Couples who rely on expensive weddings to kick of their new lives together are more likely to end their relationship in divorce. A new study from Emory University has some good news for cheapskates planning to get married, researchers have found that people who splurge on either the wedding ceremony or the engagement ring have a better chance of calling it quits at some point in the future.
The study, published on September 15 by researchers Hugo M. Mialon and Andrew M. Francis, was conducted via a series of 5-minute online surveys with 3,370 U.S. citizens who have been married. Information gathered included marital status, the number of children from the marriage, marriage duration, length of time the couple knew each other prior to marriage, religious affiliation, race, gender, education, age at marriage, household income, and, of course, expenses associated with the wedding.
The research shows that men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 time more likely to see their marriage end in divorce. Conversely, men who spent between $500 and $2,000 saw a lower divorce rate.
The study doesn’t discriminate against the sexes. Women who spent $20,000 or more on their expensive weddings were 3.5 times more likely to get divorced than women who only spent between $5,000 and $10,000. The research also showed that couples who spent less than $1,000 saw a much lower divorce rate.
The study offered correlation as well as causation. Respondents who spent more money on their nuptials demonstrated increased stress thanks to the excessive amount of debt associated with the ceremony. That stress might have contributed to the early demise of their marriages.
“If wedding expenditures are indeed associated with debt stress, then it is possible that wedding expenses raise the likelihood of marital dissolution given that prior literature suggests a link between economic stress and marital dissolution,” the study said.
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