Monday 22 January 2018

Couples waiting 10 years longer than their parents to tie the knot

The average groom last year was 35 years old and was marrying a bride two years his junior, aged 33
The average groom last year was 35 years old and was marrying a bride two years his junior, aged 33

Brian Hutton

Irish people are getting married almost 10 years older than their parents did in the 1970s, new figures show.

The average groom last year was 35 years old and was marrying a bride two years his junior, aged 33.

Back in 1977, when couples were tying the knot younger than ever, new husbands were most likely 26 years old and their wives were on average 24.

The latest records from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also show differences in the ages people get married around the country.

In Monaghan, it appears love-struck pairs can not wait as long as others to get hitched, with grooms aged on average 33 and brides aged 31.

But there is apparently no such rush in Co Waterford, where new husbands are most likely 37 years, and their wives 34.

In almost two-thirds of marriages, the groom was older than the bride - except in the case of grooms under 30, where the bride was older in nearly 41pc of marriages.

And depending on what part of the country you live in, you are more or less likely to choose local when it comes to the love of your life. Donegal natives, it seems, do not need to travel far to meet their match, with more than 92pc of grooms picking a bride from the same county.

However, less than three quarters (74pc) of new husbands in Leitrim settle down with a woman from the same county.

Friday and Saturday were the most popular days of the week to marry with seven out of 10 marriages occurring on these days.

Sunday was the least popular day to wed with only 407 couples choosing this day.

The report shows religious ceremonies still account for almost seven in 10 weddings, the vast majority of these in Catholic churches.

But well over a quarter of couples (28pc) now opt for civil marriage ceremonies.

In recent years, Humanist ceremonies in particular have risen in popularity, now making up more than 4pc of all marriages last year.

A majority of older brides and grooms, aged over 45, are wed in a civil marriage ceremony.

Nearly nine in 10 (88pc) of all marriages are the first time both the bride and groom have taken the plunge.

But nearly 2,500 weddings last year involved at least one divorcee. The number of divorces granted last year increased by nearly 3pc.

The CSO report also shows 392 gay couples tied the knot in a civil partnership last year.

More than three quarters of the same-sex unions were in Leinster, the vast majority of which were in Dublin.

There were no civil partnerships in either Donegal or Monaghan last year.

Civil partnerships give same-sex couples some legal recognition of their relationship.

A referendum is being held on May 22 on whether to extend full civil marriage rights to gay partners.

Irish Independent

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