A recent study conducted by two Emory University economics professors provides more evidence that money can’t buy happiness. To be more precise, spending a lot of money on a lavish wedding doesn’t make a couple’s future prospects for happiness any more likely than spending less. In fact, according to the findings of Professors Hugo Mialon and Andrew Francis, a couple that spends over $20,000 on their wedding is significantly less likely to have a happy future together than a couple who spends between $5000-$10,000 on their big day. What they found in their study of over 3,000 individuals was that those couples that opted for the higher-cost weddings were 1.6 times more likely to divorce than those who paid under $10,000 for their weddings.
According to Mialon and Francis, theirs is the first academic study to examine the correlation between wedding expenses and the length of marriages. The wedding website Theknot.com conducted a survey of 13,000 couples in the United States. The survey revealed that the average amount spent per wedding in 2013 was $29,858. Nearly15% of couples spent more than $40,000 on their wedding and related events, not including the honeymoon. Other big-ticket items that contribute to the expense include engagement rings (at an average of $5,598), reception bands ($3,469), flowers and other decor ($2,069), and wedding photos ($2,440).