Want a happy marriage? Have a big, cheap wedding

Story highlights

  • Study: Couples who spend less on their wedding have longer-lasting marriages
  • A similar correlation was found between cheaper engagement rings and lower divorce rates
  • The research was based on a survey completed by 3,151 ever-married adults in the U.S.
If you're serving burgers and Bud Light at your backyard wedding, don't worry. You and your spouse may have the last laugh.
A new study found that couples who spend less on their wedding tend to have longer-lasting marriages than those who splurge. The study, by two economics professors at Emory University, found a similar correlation between less-expensive engagement rings and lower divorce rates.
The study's authors didn't examine why, although they floated a few theories.
"It could be that the type of couples who have a ... (cheap wedding) are the type that are a perfect match for each other," said Professor Hugo M. Mialon, who co-authored the study with Andrew M. Francis.
"Or it could be that having an inexpensive wedding relieves young couples of financial burdens that may strain their marriage," he said.
The research was based on a detailed survey completed by 3,151 adults in the United States who are, or have been, married. The authors believe theirs is the first academic study to examine the correlation between wedding expenses and the length of marriages.