I recently read an article that noted a marked difference in the longevity of persons who married in a small ceremony verses couples who wed in a large, expensive ceremony/festivities. Now this wasn’t just some “light” reading I dug up but an article in a random news magazine that I would read six months after publication in a waiting room.

The basis was simple. A couple that starts small and works hard together have the best odds at a happily ever after. I’m a target rich environment for this line of thinking. We got married right after he graduated Navy boot camp. He wore his uniform and was on graduation leave. I wore a soft peach dress I found at a thrift store that set me back more for the cost of dry cleaning it than buying it. (Random thought, somewhere in my house that dress is still packed away… occasionally it’ll pop up and my girls have all tried it on.) The headline caught my eye, but it was the details and the math that kept my interest in this article.

Simply put, the less you finance or come out of pocket on your wedding expenses, the longer your marriage tended to last. They started with the ring. Most couples finance or save for a long time to get the ring… but the author suggests keeping it simple. Reminding us that ostentatious displays of “love” can’t compete with a family heirloom… a grandmother’s ring or a tiny ring bought from a favorite antique store. A nifty graph showed the correlation between the amount spent on the ring verses a couple’s annual income then compared to divorce rates for those age groups. Really looks like an easy answer… the cheaper the ring, the longer it stays on. (This part really excited me as just a few months ago, the better half and I made the decision to switch to silicone wedding bands from our favorite sporting goods store… easier to work in considering both of our industries and it can easily be cut off if needed.)

The honeymoon wasn’t forgotten in this little investigation either. It was noted that those people who went on a honeymoon were less likely to divorce than those who didn’t. So plan that time just the two of you, but be cheap about it.

All in I think this falls in line with what I read about weddings back in them ole days. Old school weddings were very simple and the couple set their focus and concentration on things like a home and what life after the event would look like.

Today’s wedding industry is a massive, competitive living and breathing thing. Just a quick think on the subject and I can point to six different friends who actively earn their living from the wedding industry. A few as dedicated wedding photographers, two as caterers, one as an events planner for a massive facility geared towards hosting weddings and I’m sure that I’ve forgotten a couple as well.

The introduction of social media has really allowed people the ability to create their own fairy tale wedding. While I think there will always be little girls (or guys) out there dreaming of a traditional, enormous wedding… I think that society and our culture of “raising the bar” has significantly added to what is now almost expected at a wedding.

Sit down meals for hundreds, entertainment such as dancing and bands, photo booths, fireworks, and the list keeps growing. Heaven help you if you go on social media and start looking up wedding keywords like: rustic, chic, shabby, vintage, country, Boho… the list really is endless. Websites dedicated to helping the excited couple juggle the upcoming nuptials for a fee. Stores near and far keep a running list of the gifts that they would love to receive. All in all, there are very few aspects of a wedding that can’t easily get away from the very focus of the goal… to publicly and before God, unite a couple in a covenant.

In the end, regardless of what effort, time and money you put on the wedding itself, keep your eye trained on the goal. Joining two into one.

Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Dividing her time between Grand Lake and Colorado, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at kmbrazeal@icloud.com.