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ATLANTA — They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but they may not be a marriage’s friend. Spending a large amount of money on a wedding ring or ceremony is linked to a higher divorce rate, according to a new study.
The study was published Sept. 15 by Emory University researchers Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon. The researchers conducted an online survey with 3,370 U.S. citizens who have been married.
The information gathered during the five-minute survey included marital status, marriage duration, children, length of time dated, feelings and attitudes at the time of the wedding proposal, honeymoon, engagement ring expenses, wedding attendance, total wedding expenses, age at marriage, gender, race, education, religious attendance and household income.
The study found that men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced. Men who spent $500 to $2,000 on an engagement ring had a lower divorce rate.
Women who spent $20,000 or more on the wedding were 3.5 times more likely to get divorced than those who only spent $5,000 to $10,000, and couples who spent $1,000 or less on the wedding had much lower divorce rates, according to the study.
People who spent more on the wedding celebration or ring reported having higher levels of stress due to wedding-related debts, which may have caused the higher divorce rates, the study concluded.
“If wedding expenditures are indeed associated with debt stress, then it is possible that wedding expenses raise the likelihood of marital dissolution given that prior literature suggests a link between economic stress and marital dissolution,” the study said.
Couples who had a high attendance at their wedding and who went on a honeymoon all had a significantly lower chance of divorce, according to the study.