Could Your Wedding Budget Predict Divorce?

You may want to reconsider your spending!

January 24, 2019

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I don't think anyone gets engaged, plans a wedding, and walks down the aisle with the intentions of someday getting divorced. I know I sure didn't think my first marriage would end that way. I thought it was one of those love stories where we would grow old together and share a room in the assisted living place. But alas, I was wrong. 

There are so many studies that have been done on things that may predict if a couple will get divorced like the age when they marry, career choice, and now how much was spent on the wedding. With social media, it feels like people are just trying to outdo one another and have a better wedding then the last friend. But keeping up with the Joneses can come at a hefty cost. 

Economics professors Andrew Francis-Tan and Hugo M Mialon have been looking at 3,000 married people to see if there were any definitive characteristics or things that seemed to lead to divorce. So what common themes did they find? It all comes down to money. More specifically the money spent on the engagement ring and the wedding. 

If a man spent between $2-$4k on an engagement ring, that relationship was more likely to end in divorce than those that spent less. But aren't men supposed to spend three months salary on a ring? I remember reading that somewhere and I found that to be quite ridiculous. 

What about the amount spent on the wedding? Well, according to this study, those that spent over $17k on their wedding were far more likely to get divorced than those that spent less. I remember writing a story a few months ago about the average cost of a wedding in the US and it was somewhere around $37k! 

Just an FYI, my ex and I flew off to Vegas an eloped so we didn't spend much on our wedding. My original ring was about $1k, but he did upgrade it to one that was about $5k. But we still ended up divorced.