Cheaper Weddings = Better Marriages


It has long been my observation that those who put a lot of focus on the wedding day are more likely to have a short marriage.

Usually the 12-24 months from engagement to the wedding day is a very exciting time. There are magazines to be read, suppliers to be booked and copious amounts of shopping to me done; not to mention lots of little details to be decided upon. Wedding planning creates a whirlwind of exhilaration that is hard to sustain once the dress has been dry cleaned and the thank you cards have been delivered.

I urge couples to bear in mind that married life will be exactly the same as your pre-engagement life was plus extra bling. Similar to post-natal depression I have seen many a woman show signs of post-wedding depression. Usually post-wedding depression kicks in about 3 months after the wedding. 3 months into martial life the dress has been dry cleaned, the photographer has come back with your pictures, thank you cards have been sent and no one wants to talk about the wedding with you oie_oie_trim_imageanymore. Your friends are no longer on permanent stand-by to avert any wedding related crisis and it all feels lackluster and flat. It is perfectly normal and OK to put great effort and time into planning your wedding day, but remember that life will not instantly change when your marital status does.

For many couples in the midst of planning an expensive celebration date nights falls to the way-side as every weekend is taken up with browsing, shopping and tasting, meaning a couple can feel distanced from each other as planning progresses. The engagement stage is one of the most-important times in a couples life to carry-on dating each other. If the cost allocated to the wedding far exceeds an affordable saving level then finances wont be the only thing to suffer. Stress will get the better of you at some stage during the planning; and it is at this time when you really need to be connected with your partner and remember why you fell in love with them in the first place. It is my advice to budget your wedding planning schedule so that you still have the ability to “date” each other once a month.

So is this observation of mine true? Can the cost of a wedding have an impact on the longevity of a marriage?

In September 2014 a study on the correlation between wedding expenses and marriage duration was completed by two Economics professors at Emory University. The study was done on more than 3,000 people (an admittedly small study group) asking them about their first marriage. Some of the results of the study are in bullet below:

  • Men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to divorce than those who spent between $500 and $2,000 (USD)
  • Those who spent more than $20,000 on their wedding day were 3.5 time more likely to divorce than those who spent between $5,000 and $10,000
  • Those who spent less on their wedding were 82-93% less likely to experience wedding-debt related stress post wedding.

Given the fact the study size was small, and the write up is short with few definite conclusions the validity of the study is questionable at best. It would be good for a study to be done on a much larger group, spread across more than one developed country. The best platforms to complete these surveys are the ones who wouldn’t want to do so because the results could be negative towards their business model.

With the above aside, the study does show a correlation between lower wedding expenditure and longevity of marriage.

So you’ve never had a better reason to cut that wedding budget down and knock off those unnecessary wedding expenses off the list. Worried about what your friends and family will think of your parred back nuptials? Just tell them it is all for the good of your resulting marriage.

Cheaper Weddings = Better Marriages

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