Study: An Expensive Wedding Increases Likelihood of Divorce


  • Honeymoons decrease the chances of divorce by 41 percent.
  • Your income, time spent dating, and how much you spent on your wedding can predict how long your marriage lasts.

A diamond is forever, but an expensive engagement ring means the marriage might not last that long. According to a new study, spending between R20 000 and R70 000 on an engagement ring is significantly associated with an increase in the risk of divorce.

Two Emory University researchers who studied 3,000 married couples in the U.S. showed that there’s a correlation between money and divorce. The researchers studied income, religious attendance, how important attractiveness was to each partner, wedding attendance, and other metrics to determine the aspects associated with eventual marital dissolution.

According to the study, a wedding ceremony has a massive impact on whether you will get divorced or not. One of the biggest factors is how many people attend the wedding and how much was spent on the ceremony.

Shockingly, couples who eloped (just the couple at the wedding) were 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who were married at a wedding with 200+ people. Turns out having a large family and support group who care, at least enough to attend a wedding, is incredibly important to a long lasting marriage.

Men are 50 percent more likely to end up divorced when they said their partner’s looks were important in their decision to get married, and women are 60 percent more likely to end up divorced when they cared about their partner’s wealth, compared to people who said they cared about neither.

But there’s even better news: a big wedding doesn’t mean an expensive wedding. According to the study, the more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you’ll end up divorced.

Couples who spent less than R13 000 were 53% less likely to divorce than couples who spent R250 000 or more. Contrary to what the wedding industry wants you to think, more is not always better.

The great news is:
A few other findings of the study suggested that you should spend at least three years dating before getting married, be wealthy but don’t be a gold digger, and don’t skip the honeymoon.

Their findings offer some take-aways for couples who want to minimize their chances of divorce: You should date for three years before popping the question. Be wealthy, but don’t be a gold-digger. Have a huge wedding, but make sure it’s cheap. And whatever you do, don’t skip the honeymoon.

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