Flashy marriages could lead to divorce

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In 1964, Paul McCartney of The Beatles sang the famous song “I Don’t Care Too Much About Money Money Can’t Buy Me Love.” While Mr McCartney’s feelings were certainly a major foreshadowing of the hippie and free love movement that was to come in the ’60s, it seems he was also on to a great truth that would not be proven for another 50 years.

Seven years ago, Emory University researchers Hugo M. Mialon and Andrew Francis-Tan embarked on the first study to determine whether spending a lot on a wedding or engagement ring meant a marriage would be successful or would fail.

The couple wanted to see if the wedding industry was honest when it came to saying that the more money a couple spends, the more likely they are to stick together.

“The wedding industry has always sought to tie wedding expenses to long-lasting marriages. This article is the first to statistically examine this relationship ”, the researchers wrote.


Researchers conducted online surveys of more than 3,000 previously married people living in the United States.

After reviewing the questionnaire responses, the researchers learned that spending a lot of money on a wedding and an engagement ring made a couple more likely to divorce. The researchers determined that “the length of the marriage is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and the wedding ceremony.”

Conversely, they found that “relatively low expenses for marriage are positively associated with duration for the men and women surveyed”.

The researchers also found that the number of people who attended the wedding also mattered. The questionnaire found that “high wedding attendance and a honeymoon (regardless of its cost) are generally positively associated with the length of the marriage”.

Researchers haven’t investigated why people who splurge on marriages and alliances are more likely to have to hire divorce lawyers, but they do have a few theories.

“It could be that the type of couples who have a… (cheap marriage) are the type that is a perfect match for each other. ” Mialon told CNN. “Or it could be that having a cheap marriage relieves young couples of financial burdens that can strain their marriage,” he added.

Francis-Tan believes that people who have marriages with a large number of participants are more successful because they have a lot of support.

“It could be evidence of a community effect, meaning that having more support from friends and family can help the couple overcome the challenges of marriage,” said Francis- Tan. “Or it could be that the type of couples who have a lot of friends and family are also the type who tend to divorce less.”

Could it also be that people who emphasize a flashy wedding and jewelry tend to be a bit more materialistic? It makes sense that couples who really like to keep appearances may not have their righteous properties when it comes to building a romantic relationship.

To finish with another pop music analogy: “If you liked it, you should have put a ring on it” (just make sure it’s cheap, in front of a lot of people, in your backyard).

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