bring on a cheap wedding!

Cheap weddingI seem to be of a certain age and relationship status (did that term even exist before Facebook?) where I am constantly being asked if / when I’m getting married.

Take me to any social gathering, wedding, picnic, party, or family dinner, and the question always comes up: “what about you? When are you and A getting married?”

Being exceptionally humble, I chalked it up to the fact that I’m successful, attractive, witty, and a remarkably talented writer…who wouldn’t want to marry me?!

When I mentioned this A, he laughed and said, “honey, it’s because of your fat finger.”


damn you fat finger!
damn you fat finger!

Ah, the fat finger.

So, my left ring finger is WAY fatter than the right one. And lately, I’ve lost a little weight and my favorite ring (a gift from my parents) has started sliding off my right ring finger. So I moved it to the fat one.

And ever since then, people have been thinking that A and I got engaged, since engagement rings are traditionally worn on the left ring finger.

This is incredibly amusing to me, since I’m as-of-yet unconvinced about the benefits of marriage, weddings, and last-but-not-least, engagement rings.

Ok, that’s enough about my finger-image issues…

The reason I bring up marriage / weddings is not because I just saw Gone Girl…it’s actually because I read a fascinating piece of news this weekend.

Let frugal bloggers everywhere rejoice – two economists have done a study comparing the cost of your wedding to the longevity of your marriage.

And, surprise, surprise, the cheaper the wedding, the happier and longer-lasting the marriage.

The two researchers are economics professors at Emory University and they used data from more than 3000 married couples in the United States.

According to the WSJ, “After analyzing their data, the authors found that women whose weddings had cost more than $20,000 (in 2014 dollars) ended up getting divorced 60% more often than those whose weddings were cheaper. And men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on their engagement ring got divorced 30% more often than those who spent between $500 and $2,000.”

The research was published under the title, “‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship Between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration.”

Based on their findings, the study also suggests:

1. Date for three years before deciding to get married

2. Don’t skip the honeymoon (seriously folks, this will decrease your chance of divorce by 41%).

3. Have a large wedding, but keep it under $10K.

I rarely feel surprised by a study, but this one really got me thinking. I always advise couples to spend very little on their weddings for practical, financial reasons (i.e. if you want to buy a house, cut your wedding budget in half; or choose a ring, a wedding, or a honeymoon, but not all three…) but I’ve never thought about giving this advice because it will actually make a couple happier.

Is this old news? Did anyone make wedding decisions with their future happiness in mind? Do you think the study is bogus?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

  • I read the same study and think it says a lot about the people who tend to go over the top versus us average joe’s and jane’s who marry more for love than for the show & hoopla of the wedding ๐Ÿ˜‰ We had a low budget but big DIY wedding way back when, and we’re still together, happy, married with happy kids :)

    And, I love your finger & ring story. I think we all must have a fat finger. Mine is my ring finger, so sometimes I don’t wear my rings and I get flack from my friends for suddenly “being single” again! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Marlynn [UrbanBlissLife] recently posted…Columbia Crest Wines + Free Thanksgiving Wine Tag PrintableMy Profile

  • Well we were together for a little over two years, kept our wedding under 10 grand (it was still on the coast and beautiful) and we went to Whistler for our honeymoon. I hope these stats work. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • What a funny correlation! I guess my husband and I are in good shape, then. We spent very little on our wedding and took a honeymoon. It was a year and a half after the fact, but still!

  • I definitely can understand taking the time to really not only get to know each other but get into a routine where you know you are well suited for each other by dating for a while before getting married. And, who skips the honeymoon? It doesn’t have to be an around the world trip, but it says something if you aren’t willing to take the time to celebrate your commitment and relationship together.
    However, I totally admit my wedding cost more than 10k, though I hope it doesn’t mean I’m on the wrong side of the stats. I could have done more DIY, but I’m not that kind of crafty girl and it was worth my sanity for some of the things I paid for to get taken care of for me instead… and what can I say, deliciousness like food and craft beers were things we wanted to be part of our day. I think it’s a balance of choosing to spend carefully based on what is important and being conscious of what is important.
    Pech recently posted…Curse of the Haunted Curds and upcoming Abyss 2014 ReleaseMy Profile

    • It’s amazing how many couples are too busy or too stressed (or spent too much on their wedding) to take a significant honeymoon. That’s the part that sounds the best to me!

  • We enjoyed our honeymoon in Iceland so much that we went back the next year for our anniversary! I can actually see why it wouldn’t be important to some couples, but it was for us.

    We dated for almost three years before the wedding and our wedding (including rings) was about $12,000, so total I think we stayed in their limits but it was close. Four years and no regrets.
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…5 Things To Consider Before Giving Up Your DryerMy Profile

  • I was so confused when I read this post. I thought you were already married and that you spent 5K on a hotel in the Caribbean.

    WHA?…. Anyways I set myself straight and I guess that was a guest post.

    Well I completely agree with most of the study notes I mean it make sense. I knew going into the engagement about the statistic about money being a big divorce factor. I didn’t want to spend money I didn’t have. Plus I am not all big on having people stare at me. HAHa so the smaller the guest list the better.

    I am actually working on a wedding series. Man it really does seem like lots of bloggers are writing about wedding.
    The Roamer recently posted…Design your own Wedding dressMy Profile

    • Wow, you are probably my most dedicated reader :) and yes, I agree about everyone writing about weddings. I’m looking forward to your wedding series!