Facebook Twitter

Is there link between wedding cost, divorce rate?

SHARE Is there link between wedding cost, divorce rate?

Has anybody looked into the relationship between wedding inflation and the divorce rate? The average wedding in the United States costs $17,634, according to Modern Bride Research. That figure probably factors in Las Vegas wedding-chapel weddings and other cut-rate nuptials, which means that the average "real" wedding probably costs even more.

Traditionally, accepting a wedding invitation involved a one-day commitment, maybe an overnight, if you had to travel any distance. As a mere guest you were expected to show up for the ceremony and the reception, after which you were free to drive home and talk about what an awful time you'd had or speculate about how much it all cost.Now some couples want their wedding celebrations to go on for three or four days.

I was agog the first time an invitation to one of these affairs arrived, inviting my husband and me to a wedding in California. It must have weighed almost a pound and looked more like a Frommer's guide than an invitation.

A few months later, a similar invitation arrived inviting us to Maui for a weeklong celebration of the marriage of an old friend.

I thought about these weddings reading Dan Zevin's "The Nearly-Wed Handbook: How to Survive the Happiest Day of Your Life," which I found filed under "reference" in the bookstore, instead of "humor," where it belongs.

Zevin makes a distinction between getting married and getting weddinged. For example, in getting married, "you publicly declare your love in front of the people who mean the most to you." However in getting weddinged, "you desperately revise your guest list according to which of the people are worth the $75 a head it's costing to feed them."

Once the wedding juggernaut is on a roll, crushing everything in its path, it's almost impossible for the bride or bridegroom to escape. The more expensive the wedding, the harder it is to back out. That's why I wonder if there's any correlation between the high divorce rate and the cost of weddings.

How do you back out of a $50,000 wedding at the last minute? You don't.