As many brides are putting the finishing details on their dream weddings, two economics professors from Emory University are sounding a caution. In their research, they discovered that people whose weddings cost $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to end up divorced than those who spent $5,000 to $10,000.
Coauthor Andrew M. Francis said, “Industry advertising has fueled norms that create the impression that spending large amounts on the wedding is a signal of commitment or is necessary for a marriage to be successful.”
Industry advertising has it all wrong.
The reality is that weddings are not fairy tales—and neither are marriages. When the ceremony becomes the focal point, preparing for marriage gets pushed to the side. When faced with the day-to-day realities of marriage that come up—paying the bills, caring for a sick child, and putting the other person’s needs in front of yours—all those wedding day details suddenly seem insignificant.
In the Bible, God never talks about planning for one big day. Instead, he talks far more about how you make every day after the wedding the focal point. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3). Spend time privately praying for your marriage. Talk with each other. Worship together. Build understanding. Choose to forgive and love your spouse—every day, for the rest of your life.
That is what’s necessary for marriage to be successful.
That kind of success is priceless.