Occasionally I wonder about the extravagance of American weddings. Especially when I'm forced to buy a $100 herb grinder for my friend because that's all that's left on his Williams-Sonoma registry. I've been to a few weddings that probably cost upwards of $100,000. I know some couples who have taken out loans to pay for it. According to this site, the average wedding costs $28,732. What gives? Why not get married in Safeway, as I plan to do?
I figure part of it has to do with credible commitment, i.e. the bride and groom will think twice about redoing such a costly venture. And in this way they are also tying their own and each others hands to some extent. This of course was accomplished by the bonds of marriage before divorce became socially and legally acceptable, with the advent of no-fault divorce, etc. So has the cost of marriage gone up as a result? I can't really tell from this site (or without paying for a subscription), but I would need to correct for increased income anyway. One thing to look at is divorce rates by state and see if that is correlated with average wedding cost. It looks like states in New England and the Midwest have the lowest divorce rates. So I would expect them to have the cheapest weddings.
So does that mean India, with notoriously extravagant weddings, should have high divorce rates? Good luck finding those numbers!