By Diana Bruk
When Jennifer Lopez sang, “Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got,” perhaps she was referring to the famous 6.1-carat, $1.2 million diamond ring given to her by Ben Affleck for their doomed engagement. Ben downgraded to a more modest, 4.5-carat diamond when he proposed to Jennifer Garner, and now science tells us there’s a correlation between this smaller jewel and their famously solid marriage.
According to a new study by Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon of Emory University, the bigger your wedding bling, the more likely you are to divide up your marital assets later on.
The recently released study, which is poetically titled “'A Diamond is Forever' and Other Fairytales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration,” surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults who had once been married to a member of the opposite sex and discovered that men who spent $2,000–$4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than men who spent between $500 and $2,000. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that spending less than $500 on a ring led to higher divorce rates as well.
The study also found that women who spent more than $20,000 on a wedding divorced 3.5 times more frequently than those who spent between $5,000 and $10,000. This may be bad news for most brides since the average American wedding costs roughly $30,000, according to The Knot.
The overall conclusion drawn by the researches is that their findings “provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes.”
That’s quite the takedown. Are we, then, all victims to a purportedly $60 billion dollar industry, one that keeps whispering in our ears that the bigger the dress, the greater the love? Are so-called “fairytale weddings” just a capitalist scam? The authors of the study certainly seem to be implying that when they emphasize how much crazier of an affair it’s become in the last few decades:
"In 1959, Brides [the magazine] recommended that couples set aside 2 months to prepare for their wedding and published a checklist with 22 tasks for them to complete. By the 1990s, the magazine recommended 12 months of wedding preparation and published a checklist with 44 tasks to complete.”
But look at the bright side: a smaller ring means saving more money (and a sign that you and your hubby have nothing to prove), and a more affordable wedding means less stress for you and your future life partner.
The study also found that having a big guest list and taking a honeymoon led to more lasting marriages. So having that elegant backyard wedding, surrounded by all your family and friends, and then jetting off to a lavish honeymoon in Hawaii is sounding pretty good right about now.
More from Cosmopolitan:
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15 Things To Remember During The Early Years of Marriage
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