Nothing says "I will love you forever" like blowing $200,000 on a wedding . . . just so distant relatives can enjoy a 16-piece band play "Crazy in Love" next to a chocolate fondue fountain.



A new study out of the University of Virginia looked at the factors that lead to happy marriages . . . and believe it or not, they found people who have bigger weddings actually have happier MARRIAGES.



47% of people who had 150 or more people at their wedding have a happy marriage . . . versus 31% of people who had 50 or less.



The study also found that a LOT of married couples kicked off their relationships by quickly getting physical.



32% of people in the study said their marriage started as a HOOK-UP.



The people behind the study let people define hook-up themselves, so it could mean different things to different people . . . but whether you drunkenly make out with someone or occasionally have sex at 1:30 A.M., it COULD lead to marriage. 



(Washington Post / Before-I-Do / USA Today)