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Study suggests link between expensive wedding ceremony, divorce

Many Buffalo couples who are planning their weddings right now may feel the pressure to spend a lot of money. Lavish receptions and destination weddings in exotic locations are no longer uncommon. A wedding website reports that, in 2013, engaged American couples spent an average of $29,858 on their wedding day.

If a couple truly loves each other, they should prove that love by spending tens of thousands of dollars on a fancy wedding, right?

Maybe not. A new economic study from Emory University concludes that couples who spent less on their engagement rings and wedding ceremonies tend to get divorced less often than those who spent more.

Researchers surveyed 3,151 adults in the U.S. who were married, or used to be. The survey revealed that women whose wedding cost more than $20,000 were about 1.6 times more likely to have later divorced, compared with women who spent between $5,000 and $10,000. Weddings that cost no more than $1,000 appear to lead to the most durable marriages; those couples had an even lower divorce rate.

The study’s authors did not research possible reasons for this possible trend. However, they have a couple ideas why expensive weddings may lead to divorce. One of the co-authors said that a pricey wedding could lead to financial problems that put a strain on the marriage. Or couples who agree to spend less on the ceremony may simply be a better match than those where one person insists on a lavish event.

Of course, whether you had your wedding at the most lavish resort in Hawaii, or invited your guests for a backyard wedding and barbecue is not a perfect predictor of whether you will go through divorce someday. It can happen to any married person, and if it does, they will need an experienced divorce attorney on their side.