Wedding Stats: Cut Your Wedding Budget but Not Your Guest List to Increase Your Odds of a Successful Marriage
Today, weddings are often a huge production, including multiple events, destination weddings and a website that chronicles the couple’s relationship. Many people often look at the engagement ring and a big wedding as a sign of commitment. However, a recent study finds that the amount of money that a couple spends on their wedding is inversely related to the length of marriage. However, the number of guests at the wedding is positively related to the length of marriage.
Less Money on the Wedding = Longer Marriage
Two researchers from Emory University recently released a study in which they examined the relationship between the amount of money couples spent on their wedding. The researchers completed a survey of over 3,000 people who were married for the first time. They found that couples who spent more than $20,000 on their weddings were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than women whose weddings were between $5,000 and $10,000. Additionally, couples who spent $1,000 or less had a lower than average divorce rate.
These findings may come as a surprise to many couples, given that the average wedding costs $30,000. Couples with less expensive weddings may benefit from this by entering the marriage with less debt. Arguments about money are a common problem in marriage, so couples who can agree to be frugal or not incur unnecessary debt may be more likely to stay together than others. Additionally, spending less money and attention on a wedding may mean that the couple concentrates more on the marriage. This focus is potentially on the rest of the couple’s life together, rather than on one day.
Smaller Ring, Longer Marriage
Although it is a tradition for many women to marvel at a newly engaged woman’s engagement ring, the researchers also found that, for the most part, the more expensive the ring, the greater the likelihood of divorce. Men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced, compared to men who spent between $500 and $2,000 for the ring. So, flashing a giant rock may not bode well for your marriage.
But Invite More Guests
But don’t be quick to elope in an attempt to slash the wedding bill. The study also found that when there are more guests, the couple is more likely to stay together. When more than 100 guests attended weddings, the odds of divorce were lowered. This finding may suggest that when couples have greater support from friends, family and the community, they are more likely to weather the challenges of marriage and stay together.
These results suggest that a backyard wedding or community park event with your friends and family huddled around you may be the recipe you need to secure a long and happy marriage.