When knee-deep in wedding planning, the average bride isn’t considering how the size of her guest list might spell out marital success or whether the cost of her ceremony is associated with divorce, but according to some researchers, perhaps, they should. While so many of us are told to focus on the marriage, not the wedding, these statistics seem to imply that we should probably be paying close attention to the wedding as well. Here are four wedding-related plans that have been linked to higher divorce rates.
Skipping the honeymoon
These days, many brides are postponing or canceling their honeymoons altogether, but according to Emory University researchers Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon and their 2014 study, it’s actually a good idea to take one. In their research, the pair found that couples who choose to get away after the wedding are 41 percent less likely to end up divorced.
Small wedding parties
You might think having a short guest list is great way to keep things simple so that you don’t lose sight of what your wedding is really all about in the first place, but according to researchers, you’re so wrong. Couples who host ceremonies of 200 guests or more were 92 percent less likely to end their marriages than those who had zero guests present for their nuptials.
Ironically, even though researchers tie big weddings to higher marital success rates, you’d better find a way to host all of those folks for the low-low because expensive ceremonies are associated with higher divorce rates. Couples who dished out 0 to $1,000 on their celebrations were 54 percent less likely to split up. Couples who spent $20,000 and better were 46 percent more likely to divorce. Spending anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 was the sweet spot.
“Advertising has fueled the norm that spending large amounts on the engagement ring and wedding is an indication of commitment or is helpful for a marriage to be successful,” researchers explained.
Pricey engagement rings
While some women covet engagement rings that are large enough to make Blac Chyna and Ciara envious, according to Mialon and Francis, expensive rings are linked to a higher likelihood of divorce. Apparently, guys who dished out anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000 on an engagement are 1.3 times more likely to end up as divorcés in comparison to guys who spent between $500 and $2,000.
Of course, we know that no single wedding plan can really determine whether or not you and your honey will stay together until death do you part. Since causation is not the same as correlation, none of this information suggests that any of these plans actually cause divorce. As sociologist and sexologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz notes, the fact that “the wedding has become the highlight rather than the beginning of something” for many couples could definitely explain the correlation between divorce rates and wedding plans.