Study Shows Correlation Between Big Weddings and Divorce

Research Shows High-Dollar Weddings More Likely to End in Divorce

after divorce wedding expenses pay

According to a study by two economics professors at Emory University, money apparently can’t buy everything. Specifically, it won’t guarantee that your marriage will last, and may even contribute to the likelihood of divorce. The study, entitled A Diamond is Forever and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship Between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration, came to a number of startling conclusions:

  • People who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were two to three times more likely to pursue divorce than those who spent under $2,000
  • Women who had a wedding costing more than $20,000 had a divorce rate almost twice that of women who spent less than $10,000 (The study noted that the average cost of a wedding in 2013 was just under $30,000.
  • Women who spent less than $1,000 for their wedding had a divorce rate below the national average.

The study did not ask the 3,151 participants to explain why they thought there was a correlation between high wedding costs and a high divorce rate. The authors did, however, pose some theories, suggesting that those who had inexpensive weddings were not beset with financial challenges from the beginning. They also said that the spending patterns during the planning of the marriage often spilled over into the marriage itself, leading to further financial woes. They also theorized that people who couldn’t afford big marriages were under no illusion that they were marrying for anything other than love, whereas the expensive marriage seemed to indicate a desire to marry for status or wealth.

Personally, I’m guessing that this study was not conducted in New Jersey because even an inexpensive wedding would likely top $10,000 – but the ideas are certainly interesting and worth pondering!

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