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A Cheap Wedding Might Save Your Marriage

A recent study done by two economics professors at Emory University, found a correlation between couples who went cheap on their wedding and the length of marriage. Turns out, cutting down on the big day splurges might actually indicate your marriage will last longer.

The professors also found similar link between less-expensive engagement rings and lower divorce rates.

The Study

The surveys were completed by 3,151 adults in the United States who are married, or have been married. The authors believe this is the first time the correlation between wedding expenses and the length of marriages has been examined.

The research also shows that women that spent more than $20,000 on their weddings were divorced at a rate roughly 1.6 times higher than women who spent between $5,000 and $10,000 on the big day. It also showed that couples who spent $1,000 or less on their nuptial ceremony had a lower than average rate of divorce.


Though the authors of the study, Professor Hugo M. Mialon and Andrew M. Francis, didn’t examine why this might be, 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 Mialon. “Or it could be that having an inexpensive wedding relieves young couples of financial burdens that may strain their marriage.”

Average Wedding Cost

According to a survey of 13,000 brides and grooms done performed by the wedding website,, couples in the U.S. spent an average of $29,858 for their 2013 weddings.

“The wedding industry has long associated lavish weddings with longer-lasting marriages. Industry advertising has fueled norms that create the impression that spending large amounts on the wedding is a signal of commitment or is necessary for a marriage to be successful,” said Francis. “Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes,” he said.

The More the Merrier?

But maybe it’s not just cheaper = happier. It could also be that more people actually equals merrier. The study additionally found that the more people that attend the wedding, the lower the divorce rate.

“This could be evidence of a community effect, i.e., having more support from friends and family may help the couple to get through the challenges of marriage,” Francis said. “Or this could be that the type of couples who have a lot of friends and family are also the type that tend not to divorce as much.”

For advice on divorce, you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Source:, Want a happy marriage? Have a big, cheap wedding, October 13, 2014

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