Some fascinating new research from two economics professors from Emory University has uncovered this startling fact, couples who spend less on their wedding have longer marriages. This is good news for those of us who are parents of daughters, but it may also shed light on the relationship between finances and marriage.
The study found that women whose wedding cost more than $20,000 divorced at a rate roughly 1.6 times higher than women whose wedding cost between $5,000 and $10,000. And couples who spent $1,000 or less on their big day had a lower than average rate of divorce. While the study’s authors didn’t examine why, they do have a few theories.
“It could be that the type of couples who have a … (cheap wedding) are the type that are a perfect match for each other,” said Professor Hugo M. Mialon, who co-authored the study with Andrew M. Francis.
“Or it could be that having an inexpensive wedding relieves young couples of financial burdens that may strain their marriage,” he said.
My wife, the fabulous Susan, and I have coached engaged couples for years and always caution them about planning a great wedding, instead of focusing on having a great marriage. We have talked with many couples who personally go into debt to pay for a fairy tale wedding, and later find that the stress of that debt and future debt is very tough on their marriage.
Susan is a professional wedding planner and I always marvel at the way she helps couples and their families plan beautiful and meaningful weddings, no matter what the budget may be.