A recent study conducted by economics professors Andrew Francis-Tan and Hugo Mialon has concluded that couples who spend excessively on their wedding celebration are more likely to get divorced than those who do not. The study followed the wedding and marriages of 3,151 people in the United States and asked a range of questions about education level, household income, number of children, marital status, and how expensive their wedding and engagement rings were. Researchers also asked participants how long their marriage lasted if it ended in divorce, and how important their partner’s appearance and wealth were to them.
The first point of research looked at the amount spent on engagement rings and determined that the price paid for an engagement ring is inversely associated with the duration of the union. The more expensive the ring, the increased likelihood of divorce- especially if the ring costs more than $2,000. The study states, “specifically, in the sample of men, spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring is associated with 1.3 times greater hazard of divorce as compared to spending between $500 and $2,000.”
Researchers also looked at overall cost of wedding ceremonies and determined that more affordable weddings often lead to more successful marriages. The study showed that couples who spent more than $20,000 on their wedding were 1.6 times more likely to divorce than those who spent less. Couples who spent less than $1,000 experienced the least amount of divorces, and overall were the happiest in their relationships. The study also showed that having a large audience for a wedding increases the chance of having a longer marriage.
However, one aspect of the wedding where money spent led to an increase with marital satisfaction was the honeymoon. Couples who spend more on a post wedding trip experience a significantly lower risk of divorce than couples who forgo a honeymoon. The study suggests cutting back on more lavish wedding cost in order to afford a trip together would be beneficial to a long-term marriage. Researchers also point out that marriages where a partner’s looks were of high importance were often significantly shorter in duration.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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