Couples Who Spend Less on Wedding Have Longer Marriages


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.

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Have a Weekend to Remember With Your Spouse

The fabulous Susan and I are speaking at the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Getaway in Dallas at the beautiful Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas the weekend of November 13-15, 2015.  We would love to have you join us!  Or choose a city closer to home or one that you want to visit.

And, now for a limited time you can get your registration for half price.  Great marriages don’t happen by accident. Now’s your chance to take an intentional step towards strengthening your marriage and get rewarded for doing so.

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The Grace of God

What God is doing at Discovery Church in Orlando, FL is stunning!  I am so thankful to be a part of this great church.

We are teaching our way through the stories of the Bible and last week I got to share the story from Jonah 3.  It isn’t a story about Jonah, or a big fish or the Ninevites.  It’s about the grace and mercy of God.



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Generous Churches HUB

Recently, I spoke with Tim Nations, my Leadership Network colleague, about the Generous Churches HUB which launches in November 2015.

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Generous Churches Film Festival

What if two hours of your time could result in dramatically increased generosity at your church?

What if just two hours invested next week could bring you ideas that you could use in your services the very next weekend?

It can.  Next Tuesday, in fact.  At 1pm Eastern.

In two hours, you’ll learn what some of the leading churches in the country are doing to increase giving, volunteering, and stewardship at their churches.

You’ll get ideas.

You’ll learn strategies.

You’ll see how simple it can be to do little things that can help your people be more generous.

Like this short video from Sagebrush Church in Albuquerque, NM. It was used as the starting point for a sermon series on generosity…

Thrivent Financial and Leadership Network are proud to present our first-ever Generosity Film Festival this Tuesday, May 19 starting at 1pm Eastern (10am Pacific).  We’ll look at the best generosity short-form videos in the following areas:

  • Capital Campaigns/Giving Initiatives
  • Special Projects
  • Sermon Support
  • Promos for Financial Peace University, Crown or other stewardship offerings
  • “Thank You for Giving” pieces

As with all of our Leadership Network online events, this  online two-hour event is totally FREE for you and your staff.  In fact, you’ll get to vote on your favorite generosity video… and your vote could earn the winning church a cash reward to further help them with their future generosity efforts!

Register now for this free online event.  You won’t want to miss it.

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How Much Younger Should Your Next Pastor Be?

My Leadership Network colleague Warren Bird has done some great work on the topic of pastoral succession.  He writes,

He came as a 29-year-old, Louisiana-born, itinerant pastor’s son. But before retiring in 1990, Gardner C. Taylor (1918-2015) had pastored Concord Baptist Church of Christ, Brooklyn, NY, for 42 years. During that time he led the church to national prominence both in its local impact and in the civil rights movement. Repeatedly honored as one of the country’s best preachers, his powerful voice influenced generations of preachers from all backgrounds. “Doc Taylor,” as he was known, was also a role model and mentor to many young pastors, from Martin Luther King Jr. to the man who would be his successor—Dr. Gary V. Simpson.         

See Warren’s complete blog post here and find out how your church can navigate the pastoral succession journey successfully.

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Is Your Church Generous? Join the Generous Churches Film Festival!

Has your creative team ever produced a video that you thought: “this is too good not to share outside of our church?” Leadership Network is giving churches an opportunity to do just that (and perhaps win some $ too)!

Coming May 19 (at 1 pm EST), Leadership Network has partnered with Thrivent to present an online film festival featuring short videos on the topic of generosity – the giving of money, time, assistance – however people have shared with others.

We are not asking churches to create anything new (although there’s no reason that they can’t!).  We are looking for audience-capturing, innovative pieces that churches have used to encourage and remind people about being generous. Here are the primary areas/categories that we will be considered:

  • Capital Campaigns/Giving Initiatives
  • End of Year “Asks”
  • Special Projects
  • Sermon Support (less than 5 minute snippets from preaching on generosity)
  • Promos for Financial Peace University, Crown or other stewardship offerings
  • “Thank You for Giving” pieces
  • Volunteer Recruitment and Appreciation
  • Christmas, Easter, Holiday appeals

This will be a great opportunity for churches to see what others are doing to encourage generosity among their people. There will be prizes totaling $5,000 for the best video submissions and they must be uploaded by March 20. Please contact Todd Rhoades at for more information.

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