Love Letters: Can Big Weddings Shorten Your Marriage?


It’s been awhile, so let’s open up the mailbag and pry into our reader’s love lives.

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Here’s today’s question:

A recent study has shown that couples that spend a fortune on their weddings have shorter marriages than those that don’t have big weddings. Do you believe this to be true?


What a coincidence – in just one week, the wife and I celebrate one decade of marriage.

And whenever brides-to-be come to the wifey seeking wedding planning advice, she says the same thing:

“If I could do it all over, we wouldn’t have had a wedding.” She would have preferred that we eloped instead.

Can’t blame her.

In the days leading up to our wedding we dealt with sudden deaths of family members, tornadoes, car accidents, no-shows, petty arguments (which led to even more no-shows), way too much money being spent and way too many people offering irrelevant opinions.

Some woman had the nerve to complainwhen I told her we weren’t giving “tokens of gratitude” (aka gift bags) to our guests. “That’s just customary,” I was told.

Well, heffa, this is OUR wedding, shouldn’t WE be the one receiving gifts, not YOU? I told her to slither back to the Kanye West casting call she crawled from.


Despite more than a few obstacles, our wedding was magnificent and went off without a hitch. But we learned that bigger weddings equal bigger headaches — and greater opportunities for things to go wrong.

I couldn’t find the specific study LJ was referring to (y’all really need to hook a brother up with links; my Google game is strong but I’m no Larry Page) but I did find this piece from MarketWatch, which cites a marriage study from the Department of Economics at Atlanta’s Emory University:

In their research paper, Olson notes, the Emory researchers say that the financial burden incurred by lavish, expensive weddings leads to financial stress for the couple, which ultimately tears the marriage apart. Brides, in particular, are vulnerable to divorce after expensive marriages. In fact, brides who spent $20,000 or more on their wedding are 3.5 times more likely to end up divorced than their counterparts who spent less than half that amount.

Makes sense to me.

Our culture has created unrealistic expectations for brides by claiming that their wedding day is the ONE DAY they should be treated like a Disney princess. You MUST spare no expense to buy a six-figure dress that you’ll wear for four hours and stuff in a closet for 50 years. You MUST have 47 bridesmaids, 43 of whom you haven’t spoken to since the sixth grade. Your wedding ring MUST cost more than your car and your guests MUST receive gifts too (I’m still bitter).

And if your expensive dreams aren’t realized, YOUR WEDDING SUCKS.

Since most of y’all aren’t Kate Middleton, brides and grooms with expensive tastes fall into two camps: those who can’t afford the high life and are disappointed with their big day before it even begins, or they spend gobs of money anyway and start their lives together with crippling debt. No wonder so many marriages crumble two weeks after they begin — you can’t eat those 24 doves you released after the ceremony.

Although at that point, you probably wished you could.

Now I don’t believe that a big wedding is an automatic death knell for a marriage. Our wedding was decently sized and we’re 10 years strong. But spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a ceremony that lasts a couple of hours is an extreme waste. Save that money and build on your future.

I guess we’ll keep the marriage theme going with Questions Deux:

There’s an old saying that if a person isn’t married they’re fair game. Do you believe in this saying?


Well, let’s just test this theory, shall we?

George Zimmerman isn’t married anymore. Do you want him sliding up in your DMs?

Bobba Shmurda doesn’t have a ring. Would you like him to Shmoney Dance into your heart?

I could keep going but I don’t want to keep crushing your dreams.

Of course, I get what KJ’s saying and I’ve heard the saying too. But playas, sometimes you have to use common sense. EVERYONE isn’t fair game. Just because your best friend broke up with his girl doesn’t mean the thirst should compel you to stalk her on IG 6 hours later. That cute co-worker of yours might not be married but putting the moves on your boss (or your subordinate) is just asking for drama.

Just cuz someone isn’t wearing a ring doesn’t mean you should forgo good judgement.


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