Wouldn't it be nice if there was some secret formula to ensuring a happy, healthy marriage and preventing the dreaded seven-year itch?

Well, it's no secret anymore, but researchers for the British wedding-planning Web site confetti.co.uk have discovered the "vital ingredients" for lasting love. They surveyed 3,000 married people and discovered some common traits in happy couples:

- Meeting through friends
- Marrying after three-and-a-half years of courtship
- Walking the aisle at age 31 for the groom and age 29 for the bride
- Keeping the spark alive with three calls, e-mails or texts during each workday
- Saying the L-word at least once a day

Click here for more tips and traits.


10 Outrageous Theme Weddings

    Football Wedding This couple was married at the Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium. No word on whether the bride wore a sports bra.

    Hello Kitty Wedding Never moved past your Hello Kitty pencil case? You can pay to have two giant creatures escort you down the aisle, like this couple.

    jennfc.com

    Star Wars Wedding We hope Yoda presided over this wedding ("Take the bride, do you?"). The London Telegraph reports on one such union where a Princess Leia was the ring bearer, clad in the infamous gold bikini.

    klobtime, Flickr

    Biker Wedding Why leave your Harley at home for the big day when you can ride down the aisle in style? This couple takes leather to the altar and shows their guests exactly how to ride off in to the sunset, without chafing.

    Mad Man Dan / FaithRiders

    WWII Wedding Time to party like it's 1942? All 100 guests at this wedding got into theme, donning fur wraps, berets and caps adorned with feathers. For authenticity they piped in the sound of sirens and Lancaster bombers flying overhead.

    Hartlepool Mail

    Zombie Wedding If the undead get married, then it really is a union that will last forever. To make it authentic you could even get carried in a coffin to the altar. Consider eating beforehand if you don't like brains.

    wedlog.com

    Disney Princess Wedding For your Cinderella day, you can buy a gown from the official Disney fashion line, or have your wedding at the actual theme park for 10 grand and up. Next up: "Lion King" groomsmen!?

    bridezilla.com

    Gangster Wedding Bonnie and Clyde made being a gangster romantic and now you can too with some vintage duds and smart pinstripes.

    thebreadline, Flickr

    Renaissance Wedding Grab your lute and mount your trusty steed! If you're donning a garter, run swiftly. One rather aggressive medieval tradition called for guests to grab a piece of the garment by any means necessary.

    youandyourwedding.com

    Lord of the Rings Wedding "One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." Take your "precious" to the altar and recite lines straight from Tolkien's classic as the vows. These LOTR superfans earn bonus points for their Minas Tirith cake.

    Sarah and Patrick Needham




- Waiting two years and two months before starting a family
- Taking two romantic meals out each month
- Doing the deed three times per week
- Kissing four times per day
- Spending three nights per week cuddling on the sofa
- Allowing for two separate nights out with friends per month
- Taking two weekends away per year

Obviously having sex three times a week and kissing four times a day is good for your bond, but does it really matter how long you wait or how old you are when you tie the knot?

Tell us: Does the happy marriage math add up for you?


Spinsters We Love

    Clara Barton
    Clara Barton may have started the Red Cross, but she never started her own family. Although she did have her fair share of suitors and proposals, no guy ever made the cut. According to her nephew, "...she could think of herself with satisfaction as a wife and mother, but that on the whole she felt that she had been more useful to the world by being free from matrimonial lies."

    Getty Images

    Coco Chanel
    Mention Chanel to any woman, and all of us dream of those quilted leather purses donning the iconic pair of Cs or the distinct scent dubbed No. 5. With all the glitz and glam, you'd think that Coco Chanel has a history of failed marriages but not at all the case. Although she was close to marrying the Duke of Westminster, she broke the engagement after seeing how much her own fortune was growing. "There are a lot of duchesses, but only One Coco Chanel," she explained bluntly.

    Getty Images

    Elizabeth Blackwell
    Breaking barriers by being the first woman to graduate from medical school, Elizabeth Blackwell was a woman of many honors. But with all her work educating women in medicine, Blackwell decided not to marry. She did start a family and adopted an orphan who became her companion into Blackwell's older years.

    Getty Images

    Emily Dickinson
    Known for her heartfelt and passionate poems, Emily Dickinson lived out her love in her words. After her father broke up a secret affair she had with a reverend, the heartbroken Dickinson ended up living the rest of her spinster days in her dad's mansion for the rest of her life.

    Getty Images

    Florence Nightingale
    Known for pushing the nursing movement, Florence Nightingale has been praised for her compassion and willingness to help others. Being quite religious, she believed that God had a plan for her -- "to be a single woman." In 1844, she refused a marriage proposal from her cousin -- let's just hope that was a very distant one.

    Getty Images

    Harriet Martineau
    This writer decided to write about marriage instead of heading into one herself. Known as an iconic liberal thinker, her writing and philosophies have lived on longer than any marriage she could have had. And we think she's completely satisfied with that.

    Getty Images

    Helen Keller
    One of Helen Keller's dreams was to be married. Unfortunately, she didn't think it would ever happen and even said, "I can't imagine a man wanting to marry me." Although she did fall in love once, she ended up spending the rest of her days doing good deeds but still living the single life.

    Getty Images

    Jane Addams
    Famed for her social work, Jane Addams (founder of Hull House) was never married. However many historians say she didn't really live the single life as she has been linked to Hull House co-founder Ellen Gates Starr and Chicago heiress Mary Rozet Smith. Deemed as lifelong friendships, some have questioned if the reason she never took a trip down the aisle was because she loved women.

    Getty Images

    Jane Austen
    Jane Austen once said, "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance."
    However unlike Emma and Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen never made it down the aisle herself.

    Getty Images

    Joan of Arc
    Following God's calling, Joan of Arc vowed to be celibate at 13. And despite her father's wish to see his daughter marry, she turned down a proposal when she was 16. But she fulfilled her promise and didn't have to keep it too long since she was burned at the stake at 19 -- making her one of the youngest spinsters in history.

    Getty Images