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Want Your Marriage To Last? Start With A Huge, Cheap Wedding

Before and after, there's the bachelor/bachelorette party, the rehearsal dinner and the day-after brunch. There's the photo booth, which is a definite necessity these days. And what couple doesn't have a website designed to share with the world the first time they laid eyes on each other?

"The whole thing has gotten way out of hand," sociologist and sexologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz says of what some have come to refer to as the "wedding-industrial complex."

Yet until Emory University economics professors Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon decided to organize a study last year, no one had paused to question whether this out-of-control spending was having an impact on, well, the actual marriage.

Spoiler alert, it does. And it's not a positive one. Francis and Mialon surveyed more than 3,000 people — all of whom have been married just once — and found that across income levels, the more you dish out on the Big Day, the shorter the marriage.

Guys investing between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced compared with the more frugal fellows who only allocate between $500 and $2,000. (That said, odds are even better for guys who can drop more than $8,000, possibly because divorce also decreases with higher incomes.)

For both sexes, spending more than $20,000 on the wedding ups the odds of divorce by 3.5 times compared with couples who keep it between $5,000 and $10,000.

A photo prop sits in May 2003 outside the Wedding Chapel, one of two commercial chapels in Ringgold, Ga. The town of 2,422 issued 2,259 marriage the year before, and added $700,000 to the economy, because of the cheap cost and the plethora of related services the town offered.
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For the best odds, though, keep the festivities to less than $1,000.

According to the media company XO Group, the average wedding budget has soared to an all-time high of almost $30,000 (that's not including the honeymoon), with 1 in 8 couples spending more than $40,000. As a whole, research firm IBISWorld calculates that the industry generates $55 billion a year.

"Advertising has fueled the norm that spending large amounts on the engagement ring and wedding is an indication of commitment or is helpful for a marriage to be successful," the researchers wrote in an email — an assumption their work debunked.

Francis and Mialon say one possible explanation is that post-wedding debt stokes marital tensions. But, as Schwartz is quick to point out, correlation is not the same as causation. She says part of the problem may be that "the wedding has become the highlight rather than the beginning of something."

After almost three decades of planning weddings, Kim Horn, whom bridal geeks might recognize from her cameos on the WE network's My Fair Wedding, agrees: "The focus is not on the relationship and the long-term commitment."

Since the 1980s, when Horn first started her career, the industry has become much more hyped, she says. Between bridal magazines and reality TV shows, couples are inundated with advertising, so she says it's not surprising that wedding spending has gone up.

One of Francis and Mialon's other findings seems to contradict the numbers that point toward lower spending: A hefty guest list also lowers the odds of divorce, with attendance over 100 people providing the best boost to marriage longevity.

The ultimate message seems to be, keep your big day big, but shrink the per-guest price tag if you want the years that follow to be just as fulfilling.

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07:10 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Wedding planners see plusses in same-sex marriage

Several local companies associated with the booming beach wedding industry have shown their support for Florida becoming the 36th state in the nation to legalize same sex marriages.

While many local beach wedding vendors have been performing commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples for years, several expressed excitement about being able to finally offer true wedding ceremonies.

“I have long since been an advocate of marriage equality and I’m just happy to see it’s happening as fast as it’s happening,” said Grove Fisher, who owns Fisher’s Flowers with her husband Adam.

Maggie Halsey’s Barefoot Weddings has also performed commitment ceremonies since she opened 16 years ago.

Gay marriage
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“I think more and more people are more open minded,” Halsey said. “Just about everybody has somebody in their family who is gay or have friends.

As the largest accommodation provider in Northwest Florida, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals hosts a lot of weddings throughout the year. Company spokesperson Martin Owen said ResortQuest is looking forward to hosting same sex marriages.

“Naturally, we are all inclusive and we don’t discriminate against anybody,” Owen said. “We just like everybody having weddings on the beach.”

Fisher said her feelings about marriage equality were very personal but intersect her professional life.

“I think it opens the doors to a whole bunch more opportunity as far as growing here,” Fisher said of the wedding industry.

The industry could also see a bump with the clerks of court in Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa counties getting out of the wedding business.

“It infuriates me,” Fisher said. “It’s so backwards and so wrong that I can’t even stand it.”

For her part, Halsey has been renovating the chapel at 11 Eglin Parkway SE in Fort Walton Beach to offer ceremonies at her office. She hopes to have her chapel ready for ceremonies by Friday.

“I was surprised (the clerks stopped performing wedding ceremonies),” Halsey said. “I wasn’t expecting it. That’s why I’m scrambling now to get the chapel together.”

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07:32 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Ask Amy: A wedding shove forces a dilemma

Dear Amy: About a year ago, my sister got married in a wonderful elaborate ceremony.

Around this same time, it was known within my family that I was struggling through a deep depression. Because it was my sister’s day, I gamely attempted to play “happy” and be supportive of her.

However, at this wedding weekend, my sister (the bride), my mother and my sister’s bridesmaids took it upon themselves to viciously and maliciously attack my (then) girlfriend.

The abuse was both verbal and sadly also physical, as a bridesmaid, apparently, shoved my girlfriend off the dance floor. With so many people at the wedding I had not seen in years, it was impossible for me to “guard” her at what was supposed to be a party.

This vicious behavior exhibited by my family, coupled with my lack of responsiveness at the time led to our breakup immediately after the wedding.

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I have tried to move on from this event and continue in therapy, but I am struggling to rebuild any real relationship with my sister or mother and have no real desire to see them. They have never apologized and know how hurt I was by their actions. Am I supposed to just “forgive” and pretend it never happened the way they seem to have? — Suffering in San Jose

Dear Suffering: Your guest was bullied by family members. Clearly, this is unacceptable on every level.

Bullies never want to acknowledge their own actions. They want to move through life without reflection or apology.

I assume you are discussing this in therapy. This episode requires that you do whatever you need to do to restore your own sense of trust and serenity.

Your family will not offer an apology, but you should ask for one. You should write down your thoughts, including an “ask.” Make it as calm and neutral as possible and include the phrase, “For the sake of our relationship, I would like you to acknowledge your actions on that day.”

Be prepared that your family may find ways to transfer the responsibility to you.

Your next task should be to reflect on how you can best move forward. It might be best for you to continue to avoid your family members until you can fully accept the reality of their flawed behavior and release your own anger. This is for your sake, not theirs.

Dear Amy: I am a 56-year-old woman. For most of my life I have been a liar. I’ve told small lies and really big ones — all mostly for the purpose of not wanting to hurt someone else’s feelings.

I have told a few lies I wish I had never told, and I realize I can only blame myself. Amazingly, no one has ever called me on any of my lies.

I’m now at an age where I’m having a hard time keeping my “stories” straight. Also, I feel like I don’t really care anymore about other people’s feelings, and that I just want to be able to do what I want without having to lie. I want to look at myself in the mirror without seeing a liar staring back at me.

What should I do? — Pants on Fire

Dear Fire: If you truly don’t care about other people’s feelings or their estimation of you, then you might as well come clean. When you do, accompany the truth with a sincere apology — because the many people you have lied to deserve at least that much.

Dear Amy: You talk a good game when it comes to “family values,” but your answer to “Disappointed Bride” was flawed. When family members decide to skip a wedding for an important baseball tournament, these parents are demonstrating to their son that his commitment to his team is paramount. That is a great message. — Disappointed in You

Dear Disappointed: Parents who make this choice shouldn’t be surprised when their children move through life assuming that their interests and activities will always come first.

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07:40 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)