The cost of the engagement ring can be interpreted as a signal of commitment - so men who are having a hard time convincing women of their commitment in other ways (because they aren’t really committed perhaps) tend to be the ones who buy particularly expensive rings, perhaps?
When I was planning my wedding, what I read (and granted, this was 20 years ago), was that it wasn’t the total amount of money that was a predictor, it was the percentage of one’s income or savings that the wedding represented.
So, when millionaires had $100,000 weddings, it was nothing, but when people plunged themselves and their parents into debt for a “dream” wedding that cost $100,000, that was a red flag you could see from the space shuttle.
The article (which was a print article I would have no idea where to begin trying to locate), was fairly long, with statistics tables, and some data on things like the fact that wealthy people were by far more likely to avail themselves of interventions, like couples therapy, and to do things like take separate vacations, or have separate bedrooms, if that’s what it took to stay together. Of course, when you can afford to do those things, you do them.
Also, getting married very young was a predictor of a marriage failing; middle and upper class people tended to go to four-year colleges more often than not, and frequently went on to grad school. People with less money to spend didn’t go to college. Since people who go to college usually delay marriage until after graduation, you get more people in lower income brackets marrying younger.
Anyway, the article listed about a 1/2 dozen ways that not having a lot of money didn’t directly lead to marriage failures, but was connected to some other factor that contributed to marriage failures.
I’ve read that same thing before, and kind of wondered. If there is more money available say for a wedding it might be more of an incentive for some people to divorce knowing they will be ok. Poor people sometimes can’t really afford to get divorced.
Anecdotal but I got married in a courthouse and it basically cost nothing, got divorced after about 8 years.
Spending way more than you can afford on something superficial might be reflective of some poor decision making, which might extend to other things in your life, including who to marry, or how to behave in a relationship.
I was at a funeral last weekend, and was revolted at seeing that expensive box just tossed into a hole. So I wonder if a similar comparison exists w/ respect to the amount spent on a burial and how long it lasts?
The Wedding Industry has gotten its tentacle into the brain of many a bride. Even before I got married I could easily see that trying to make my wedding the Happiest Day of My Life was the world’s stupidest idea unless you were getting married at 85.
We spent several hundred bucks on our wedding. It was in my parents’ back yard (they had a very nice country back yard, we seated 50). I wore one of those Jessica McClintock Gunne Saxe dresses you could buy anywhere back then. My sisters brought flowers from their gardens, and my friends cooked food.
It was a happy day. We’re looking at our 40th anniversary coming up.
That, in itself, might not be stupid. But if the person you’re marrying isn’t going to make it the happiest day of your life, then nothing you rent for the occasion is going to help.
People for whom it’s all about the couple are likely to have marriages that last. People for whom it’s all about something else, well, what’s keeping them together after the dress is put away and the dinner is eaten and the limo is returned and so on?
Spousal unit and I spent $25 on the license and $10 on the notary (who can officiate in FL), then we went for lunch at McD’s and went back to work. Not the stereotypical elopement, but it’s lasted over 37 years. I think we got our money’s worth.
In thinking back to the weddings I’ve been to, some have been quite modest, others incredibly opulent, and…huh. All those couples are still together! I guess whatever you decide to spend, you should budget enough to invite me.
It seems like the two key variables in whether a couple get divorced are: 1) how good/bad the marriage is, and 2) how willing each person is to walk away. My grandparents are an interesting study in contrasts. My paternal grandparents appeared, for all the world, to be happy together, right up until my grandfather left for a woman half his age. My maternal grandparents were the most miserable couple imaginable, but divorce was apparently unthinkable, so they stayed together until the bitter end. My parents are still happily married; my in-laws split amicably when my husband was in middle school, and they’re still on reasonably good terms. I’m not convinced that “not getting divorced” is something to aspire to, in particular. Obviously I hope my husband and I will be like my parents, still happily together after all those years, but I’d much rather we end up like my in-laws, happily apart, than like any of my miserable grandparents. I’d be curious how spending on a wedding affects that. My WAG is that, divorce or no, people who go into debt for their wedding are more likely to end up unhappy.
We would have preferred a small wedding, but my MIL really wanted to show off by putting on a big wedding. We let her spend as much as she wanted and invite as many as she wanted, but we were the only ones who had any say in the ceremony itself and the attendants (we refused to tell them what to wear). It was nowhere near 6 figures, but many times what we would have paid ourselves. We hit 25 years in August.
For us, our wedding was an excuse to throw the biggest and best party of our lives. I have no doubt I’ll never throw a bigger party. I think the birth of my first kid was probably a happier day than my wedding day.