Does a big Wedding Mean the Couple Will Have a Good Marriage?
A few months ago I saw this topic discussed on TV. It generated a lively discussion and one speaker cited a blog by: http://www.dearwendy.com . It sounded like something a romance writer should know so I decided to check further. The blog started by saying that weddings with 150 or more guests ensure the couple has a good marriage. There were some other qualifiers, such as the couple shouldn’t have slept with a lot of other people before settling down to marriage. The majority of the information came from a study done of 418 people, all single, all between the ages of 18 and 40. The study carried out by The University of Denver in 2007 and 2008 was called: the Relations Development Study. Their aim was to identify patterns of behavior that set people up for successful and fulfilling marriages.
The blogger wondered why the study hadn’t been done on couples who had been married more than a few years. I tend to agree. But the study utilized singles. The result over the two years was that 11% didn’t have a formal wedding ceremony and 28% of those couples had a high-quality marriage. And 41% of couples who had formal weddings achieved high-quality marriages.
The researchers speculated that couples who were not as happy in their relationship were less likely to celebrate being married. They concluded that couples taking the time to have a public ceremony symbolized a clearer decision to commit to their marriage. They further deduced the bigger the guest list the bigger the commitment. The study found that 47% of couples with 150 or more wedding guests had higher-quality marriages than those (31%) who had 50 or fewer guests. I’m no mathematician, but the statistic they gave was 52% of those having a big wedding were more likely to have happier marriages than couples who had smaller weddings. They also claimed that the more witnesses a couple had at their ceremony, put pressure on them to keep their vows.
Now blogger, Wendy, remained skeptical as do I. She said the study didn’t say how many of the 418 original unmarried actually got married. And if their weddings took place any time over the 2 years of the study, some started out with more time in their marriage than others. I found it interesting that anyone would wonder enough about size of wedding equaling happiness to do a study. But groups study a lot of things. As I delved into this subject I ran across another study that asked if married people were happier than singles. According to psychologists and a study done by the Pew Research Center, the answer is yes. That, too, I found in a blog by Evan Marc Katz
The Pew Study said 43% of married respondents to their survey were “very happy” compared to 24% of unmarried individuals. Katz also investigated studies done by Michigan State University and the University of Florida which led him to think some people report being happier at the start of a marriage, but those happiness levels gradually return to premarital state. But he concluded from the reports that marriage won’t magically create happiness, and those entering marriage with high expectations for the marriage to transform their lives, need relationship skills to match. Katz is a dating coach. I found his site really interesting. To see more on this subject, and to read the many comments he received you can go to: www.evanmarckatz.com/blog.
All the digging I did made me wonder why I rarely give my story couples a big wedding. Most have small, intimate circles of friends who attend their joyous moment. Do you write about one more than the other?