For many years, men across the United States were told that, to make a future wife happy, you should spend at least two month's salary on your engagement ring. But could it be (gasp!) that advertising lied to us? According to a study out of Emory University, it looks like that might be the case.
The study — "'A Diamond is Forever' and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration" — surveyed a group of 3,000 at-least-once-married adults in the U.S.. They found that there is a financial sweet spot where pre-marriage finances should be in. That goes for not only engagement rings, but wedding costs, too.
Men who spent between $2,000-$4,000 on engagement rings were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than men who spent between $500 and $2,000. However, you notice that there's a starting point there: $500. Those who spent less than half a grand on their future betrothed's ring led to higher divorce rates.
Wedding days also foretold of marriage bliss or woe. If your wedding cost more than $20,000, your marriage has about 3.5-times more likelihood of going to divorce court. The perfect range in the study ranged between $5,000-$10,000. And opposite from the ring situation, cheaper is better: spending less than $1,000 on your wedding showed an even larger decline in divorce rates.
"In 1959, Bride's [magazine] recommended that couples set aside 2 months to prepare for their wedding and published a checklist with 22 tasks for them to complete," the authors of the study noted. "By the 1990s, the magazine recommended 12 months of wedding preparation and published a checklist with 44 tasks to complete."
Study Shows Engagement Ring Cost Linked to Divorce (Shape)
Photo Courtesy of Humane Society of Greater Rochester/Flickr: @lollypopfarm