Planning an Expensive Wedding? You Could Be Headed for Divorce

An expensive engagement ring and a lavish wedding ceremony can be a memorable beginning to a long and loving marriage.  But not necessarily.  According to a new Emory University study, there is a correlation between higher spending on rings and weddings and the likelihood of divorce.

Study Links Expensive Weddings to Higher Divorce Rates

The study found that that couples with less expensive weddings remained married longer than those who spent more heavily.  Professor Hugo M. Mialon, one of the co-authors of the study, speculated that couples who opted for less expense might be better matched.  Alternatively, he said, the expense of a big wedding may place a financial burden on a marriage.

The survey involved 3,151 individuals nationwide currently or formerly married.  The authors of the study say theirs may be the first to compare engagement ring and wedding costs to the longevity of marriage.

A woman with wedding costs in excess of $20,000 has approximately a 1.6 times higher chance of becoming divorced than one with costs between $5,000 and $10,000.  Couples spending $1,000 or less divorce at a lower rate than average.

Wedding Industry Promotes Big Spending

According to, a wedding website, a 2013 survey of 13,000 brides and grooms showed an average wedding cost of $29,858.  Wedding industry advertising often promotes the idea that a large investment in a wedding is an important demonstration of the commitment needed for a marriage to succeed.

Study Contradicts Promotion of Expensive Weddings

According to the Emory study, however, there is little evidence to validate the view that expensive engagement rings and weddings lead to marital success.  If the study’s analysis proves to be valid, a couple arranging elaborate nuptials may end up wishing they had also arranged for a good prenuptial agreement.

Get Professional Legal Assistance

Every marriage is unique, and one study should not be grounds for too much pessimism.  Still, for couples considering marriage or already married, Cohen Family Law in Phoenix, Arizona has expertise in a wide range of family law issues, ranging from premarital agreements to separation, divorce, and child custody. Call (602) 714-8898 for a free confidential consultation.