Much fanfare is made about the cost of divorce, but couples are spending an astounding amount on weddings. And the two things might be connected.

The average wedding is at least $31,00. In affluent areas, like Boston, weddings can cost even more. Whole secondary and tertiary industries have sprouted up to help people pay for their extravagant day, or to help people finesse the complicated experience of declining an invitation to a wedding that is too expensive to attend.

Nancy Koehn, Business historian for Harvard University, stops by to discuss the astounding wedding industrial complex, and why many couples are spending a year's salary on a event lasting just a few hours. "The average cost of a wedding has reached an all time high," Koehn says, and many couples are "seduced by the opportunity for opulence." But with divorce rates reaching almost 50%, studies have shown that "the less you spend on the wedding the more likely you are to stay together."

Plenty of people simply want to create a day that makes room for all the important people in their lives. (The average American wedding features "at least 200 guests"), but weddings, Koehn says, should be about the days ahead, not the day of.

"Nevermind tomorrow," is a pervasive attitude as celebrations balloon into "last days of Pompei" status. But those attitudes can be costly. And not just financially.

>>To hear more from Nancy Koehn, click on the link above.