In 1988, Keith Sweat produced a hit record “Make It Last Forever”. Not only was the song a hit in the African American community but it had crossover appeal. “Make It Last Forever” reached #59 on the Billboard Hot 100 List.
While the song will never be remembered for being lyrically extraordinary, it was remarkably profound. The song was so appealing because it provided a priceless yet inexpensive recipe for having a lasting recipe. The song was about romance without the distressing reference to finance.
CAN’T BUY ME LOVE
Long after the Beatles shared with the world the truth about love and money, Keith Sweat added his two cents. Make it Last Forever included memorable lines such as “tell me you love me”, “say you’ll never leave me”, “we’ve got to make it last”, “your touch is wonderful”, “your love is so marvelous”, “Joy, that’s what I feel when I’m with you”, and “you’re the best thing in my world, the only thing in this world”. Noticeably absent from the lyrics were any references to lavish engagement parties, expensive engagement rings or extravagant weddings.
Keith Sweat and the Beatles before him seemed to know something that many couples today either purposely ignore or are oblivious about – money is not an expression of love. In fact, a study conducted by two Emory University Department of Economics professors support Keith Sweat’s and the Beatle’s position. When it comes to making marriage last, the odds are better if you make marriage inexpensive.
LESS IS MORE
The axiom, less is more, could not be more accurate than when it is applied to marriage. The study shows unequivocally that the amount of money you spend on a wedding is not a predictor of marital bliss. More importantly, the study shows that the amount of money you spend on your wedding is more likely to be a predictor that your marriage won’t last.
Among the things disclosed in the study were the findings that the divorce rate is nearly 1.6 times higher for those who spend $20,000 or more on a wedding than those who spend between $5,000 and $10,000. Also, those who wed for $1,000 or less were more likely to stay married longer than the average couple.
SAY YOU DON’T NEED NO DIAMOND RING
If the findings of the survey are correct, why then are we wasting money on weddings? With the sad economic state of our community and the average American wedding costing a whopping $30,000, isn’t it clear that there are so many more important things we could do and should be doing with our money.
In case you forgot, African Americans are nearly at the bottom in all positive economic indicators and at the top of all negative economic indicators. In short, we need to hold on to all the money we can. We have other more pressing needs than paying for expensive weddings.
Rather than spending money we can’t afford to spend, so that we can have a wedding that may not last, it would be wise to consider another option. It’s beyond time that we give real consideration to spending less so that we can potentially have more.
LET’S STAY TOGETHER
Money is the number one cause of divorce. The study suggest that maybe, if we spend less in the beginning, we will spend more time together in the future. If we’re really serious about giving our relationships a fighting chance, we need to pay attention to the study. We need to start decreasing the cost of our weddings.
Numbers don’t lie. The more savings we accumulate, the more our net worth will grow and the less likely our relationships will end because of conflicts about money. Perhaps, if money was less of an issue – in the lyrical styling of another musical performer, Al Green – African American marriages can stay together whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.
So before you spend a cent for a wedding remember every cent counts and it all adds up. If you want to make your marriage last, make your wedding inexpensive.
BMWK: Did you spend a lot on your wedding? Was it worth it?