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Monday, November 10, 2014

A Key to Wedded Bliss? Families and Friends without the Frills

The October issue of the Atlantic reported the results of a recent study that found that the percentage of marriages that lasted was positively associated with the number of people who attended their weddings. In particular, weddings where
  • 1-10 people attended, the marriage was 35% more likely to last
  • 11-50 people attended, the marriage was 56% more likely to last
  • 51-100 people attended, the marriage was 69% more likely to last
  • 101-200 people attended, the marriage was 84% more likely to last
  • 201 or more people attended, the marriage was 92% more likely to last
At the same, however, the study found that the more a couple (or their parents) spent on a wedding, the less likely it would last. More precisely, marriages where the weddings cost
  • $1,000 or less were 53% more likely to last than those that cost between $5,000 and $10,000
  • Between $1,000 and $5,000 were 18% more likely to last than those that cost between $5,000 and $10,000
  • $10,000 or more were 46% less likely to last than those who spent between $5,000 and $10,000
At first blush, the results suggest that couples should invite lots of family and friends to their weddings, while keeping the costs of the wedding down. A more likely explanation is that couples who are embedded in a dense network of friends and family probably don't feel the need to have extravagant weddings. The simple act of acknowledging their commitment to one another in the presence of their family and friends is more than enough, which is why their weddings are more likely to be well attended and cost relatively little. There's a lesson here I think...

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