BAM Key Details:

  • A new report from StorageCafe reveals the top ten cities for newlyweds, based on factors that support a healthy and happy married life. Virginia takes three spots on the list, with California and Arizona both represented twice. 
  • Three of the top ten cities are also among the top ten cities for renters, according to a new report by RentCafe. 
  • A new survey by and Censuswide shows that, for 85% of respondents, the best wedding gift would be money they can put toward the cost of buying a home. 

With wedding season well underway, couples everywhere are saying, “I do” and preparing to write a thick stack of thank you notes for all the wedding presents. More on that in a bit.

But for now, couples who aren’t already living together are looking for a place to do just that. 

Enter the latest report from StorageCafe, which reveals the top ten cities for newlyweds, based on factors that support a healthy and happy married life. 

The East and West Coasts top the chart, with Arlington, Virginia, ranking at number one, followed by Irvine, California, and Plano, Texas. Lincoln, Nebraska was the one Midwestern city to make the list, ranking at number eight. 

For couples starting out in a new, shared living space, the location takes on a special significance for them. So, it makes sense to choose it well.

What makes a city newlywed-friendly?

To identify the cities best suited to the needs of newlyweds, StorageCafe assessed the largest U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of more than 200K, ranking them based on each one’s potential for fostering financially–sustainable and active lifestyles. 

With that in mind, here are the key criteria behind the ranking:

  • Marriage and divorce status
  • Incomes 
  • Housing availability and costs
  • Employment rates
  • Cost of electricity and gas
  • Access to (a variety of) restaurants 
  • Indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Air quality
  • Online interest for couple-oriented activities
  • Self storage

Self storage is included because newlyweds, if they’re not already living together, are having to combine the contents of their separate residences, which may not fit comfortably in one shared living space. 

Top ten cities for newlyweds in 2023

Based on the data for these metrics, Virginia took three of the top ten spots, with Arlington at number one. California and Arizona came close behind with each represented twice on the list. 

Each of the metros listed below has its own unique appeal. But all of them successfully combine housing (for sale or rent), employment, and recreation opportunities in an environment that supports a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle for young couples. 

  1. Arlington, VA 
  2. Irvine, CA
  3. Plano, TX
  4. Scottsdale, AZ
  5. Virginia Beach, VA
  6. Fremont, CA
  7. Chesapeake, VA
  8. Lincoln, NE
  9. Seattle, WA
  10. Gilbert, AZ

Read the full report on StorageCafe for more details. 

Couples who plan to rent for the time being may also be interested in a new RentCafe report on the best cities for renters. 

Three of the top ten are also on the list of best cities for newlyweds: 

  • Arlington, VA (#10)
  • Plano, TX (#2)
  • Scottsdale, AZ (#3)

Ranking for the RentCafe list depends on the following metrics:

  • Cost of living & housing
  • Local economy
  • Quality of life

The best wedding gift for newlyweds in 2023

What do you get the couple that has everything—except a home to call their own? 

According to a new survey by® and Censuswide, more couples would rather pass on traditional gifts from a wedding registry and simply receive money they can put toward the cost of buying a home.  

That said, 82% still felt obligated to register for gifts they didn’t want—with 53% feeling very obligated. 

And of the 88% that recently created a registry for this purpose— 

  • 46% felt obligated to have traditional gifts on their wedding registry
  • 40% registered for gifts they didn’t want because their fiancé wanted them
  • 35% planned to return the unwanted gifts for money to use on what they really want.

A full 85% of those surveyed said they would have preferred to receive money (in some form) to put toward a down payment on a home. 

Given a (hypothetical) do-over, 80% say they would include an option for their wedding guests to gift them money rather than physical gifts like kitchen appliances, linens, and dinnerware—which many newlywed couples already have.

Gift-givers likewise feel stuck in the cycle of traditional gift-giving, but 30% of the survey respondents said they were open to giving money as a wedding gift instead. And 16% would actually prefer to give the newlywed couple money to put toward a down payment on a home. 

Fourteen percent said they had no preference for either money or traditional gifts. 

Over the last few years, homebuyers have been facing a number of challenges, most notably around affordability due to high home prices and mortgage rates. We’re seeing buyers get creative with how they cobble together the necessary financials, from tapping into down payment assistance programs, to asking for help from family and friends. Adding a home buying gift option to a wedding registry is a great way for people to crowd-source these often hard-to-come-by funds. It allows their loved ones to celebrate one of the biggest moments of their lives while helping them to achieve homeownership.

Clare Trapasso

Executive News Editor at®

Takeaways for real estate agents

If you serve one of the top ten cities for newlyweds, share this data with your clients to help them take advantage of your city’s most couple-friendly features. 

If you know any engaged couples who are not homeowners, encourage them to give their wedding guests the option of gifting them money they can put toward a down payment or other costs associated with buying a home. 

Normalize helping newlywed renters become homeowners—rather than showering them with gifts they may have little use for (and might just end up returning or selling on eBay).