The smaller and cheaper the wedding, the better the marriage – agree or disagree? Well, according to a recent study out of Emory University, the more expensive the wedding and engagement ring, the shorter the duration of the marriage.

This research did not go into the reasons behind this, apart from suggesting that couples who spent more on their wedding perhaps were more likely to suffer from financial stress later on, which impacted their relationship. I think that this could definitely be part of it, but my theory extends a little further too.

I think that it’s all about the couple’s attitude. While I could be generalising, it seems quite safe to say that the couples who spend a large to excessive amount on their wedding are more focused on the day itself – on impressing their guests, indulging every whim or idea that they’d ever had about their marriage, maybe showing off a little bit – rather than being focused on this celebration of their relationship and the beginning of a new life together.

This attitude, when brought into the marriage, is potentially what increases the risk of divorce. Because if two people are used to valuing things and their image more than each other, it makes it a lot harder to make the relationship work.

On the other hand, you have couples who have less expensive and more intimate weddings. Their attitude is more likely to be one of sharing this special day with loved ones, rather than having the biggest and the best – an approach that is likely to be unifying factor in their relationship.

All of the above being taken into account, I completely believe that a big wedding can be a successful one – as long as the couple keeps in mind the attitude of the marriage being more important than the day. Maybe I am biased: my wedding, with my Sri-Lankan background and my fiance’s Lebanese background, will certainly be big – our immediate families alone come to nearly 30 people. But what we want most is to celebrate our love with those who are closest to us, so I know we’ll be an exception to this particular piece of research.

What are your thoughts? Do you think smaller or larger weddings are best?

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.