A Massive Engagement Ring Could Mean A Shorter Marriage, Study Finds

We all know one - that sassy recently-engaged friend, who can't help flashing her ENORMOUS, all-too-shiny rock in everyone's face at EVERY opportunity.

Don't feel disheartened though, ye of tiny diamond, because you have a reason all of your own to feel smug.

Kerry Katona tweeted an excited picture of her MASSIVE engagement ring [Twitter]
Kerry Katona tweeted an excited picture of her MASSIVE engagement ring [Twitter]

A recent study by Economics professors at Emory University in America has determined that bigger isn't always better.

The investigation - which faculty members Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon published with the title: 'A Diamond is Forever' and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration - looked at a number of material factors.

These factors included the cost of your wedding reception and wedding-related paraphernalia - such as jewellery and flowers - but also took into account the number of guests and whether or not you had a honeymoon.


SO, No Bling Then?

According to tradition - *cough, the wedding industry people* - a bloke is supposed to spend at least a couple of months' salary on the engagement ring.

However, the Emory University report, which studied the marriages of some 3,000 heterosexuals, claims that this does not actually have a positive effect on marriage.

How much thought do you give to the cost of the ring? [REX]
How much thought do you give to the cost of the ring? [REX]

The study found that men who has spent between £1,200 - £2,000 on the ring were actually 1.3 times more likely to divorce, than those who spent between £300 - £1,200.*

Of course, these statistics don't give us any sense of cause and effect here, but we are assuming that this means if you place more emphasis on the cost of the present, than the man you're about to marry, it's not a particularly good sign going forward.

This seems pretty obvious.

Many couples are now splitting the cost of the engagement ring, conscious of the huge financial burden.

But What About The Rest Of The Wedding?

The study also looked at all the other costs involved in pulling off a wedding.

A wedding with ALL the trimmings won't necessarily bring you happingess. [REX]
A wedding with ALL the trimmings won't necessarily bring you happingess. [REX]

Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon's statistics showed that couples who spent £12,500 - £18,000 and more, were far likelier to divorce than those who spent half as much.

In fact shockingly, those whose budgets were in the upper bracket, were THREE AND A HALF times more likely to separate.

So, perhaps it's time to rethink those 60 doves you want to release after the cermony, or the party favours signed by Elton John.

And maybe iPod DJs aren't such a bad thing?

Great Aunt Nancy

Interestingly, in contrast to the other statistics, the study actually showed that more guests could be a good thing.

High wedding attendance was associated positively with marriage length - presumably demonstrating that having all your loved ones around you, including your great aunt Nancy who you hardly ever get to see - is the most important aspect to a wedding.


Having a honeymoon, whether it be to the Amalfi Coast or a little retreat in Devon - was also postitively associated with longer marriages.

Honeymoons are still ULTRA important. [REX]
Honeymoons are still ULTRA important. [REX]

Other Findings

The study also named a number of other things as affecting the duration of a union.

The greater the gap, in terms of age and in terms of education, the greater the chance of divorce.

Whereas, rather predictably, higher household incomes and having a child with your significant other, were found to prolong unions.


What's The Takeaway?

Win her a plastic ring from the arcade, have the reception in KFC, invite everyone you've ever met in your whole life, jet off somewhere nice and you're sure to live happily ever after.


[Bridesmaids: How To Pick A Nice Dress They'll Actually Love]

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*Numbers have been converted from dollars to pounds sterling and rounded.

How important is a big diamond? Let us know in the comments!