Study says the recipe for a happy marriage is to have the world's biggest, cheapest wedding

Amal and George got the ‘biggest’ part right: Image Via Getty.

“Don’t worry so much about the wedding. This is about the rest of your lives together.”

It’s the ultimate balm to sooth the nerves of anxious brides. But a recent study, which surveyed thousands of married couples across the US has found that certain aspects of the wedding actually play a big part in the life expectancy of a marriage.

One of the biggest factors in determining who stays together and who splits? How much you spend. And it’s not looking good for those in the “big flashy wedding” camp. Data visualiser Randal S. Olsen has helpfully made these graphs that explain the results of the study.

He’s highlighted 7 major factors in predicting whether a marriage will last. The first is the length of time spent dating prior to engagement. Here, slow-and-steady wins the ‘to death do us part’. Couples who dated three years before getting engaged were 39% less likely to get divorced.

If you liked this you might also enjoy:

“I don’t want to obsess over my wedding weight, but I can feel myself starting to”

The 11 worst beauty mistakes to make on your wedding day

Hanger is real – and it’s ruining your relationship

Here it is: The ultimate resource for the recently dumped

It turns out "for richer or poorer" doesn't exactly hold true though. The better off you are, the more likely you are to stay together. Couples who earn over $125,000 a year are 51% less likely to get divorced.


Perhaps not surprisingly, the more religious you are, the more likely you are to stay together.

If you care a lot about how much money your partner makes, or how attractive your partner is, you significantly increase your risk of winding up in divorce court.

But now we get to the juicy part: The wedding. If you had a great big wedding - with over 200 people - you are a whopping 92% less likely to divorce.

But conversely, if you spend over $20,000 on your wedding, you're 46% more likely to get divorced.

... Wait, hang on, what? As anyone who has ever planned a wedding can tell you, you're looking at spending at least $120-150 per guest. The average cost of an Australian wedding is $36,200. Most of that money goes towards food and alcohol.

So, if you invite the 200+ people needed to drop your divorce rate you're looking to around $24,000 and that's before you've bought the dress. 

Basically, unless you invite 250 of your nearest and dearest to the park for a B.Y.O. sausage sizzle, you can't win.

On the upside, take that honeymoon. Your marriage could depend on it.

Did you have a big wedding? Do you think it made a difference to your marriage?

Love this story ?  Follow us on Facebook