This Is The Worst Day Of The Year To Get Married

The INSIDER Summary:

• Some days are worse for weddings than others.

• People who get married on “gimmick” days have higher rates of divorce, for example, November 12, 2013 (11-12-13). 

Amid all of the decisions that go into getting married, the date of a wedding itself might not seem like a big deal. It turns out, however, that some days are worse for weddings than others. A recent study on the worst days of the year to get marriedrevealed that people who get married on “gimmick” days have higher rates of divorcethan those who don’t. So all of those people who went out of their way to get married on November 12, 2013 (aka 11-12-13)? It may not have been such a great idea after all.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne analyzed the marriage and divorce dataof couples in the Netherlands from 1999 to 2013, a span covering more than a million marriages. They found that the number of weddings that occur on a given day surges when that day is Valentine’s Day or numerically special. Special or “gimmick” days include those with sequential numbers (like 10-11-12), the same numbers (like 12-12-12), or mirror numbers (such as, in the European configuration, 20-12-2012). On a “normal” day in the study’s test period, an average of 201 couples got married. On a special day, that average skyrocketed to 635. People select these types of dates for a variety of reasons, from ease of remembrance to perceptions of the dates as “lucky.”

However, divorce statistics suggest that special wedding dates might not be so lucky after all. The study reports that, after three years of marriage, couples who got married on Valentine’s Day were 45 percent more likely to be divorced than those who got married on ordinary days, and people who got married on same-number dates (e.g. 08-08-08) were 30 percent more likely to be divorced. By the fifth anniversary, failure rates for marriages started on Valentine’s Day and on same-number dates were 41 percent and 28 percent higher, respectively, than those begun on normal dates. People who got married on sequential number dates (e.g. 06-07-08) also had higher divorce rates over longer periods of time. Divorce rates for those who married on mirror dates (e.g. 20.01.2001) were mostly on par with folks who had ordinary wedding dates.

According to Professor David Ribar and Jan Kabátek, both authors of the study, it is about the type of individuals. It all depends on those who decide to get married on numerically special dates and Valentine’s Day. Ribar states that people who choose special dates are more likely to have married once before and have children already. In terms of education and age, special date couples were found to be less alike than those who wed on ordinary dates.

External factors like wanting a specific date may influence the relationships and decisions surrounding the marriage of special date couples. The authors say that this is most likely why they have higher divorce rates. Such marriages are not necessarily influenced by the internal workings of that particular relationship. It is probable that their compatibility and the characteristics of their relationships affect ordinary date spouses more strongly than special date couples.


When it comes to marriage, the decision involves choices about when and whether or not you should marry. When to marry might influence some people’s decision on whether to get married. This usually applies if they are considering a numerically or romantically special date for the ceremony. The normative implication here is that considering and deciding about whether ought to precede that of when.

As such, you should take a step back and take a hard, long look at your relationship. This applies in particular to those who intend to delay until 02-20-20 or plan to get hitched on Valentine’s Day. Evaluate your decisions and assess whether or not the date itself has any influence on your desire to marry. If the date has some influence, you should rethink your entire life’s plan.

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