Spending a lot of money on a wedding or engagement ring might not be the best way to express your love, according to a study.
That's because new research found that spending more than $20,000 on a wedding and between $2,000 to $4,000 on an engagement ring increases the risk of that marriage ending in an early divorce.
Scientists quizzed 3,151 heterosexual people in America and asked them questions about their education level, household income, children, marital status and how expensive their wedding and engagement rings were. They also asked respondents how long their marriage lasted if it ended in divorce, the study says, and how important their partner's appearance and wealth were to them.
The study determined that opting for a more expensive ring suggests the marriage might not last too long.
"Specifically, in the sample of men, spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring is associated with a 1.3 times greater hazard of divorce as compared to spending between $500 and $2,000," the study authors wrote.
An expensive wedding comes with risks, too.
A man whose wedding costs under $1,000 has half the risk of getting divorced as a man whose wedding was priced between $5,000 to $10,000, the study found. And a woman with a wedding cost of over $20,000 experiences a 1.6 times likelier chance of a divorce.
The reason you are marrying a person can also determine the chance of an early split, according to the research.
“Reporting that one’s partner’s looks were important in the decision to marry is significantly associated with shorter marriage duration,” research Hugo Mialon told The Independent.
That doesn't mean you should skip out on celebrating the marriage at all, however.
The study found that a honeymoon — regardless of cost — and a large audience for a wedding actually increases the chance of having a longer marriage.
Sharing a child with your partner and "regularly" going to religious services also lowers your chance of divorce, the study says.
Even if you avoid all the potential pitfalls, don't think that married life will be a piece of cake.
Research published in the journal Social Networks and the Life Course found that marriage can actually increase the happiness of partners — but it takes 20 years of being together to get there.
Before that, the researchers wrote, "happiness declined gradually during the first 20 years of marriage."