What Your Ring and the Cost of Your Wedding May Say About Your Marriage

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Image Not Available

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to engagement rings.

According to a recent study by Emory University economics professors, the size (and resulting cost) of an engagement ring can help determine the success (or failure) of a marriage. In addition, wedding costs also seem to influence the potential for divorce.

More than 3,000 adults who had been married at some point were polled. The survey revealed:

  • Put a (modest) ring on it. Men who spent $2,000 to $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than those who spent between $500 and $2,000. But before you rush out to buy a cubic zirconia, take note that men who spent less than $500 were also more likely to have their marriage end in divorce.
  • Say “I do” to an affordable wedding. Couples who spend $20,000 or more on their weddings were 3.5 times more likely to get divorced than those who married for $5,000 to $10,000. Considering the average wedding costs nearly $30,000, that doesn’t bode well for many married couples. Couples who spent $1,000 or less on a wedding also decreased their chances of a split.
  • Yes to (lots of) guests and a honeymoon. The study found that low-cost weddings with lots of guests and a honeymoon celebrating the nuptials (regardless of cost) also led to longer marriages.

There appears to be an obvious link between newlyweds’ financial stress and the likelihood of getting a divorce. The Huffington Post said:

For example, women whose rings cost over $2,000 were three times more likely to complain about stress related to wedding debt. On the other hand, those who spent less than $1,000 on their weddings were 82 to 93 percent less likely to be stressed out by wedding finances.

“Our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes,” the study concluded.

My engagement ring cost less than $2,000, and my wedding was less than $20,000. We also had a lot of guests and honeymooned in Maui. We didn’t have any lingering debt after we were married. Who needs that extra stress, especially when you’re starting out your life as a married couple?

What do you think of the study’s results? Do they ring true for you? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.