What is the most important thing you remember about your wedding? Is it the vows you took? Or is it the first dance? The answer for some of you may be work it took to set up — and fund — the wedding to begin with. If that's you, then professors at Atlanta's Emory University may have some bad news for you — your marriage might last shorter than the preparation for your wedding.
The study, titled "'A Diamond is Forever' and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration,' evaluated the association between wedding spending and marriage duration using data from a survey of over 3,000 ever-married persons in the United States. It found evidence that marriage duration was inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony.
"We found that spending below $1,000 (on the wedding) is associated with longer marriage duration," said Hugo M. Mialon, who authored the Emory study with Andrew M. Francis. Spending $20,000 or more on the wedding comes with an increase in divorce among women respondents, said survey results. And when men spend between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring, divorce is 1.3 times more likely than spending between $500 and $2,000.
One of the authors' main conclusions was that the amount spent on the wedding lead to a financial burden down the line that doomed the marriage. With the average wedding hovering just under $30,000 in the U.S. in 2013, we could understand why that would be.
There is a Catch-22 in the report, however. The Emory study suggests that a well-attended ceremony is key to long-term happiness, but the number of guests is often the main factor that drives up the price of the reception.
Lavish weddings lead to shorter marriages (AJC.com)
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