When I first posed this question, I thought, “Well of course the size of a wedding wouldn’t matter. It’s clearly the bond between the couple that really dictates the success of a marriage.”
But with some research, I might have to eat a little proverbial crow. Apparently size does matter. But not for the reasons you might guess.
There is some reason to believe that having more witnesses at a wedding may actually strengthen marital quality. According to the work of psychologist Charles Kiesler (1971), commitment is strengthened when it is publicly declared because individuals strive to maintain consistency between what they say and what they do.
Social scientist theorized that, early in a marriage, marital stability and commitment would be positively associated with the ceremonial effort and public nature of a couple’s wedding. Rosenblatt specifically suggested that holding a big wedding with many witnesses would lead to a stronger desire—or even need—to follow through on the commitment.
Okay, that does make some sense. It would also explain why people are so nervous on their “big day.” That kind of public proclamation has more weight than say, sending a text that says, “I do.”
Does that mean you need a big wedding to have a healthy marriage? Absolutely not. Scientific results aside, there are far too many factors that come into play when it comes to successful relationships. And let’s not forget: a big wedding that you can’t afford or never wanted can never be a good thing, right?