The stress of organising a big wedding can leave many couples at breaking point, as they battle to coordinate a celebration on a scale which would tax even professional event planners.
But couples wrestling with 150-seat table plans should take heart, for new research suggests that bigger weddings predict more successful marriages.
A study by the University of Virginia in the US, found that couples who had larger ceremonies had higher-quality marriages.
Although cynics may argue that people who can afford an opulent wedding are likely to be financially secure, and therefore happier, the researchers claim that the correlation remains even when controlling for wealth.
They believe that marrying in front of a large number of people demonstrates greater commitment to the union while also discouraging divorce.
"There is some reason to believe that having more witnesses at a wedding may actually strengthen marital quality," said lead author Dr Galena Rhoades.
"We try to keep our present attitudes and behaviours in line with our past conduct. The desire for consistency is likely enhanced by public expressions of intention.
"Weddings may foster support for the new marriage from within a couple's network of friends and family. Those who hold a formal wedding are likely to have stronger social networks in the first place."
The report is part of the ongoing National Marriage Project in the US which has been studying what makes marriages work since 1997.
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