There is a new paper from Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon:
In this paper, we evaluate the association between wedding spending and marriage duration using data from a survey of over 3,000 ever-married persons in the United States. Controlling for a number of demographic and relationship characteristics, we find evidence that marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony.
What is the mechanism? Are signal-requiring and financial commitment-requiring marriages more likely to be fragile? Or, to put forward a politically incorrect interpretation, do the high expenditures indicate the wife has too much bargaining power in the relationship? That hardly seems like a plausible explanation. By the way, weddings with a large number of attendees are likely to last longer, as are weddings accompanied by honeymoons. Those correlations are easier to understand.
This piece is by a factor of more than five the most frequently downloaded SSRN paper over the last two months.