Spending more on you wedding day and engagement ring could make you more likely to divorce

US study suggests the secret to a longer marriage is a longer guest list instead of a big wedding bill

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 13 October 2014 01:29 BST
Love doesn't always take two: Grace Gelder (not pictured) married herself)
Love doesn't always take two: Grace Gelder (not pictured) married herself)

“A diamond is forever,” according to De Beers, but if a couple spends too much on their engagement ring then their marriage might not be.

A new study in the US has found that the more people spend on their weddings and engagement rings, the more likely they are to divorce.

Economic professors at Emory University carried out a study on over 3,000 US men and women who had been married to a member of the opposite sex.

Professors Andrew M Francis and Hugo M Mialon found that men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 (£1,244 and £2,488) on engagement rings were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than men who spent between $500 (£311) and $2,000 on a ring.

Women who spent over ,000 dollars on their wedding were 3.5 times more likely to divorce

For women, if a wedding cost over $20,000 (£12,444), they were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than women who spent between $5,000 and $10,000 (£3,111 and £6,222), the study claims.

Trying to cheat the system may not work for couples either; those who spent $500 (£311) or less on an engagement ring experienced higher rates of divorce, too.

The professors claim in their work that in 2014, wedding industry revenues are projected to exceed $50 billion in America. According to wedding site TheKnot, the average American wedding cost is $29,858 (£18,577).

“In 1959, Bride’s recommended that couples set aside two months to prepare for their wedding and published a checklist with 22 tasks for them to complete. By the 1990s, the magazine recommended 12 months for wedding preparation and published a checklist with 44 tasks to complete,” the professors said in their work.

In the UK people spend an average of £24,700 on their weddings, according to Brides magazine

They suggest that the high spend on weddings and rings and its relation to divorce rates could be due to the stress couples experience from the debt their wedding day can place them in.

The average Briton spends more on their wedding than the Americans, however. Brides magazine in the UK found its readers spent an average of £24,700 on their weddings, while the average price of an engagement ring was £2,451.

But all is not lost; the study suggests that the key to marital bliss is to invite as many people to the big day as possible, and to take a honeymoon. It found that high wedding attendance and any kind of honeymoon, regardless of cost, was positively associated with the length of a marriage.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in