Expensive Weddings Lead to Higher Risk of Divorce: Study

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 20, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A new study examining the link between the amount of money spent on a wedding and the duration of marriage has come to a somewhat surprising conclusion: Couples who spend less on their wedding tend to stay married longer than those who opt for expensive weddings.

In the study, researchers at Emory University looked at over 3,100 married couples, reports the Chicago Tribune. In addition to the amount of money spent on a wedding, the study found several other correlations between wedding ceremonies and duration of marriage that seem to go against conventional wisdom.

What does your wedding say about the odds of your marriage ending in divorce?

Larger, Cheaper Weddings Lead to Longer Marriages

The study, titled "'A Diamond is Forever' and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration" found that spending on the wedding ceremony was inversely associated with marriage duration, with couples who spent less than $1,000 on their wedding ceremony being least likely to get divorced.

The same was true for spending on an engagement ring: Couples who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than those who spent between $500 and $1,000.

According to the Tribune, the study's authors concluded that there is "little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry's general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes."

Curiously, however, the more people in attendance at a wedding actually decreased the odds of a couple getting divorced, with those with 200 or more people in attendance at their wedding being 57 percent less likely to get divorced than those who had between 1 and 10 people at their wedding, reports The Atlantic.

Previous Study Linked Facebook Use, Divorce Rate

The most recent study isn't the first to examine unlikely indicators of divorce rates. A study earlier this year by the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that so-called "Facebook penetration" was associated with higher rates of divorce.

That study found that an increase in Facebook use per capita in a state correlated with an increase in divorces in that state, which echoed the findings of a 2011 study by The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers that found 20 percent of failed marriages were in some way linked to Facebook.

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