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5% For Ever After - Investing in Your Marriage, as well as Your Wedding

Weddings can get expensive - very expensive.


Kelly Jeanmaire, one of the best wedding planners in the Hudson Valley, recently broke down the costs for a $100,000 wedding in the Hudson Valley as follows:



At one level, this makes perfect sense - deciding to marry someone is one of the largest single decisions we will ever make! Of course we want to have an incredible and joyous celebration, documented with pictures we'll cherish for years in which we and our loved ones look good!


At another level, a wedding is a one-day celebration of a marriage that (we hope) will last a lifetime. However, the odds are not entirely in our favor in that regard - about half of first marriages in America end in divorce, with higher rates for subsequent marriages.


But this is not a roll of the dice - good, skill-based pre-marriage counseling can reduce the risk of divorce by up to 30% and lead to a significantly happier marriage for those who stay married. Researchers behind a recent study say, "Based on the positive impact of effective communication skills on reducing marital burnout, it is recommended that more attention should be paid to enhancing these skills in spouses and pre-marital programs."


There is a gap of course, between what researchers recommend and the weddings that brides and grooms dream of. Weddings can get very expensive, and it can be hard to know where to best invest limited funds, particularly when costs need to be cut. While the wedding day is important, it is not more important that the marriage itself. It makes sense to invest 5% for ever after - whatever your total budget is for the one-day wedding, be sure to invest at least five percent in the decades long marriage.


Fortunately, more and more couples are choosing to do just that. Based on the The Knot 2023 Real Weddings Study, 45 percent of Gen Z and 31 percent of millennial couples attended premarital counseling last year. The average length of a marriage prior to divorce is eight years, so there is reason to be optimistic about somewhat lower divorce rates around the year 2032!




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