A new study from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia looking at quality of marriages finds that a larger, more formal wedding is associated with a happier marriage. So tell your fiance that if you don't get the wedding cake and the cupcakes and get the bigger venue your marriage may not last.
The report found that not only are fancier weddings correlated with greater conjugal happiness, but having a bigger wedding (as measured by number of guests) was also associated with higher quality of marriage.
The researchers controlled for things such as respondents’ income, race, gender and religiosity to make the results as accurate as possible.
The authors pointed out that these bigger weddings may make for a better marriage because there were so many more witnesses present that the couple works harder for the marriage not to fail. From the study:
"Social scientist Paul Rosenblatt applied this idea specifically to marriage (Rosenblatt, 1977). He theorized that, early in a marriage, marital stability and commitment would be positively associated with the ceremonial effort and public nature of a couple’s wedding. Rosenblatt specifically suggested that holding a big wedding with many witnesses would lead to a stronger desire—or even need—to follow through on the commitment. Our findings suggest that he may have been right."