A new study found that couples who spend less on their wedding tend to have longer-lasting marriages than those who splurge. The study, by two economics professors at Emory University, found a similar correlation between less-expensive engagement rings and lower divorce rates.
The study's authors didn't examine why, although they floated a few theories.
"It could be that the type of couples who have a ... (cheap wedding) are the type that are a perfect match for each other," said Professor Hugo M. Mialon, who co-authored the study with Andrew M. Francis.
"Or it could be that having an inexpensive wedding relieves young couples of financial burdens that may strain their marriage," he said.
The research was based on a detailed survey completed by 3,151 adults in the United States who are, or have been, married. The authors believe theirs is the first academic study to examine the correlation between wedding expenses and the length of marriages.
Specifically, the study found that women whose wedding cost more than $20,000 divorced at a rate roughly 1.6 times higher than women whose wedding cost between $5,000 and $10,000. And couples who spent $1,000 or less on their big day had a lower than average rate of divorce.
The study won't be cheered by the booming wedding industry, which encourages couples to spend freely on everything from invitations and flowers to videographers and Champagne. Couples in the United States spent an average of $29,858 for their big day in 2013 -- a record high -- according to a survey of 13,000 brides and grooms by wedding website TheKnot.com.
Oscar-winning actor George Clooney, 53, reportedly spent $13 million on his wedding Saturday in Venice to human rights attorney Amal Alamuddin, 36. The Lexington, Kentucky-born star reportedly spent $750,000 on the bride’s engagement ring, which he presented to her in April, seven months after the pair met.
The wedding included guests like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Cindy Crawford. The amount spent on the wedding rivals reality star Kim Kardashian’s $12 million marriage ceremony to musical artist Kanye West in May.
The wedding weekend, which Clooney and Alamuddin decided to turn into a three-day event, kicked off Saturday afternoon when guests were welcomed to the city in private water taxis. Attendees were initially put up at Hotel Cipriani, one of the Oscar winner’s favorite resorts, where a cocktail is named after the star.
ABC News reported friends and family of the couple were then transported via police boats to the seven-star Aman Canal Grande Hotel.
The couple chose a “simple and elegant” floral theme and chose white and yellow as the ceremony colors. It’s rumored the menu consisted of Lebanese and Italian cuisine -- and plenty of alcohol, as TMZ reported earlier this week guest Randy Gerber and Clooney shipped 100 cases of their tequila line Casamigos directly to Venice via jet.
The most significant expense of the British Royal wedding between the heir to the British throne and schoolteacher Lady Diana was security, which accounted for around $600,000 USD. Diana’s wedding dress was estimated to cost around $13,000 USD and had a 25 foot (7.62m) long train. While around 3,000 guests attended, the Royal Wedding was observed by nearly one billion television viewers and radio listeners. The couple’s marriage lasted 11 years, and they officially separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, one year before Diana’s death in a car accident.