The following post is from staff writer Melissa Batai
When my husband and I were married, we had just completed our bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively, and we were flat out broke. My mom had set aside $5,000 for our wedding, and that is exactly how much we spent, which was no easy task considering I come from a large family and there were 175 guests in attendance.
We cut costs where ever we could–the reception meal was buffet style, and we, along with help from about 10 other friends and relatives, prepared all the food the night before the wedding. Our reception was in a church gymnasium. I still cringe when I see the pictures of our wedding cake (beautifully made by my aunt) complete with chipped paint on the wall behind it. I wore a $200 wedding dress that I loved, and my engagement ring is small, especially by today’s standards.
However, this winter, my husband and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Our marriage is strong, and we look forward to many more years together. Both of us, from the beginning, were focused more on the marriage itself rather than the wedding day.
I know we were in the minority with how much we spent on our wedding. In fact, the average wedding now costs $30,000!
Turns out, spending that much money correlates to a higher likelihood of getting divorced.
Why Spending Less on Your Wedding May Be Better
A recent study by the Social Science Research Network has discovered that:
“Men who spent $2,000 to $4,000 on engagement rings were 1.3 times more likely to end up divorced than men who spent $500 to $2,000” (Huffington Post).
“Women whose weddings cost $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to end up divorced than women who spent $5,000 to $10,000” (Huffington Post).
The researchers theorize that the financial stress of paying for expensive weddings and engagement rings puts stress on the marriage that may lead to divorce.
I have no doubt that paying for an expensive wedding can be stressful on a new marriage. However, I wonder if there is something deeper to be discovered from these statistics.
Other Reasons Why Spending that Much May Lead to Divorce
I wonder if another reason these couples may get divorced is because they’re so intent on planning the perfect wedding that they forget to plan for their lives together. There’s a lot of discussion that should go into preparing for a life together. You’ll need to agree on how many kids you’ll have, whether or not one parent will stay home with the kids, how you handle finances, etc. I’m guessing that some couples fixate on the perfect wedding to avoid these harder topics.
Another guess as to why those who spend more may be more likely to divorce is because they may be people who are intent on impressing others. They may overspend not only on their wedding day, but on other items, too. They may buy a house they can’t afford or a fancy car just to impress others. The constant overspending puts a lot of stress on their marriage, and they divorce.
My Questions for You
What do you think is the factor behind these statistics? Why are couples who spend more on their wedding day more likely to get divorced? Do you notice a correlation between the amount spent on a wedding and the likelihood of divorce?