Bigger Weddings Linked to Better Marriages

It did my heart good to find that a recent report by the National Marriage Project claims that bigger weddings are linked to better marriages. Especially since today I am playing for a BIG wedding at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

The Big Fat Greek Wedding Factor. Americans who had more guests at their nuptials are more likely to report high-quality marriages than those with a small wedding party, even after controlling for their education and income.”

Others factors, of course, factor in. Specifically: previous relationships (“What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas) and the level of per-marital commitment (“Sliding versus deciding).

As someone who performs many weddings every year — and probably approaching 1000 over my career — I often think: “I hope that these sweet kids make it!” I recently played for a Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary Party. It was a joyous experience with a “young” couple who had made it work for five decades.

Every marriage should have its romantic moments, whether in its first month or its fiftieth year but I think that, in addition to the “hearts and flowers” a key element is the ability for a couple to work together. Planning a big, fat wedding together can be one of the first great tests of your relationship.

According to this study:

“Among couples who had weddings, the sample was divided into those who had weddings with 50 or fewer attendees, 51 to 149 attendees, or 150 or more attendees. Among each grouping, 31 percent, 37 percent, and 47 percent, respectively, reported high marital quality.

“In what might be called the ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ factor, this study finds that couples who have larger wedding parties are more likely to report high-quality marriages,” said W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. “One possibility here is that couples with larger networks of friends and family may have more help, and encouragement, in navigating the challenges of married life. Note, however, this finding is not about spending lots of money on a wedding party, it’s about having a good number of friends and family in your corner…

Our bottom-line advice to Americans hoping to marry is this: Remember that what you do before you say ‘I do’ may shape your odds of forging a successful marital future.”