Wedding Costs and Marriage Success

The average cost of a wedding is nearly $30,000 and the average engagement ring cost is about $5,500.  However, a high-cost wedding does not ensure a long-term marriage.  A study by two economists at Emory University concluded that “marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony“.

Other findings of the research included:

  • spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring was associated with a 1.3 times greater chance of divorce compared to spending between $500 and $2,000.
  • spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on the engagement ring was associated with two to three times the probability of reporting being stressed about wedding-related debt relative to spending between $500 and $2,000.
  • spending less than $1,000 on the wedding is associated with an 82 to 93 percent decrease in the chance of reporting being stressed about wedding-related debt relative to spending between $5,000 and $10,000. 

While money is important in marriage and life, being materialistic can result in relational difficulties.

For additional information on the wedding costs and marriage success, click here:

For the research paper, click here:

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students research actions that may be taken to reduce wedding costs.
  • Have students interview people about their experiences related to planning a wedding. 

Discussion Questions 

  1. What financial difficulties might result from overspending for a wedding?
  2. How might a couple reduce weddings costs?
  3. Describe actions that might be taken to as alternatives for an expensive wedding.

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