Planning your wedding day can be time consuming and expensive. Unfortunately, a large number of marriages end in divorce, which, apart from grief, can also consume a lot of time and money. In the United States, the average cost of a divorce in 2019 was about $12,900, but it could be up to more than $23,000, according to The Ascent. While couples may decide to end their marriage for many different reasons, there are some signs that you are heading in that direction. In fact, one study suggests that your own wedding may provide some clues to your chances of divorce. Read on to find out what wedding behavior could indicate a breakup down the line.
Related: If you and your spouse do it together, you are 3.5 times more likely to divorce.
You may want to watch how much money you put into your big day. A 2014 study was published in Social Science Research Network I looked at the weddings and marriages of more than 3,000 people in the United States, and found that the price of a wedding likely plays into your chances of separating in the future. According to the study, newly married couples who spent more than $20,000 on their wedding were 46 percent more likely to break up than those who spent about $5,000 to $10,000. And those who spent $10,000 to $20,000 were 29 percent more likely to divorce than those who spent at that mid-range cost.
Spending less than this average range may reduce the chances of a split in the future as well. According to the study, newly married couples who spent only $1,000 or less on their wedding were 54 percent less likely to divorce compared to those who spent about $5,000 and $10,000. And those who spent between $1,000 and $5,000 were 19 percent less likely to get divorced.
The study researchers didn’t come to an exact conclusion as to why cheaper weddings might lead to a more stable marriage, but there are a number of possible explanations. “It could be the kind of couples who have [cheap wedding] are the kind that perfectly match each other,” study co-author Hugo M Myalone, Ph.D., professor of economics at Emory University, told CNN. “Or it may be that having an inexpensive wedding takes young couples off the financial burdens that may burden their marriage.”
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According to the study, spending more on an engagement ring was also a sign that you were more likely to end up in divorce. Researchers found that spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring was associated with a 1.3 times increased risk of divorce compared to spending between $500 and $2,000. Surprisingly, however, the more people attend your wedding, the less likely you are to get a divorce, according to the study.
“This may be evidence of a societal impact, that is, getting more support from friends and family may help the couple overcome marriage challenges,” said a study co-author. Andrew M Francis, Ph.D., professor in the economics department at Emory, told CNN. “Or it might be the kind of couples who have a lot of friends and family who are also the type who don’t tend to divorce as much.”
This is not necessarily good news for American couples. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2020 was $19,000 — which, while high enough to increase divorce risk, is down from previous years, in large part due to the effects of the COVID pandemic. In 2019, the average cost of a wedding (for both ceremony and reception) was $28,000. The cost of weddings for 2021 is expected to be around this level or higher, according to Node. And according to the researchers behind the 2019 study, the wedding industry is likely to blame for this.
“The wedding industry has always associated lavish weddings with long-term marriages,” Francis told CNN. “Industrial advertising has fueled standards that create the impression that spending large sums on a wedding is a sign of commitment or necessary for a successful marriage.” .
“Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message linking extravagant weddings with positive marital outcomes,” he added.
Related: The study says that failure to do so resulted in a divorce in 53 percent of couples.