 2017. According to apartment and home search platform HotPads, this equates to around two years\' worth of rent.
When planning a wedding, many couples face sticker shock at the price of venues, caterers, rings, photographers and other day-of essentials.
The average cost of a wedding - including engagement rings, a ceremony, a reception and a honeymoon - is $36,000, according to the WeddingWire's 2018 Newlywed Report, which is just $480 more than two years' worth of the median rent. The median rent across the U.S. is $1,480 per month.
Nationally, rents have risen between 2 and 3 percent annually since September 2017. While this steady increase is slower than increases in previous years, rising rents still present an affordability challenge for renters across the country.
In some metros, including Sacramento, San Diego, Atlanta and Orlando, rents rose 5 percent or more since this time last year.
"Millennials are spending more on their rent and their wedding than any generation before them," said Douglas Pope, co-founder and general manager of HotPads. "It's common for couples to start thinking about two major life-milestones - buying their first home and having kids - soon after getting married. As couples plan to tie the knot, not only should they think through their top priorities for their big day, but also their top priorities for the future."
Couples in hot rental markets like San Francisco and San Diego can expect to spend less than a year's worth of rent on wedding costs, mainly because rental prices are much higher in these markets to begin with.
While the cost of a wedding may seem staggering, not all couples pay for it alone - for millennials, family members cover about 60 percent of wedding costs.
Find out more at hotpads.com.