What’s the truth of Marriage or Mortgage? There’s no denying the fact that Netflix knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to their reality shows. The various series that the streaming platform comes up with are always interesting, and a little bit chaotic, too. But one of Netflix’s reality smash hits in particular is a whole new kind of chaotic.
Marriage or Mortgage features a new couple each episode who are trying to decide whether they want to spend their savings on their dream wedding, or on a down payment on their first house. Yes, it might sound like a strange concept, but it’s something that many engaged couples across the United States understand.
While some people might think it seems insane to spend $30,000 on a wedding, others couldn’t imagine not having their dream wedding with all their family and friends. And therein lies the crux of Marriage or Mortgage, and what makes the show so interesting. Still, the untold truth of Marriage or Mortgage is that the show has sparked quite a bit of controversy, and people can’t stop talking about it.
Many of the Marriage or Mortgage weddings were changed due to COVID-19
Many viewers were surprised when watching Marriage or Mortgage to see just how many couples chose to spend their money on a wedding versus a down payment on a house. Indeed, many of the duos wanted to express and celebrate their love, though the COVID-19 pandemic really put a wrench in some of their wedding plans. Specifically, there were more than a few weddings that had to be downsized because of the coronavirus pandemic.
One couple who chose wedding and had to revamp it were Liz and Evan, who’d just moved to Nashville for Evan’s work. Still, they wouldn’t change their decision just because their wedding was smaller than they wanted it to be. “With the pandemic, it turned into something a little smaller than we had anticipated, but we were both very happy that we ended up choosing the wedding,” Liz told Women’s Health in an interview.
The fact that many of the couples on Marriage or Mortgage chose a wedding over a house, only to have that wedding drastically changed, is pretty intriguing.
Marriage or Mortgage shows how expensive the wedding industry can be
While choosing to buy a home instead of spending cash on a huge wedding might sound like a no-brainer to many, the romantic, magical prospect of a dream wedding can often prove to be far too tempting for couples still riding the high after their engagement. And that’s exactly what happens on most episodes of Marriage or Mortgage. While buying a house is certainly logical, planning a wedding is a lot more emotional, something Broke Millennial author Erin Lowry told Time. “None of this is rational thinking,” she explained. “It’s completely an emotional decision where you have so many people weighing in.”
Additionally, making an emotional decision about something as expensive as a wedding can be a bit stressful. After all, in 2019, the average cost of a wedding was $33,900, according to CNBC — and that’s not cheap at all. As Marriage or Mortgage makes clear, you could just as well spend that money on a down payment towards a house, something that seems a lot more financially sensible, for sure.
Marriage or Mortgage touched on more serious topics
Watch even just one episode of Marriage or Mortgage and you can see that the show definitely takes on a lighter tone. After all, planning a wedding or buying a house should be fun. Stressful, yes, but still fun. But all the lighthearted stuff aside, Marriage or Mortgage still managed to bring up some more weighty topics.
In an interview with Women’s Health, Precious from Marriage or Mortgage explained that though she and her now-husband Alex didn’t choose a mortgage, she still had a cathartic moment with Nichole Holmes when they talked about something serious. “It was really nice to be able to bond with Nicole over our fertility journeys,” Precious revealed.
And fertility struggles weren’t the only things Marriage or Mortgage brought up. Same-sex couple Cynthia and Karla wanted to show viewers that you could find love later in life. “We wanted to communicate a message that was uplifting and hopeful and affirming,” Cynthia explained. From infertility to same-sex marriage and so much more, Marriage or Mortgage really has it all.
Marriage or Mortgage definitely divides people
When you watch Marriage or Mortgage, it’s so easy to get sucked into the drama and find yourself rooting for the couples to make one decision over another. And if you watch with other people, you might find yourselves pretty split on what that decision should be. Because more than anything else, Marriage or Mortgage got people talking.
Realtor Nichole Holmes, one of the show’s co-hosts, told The Washington Post that she understands how Marriage or Mortgage divided people. “That’s why this show is so amazing and why I think it’s going to have so many people rooting for the mortgage, or the hopeless romantics of the world saying: ‘How could you give up your big day for a mortgage? That doesn’t seem very fun,'” she explained.
Additionally, Twitter obviously had a field-day with the reality series, with users taking to the social media platform to balk at the show and the decisions of some of the couples. But one Twitter user had the right idea. “They need to let me on #MarriageOrMortgage. I’d pick the house and get married in the backyard with all the vendors Sara pulled strings on,” they wrote. Hey, that sounds pretty amazing.
Even the hosts were shocked by some of the final decisions on Marriage or Mortgage
Part of the charm of Netflix’s Marriage or Mortgage is that the couples have the guiding hands of the two co-hosts to help them make that life-changing decision. There’s realtor Nichole Holmes, who obviously tries to get the couples to buy a house, and then there’s wedding planner Sarah Miller, who works to convince the engaged couples to spend all that hard-earned cash on their dream wedding. The hosts definitely butt heads sometimes, but that’s what makes Marriage or Mortgage so fun!
Additionally, even the hosts are sometimes shocked by the final decisions some of the couples make. As Miller told Today, the entire process was pretty fun and eye-opening. “We get to wine and dine them basically on both ends and have fun,” she explained. “But at the end of the day, they ultimately have to make a huge decision. One cool thing is, some of them chose differently than we really thought they were going to.”
For the people closely working with the couples to be surprised by their decisions is pretty interesting, as it shows just how real the reality series is.
The hosts of Marriage or Mortgage are seriously different from each other
According to Decider, Sarah Miller and Nichole Holmes from Marriage or Mortgage are pretty polar opposite in some big ways. For one, Miller, the wedding planner, had her own perfect wedding to her now-husband and seems pretty happy with two kids. On the other hand Holmes, the realtor, has been divorced twice and has one child after a struggle with infertility that she discussed on the show.
That’s not the only way in which Miller and Holmes differ, either. In an interview with Today, both Miller and Holmes expressed just how varying their views were. “I’m more of a traditionalist,” Miller said. “I really do believe that marriage is a big deal. It should come first.” Holmes, on the other hand, was more realistic. “I’m not anti-marriage, anti-relationship, or anti-love,” she explained. “Given the state of affairs these days — no pun intended with the affairs — 60 percent of marriages end in divorce.”
While both Miller and Holmes make great points, and do a great job persuading the couples to see their side of things, their banter on the show is highly entertaining in and of itself because of their stark differences.
Marriage or Mortgage brings up a lot of money issues
Every couple that appears on Marriage or Mortgage has a different story of how they got to where they are. Whether they’ve been saving up their nest egg for a while by living with their parents, or they were gifted the cash by a loved one, it’s clear that the $20,000 to $35,000 they have saved up is a lot to them. Heck, it’s a lot to everyone. Clearly, Marriage or Mortgage brings up a lot of money issues for the couples, as well as for the viewers at home watching them make their decision.
Because buying a house is an intense process and definitely the most expensive thing most people will ever do, the stakes are high on Marriage or Mortgage. “Down payment is certainly a huge challenge and is usually the number one for most people — they find it very hard to save,” Laurie Goodman, co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute, told Time.
To that end, when you watch Marriage or Mortgage, it’s increasingly hard to understand how the couples can let their $30,000 savings just go towards one big party.
Marriage or Mortgage showcases diversity
Though the main plot point of Marriage or Mortgage is to guide couples as they decide between a dream wedding and their first house, there are other issues that the show brings up. Notably, each couple on the show is unique, with their own special history, desires, and more. And because of that, the show also featured plenty of diversity amongst its couples and the issues they brought up.
In fact, in an interview with Today, realtor Nichole Holmes explained that she was pretty proud of the diversity on Marriage or Mortgage. “We had a really good, diverse group of 10 different couples,” she proclaimed. “You see biracial couples, same-sex couples, old, young, all across the board. We’re really happy about that, and I think that there’s something that everyone can enjoy when they tune in.”
When casting for Marriage or Mortgage, Netflix definitely wanted to bring a wide variety of voices to the forefront, and that’s exactly what they did.
The hosts hope Marriage or Mortgage helps couples watching, too
While people who aren’t engaged, single, or already married might not be able to relate to the dilemma that the couples on Marriage or Mortgage face, plenty of engaged couples at home probably can. Whether they have $30,000 saved up or gifted to them, the struggle to decide if they should have a big wedding or buy a house can’t be easy. And the hosts of the series hope that watching Marriage or Mortgage will help other couples tuning in at home.
Wedding planner Sarah Miller told Brides that she believes Marriage or Mortgage can be helpful for couples in the same boat. “If they’re having anxiety or questioning things, maybe they can get some of those questions answered from the show and make a better decision,” she shared. “I feel like across the board, we have so many different households and families that they can relate to.”
Marriage or Mortgage might seem increasingly dark considering the state of finances in America, but it also might be able to provide some hope to couples in the same boat.
One Marriage or Mortgage host has received some criticism
When it comes to reality television, it’s easy for viewers at home to feel like they’re part of the drama. And unfortunately, on Marriage or Mortgage, that sometimes means that the viewers think they know what each couple should choose — and might even criticize a certain co-host for helping them choose something else.
In an interview with Esquire, wedding planner Sarah Miller said that she sometimes gets a lot of hate from viewers for tempting couples with a dream wedding instead of the smarter financial decision of a house. “I do get a lot of flak for it,” she admitted. “If they kept choosing mortgage, it wouldn’t be a show. Honestly, it’s based on every single couple and the journey they’ve gone through.” She added that she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with buying a home, but that she also sees real value in weddings.
Obviously, Miller understands that people think a mortgage is the right way to go, but the romantic in her has no apologies for planning a couples’ dream wedding.
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