ALL you need is love, even in a recession, as the number of couples planning to get married has increased despite the economic downturn.
Catholic marriage service Accord yesterday revealed that the number of couples booking marriage preparation courses with it online was up by 6pc in the first six weeks of the year.
Some 1,255 couples have already booked a course -- a compulsory requirement for those who wish to marry in a Catholic church -- since the start of the year, 72 more than this time last year.
"It is encouraging that, despite the economic doom and gloom, couples are voting with their feet and taking the big step to cement their relationship by committing to marriage," said Ruth Barror, Accord's national director.
The increase came despite expectations that recession and insecurities about livelihoods might have an impact on marriage rates.
"This upward trend tells us that in 2011 commitment to marriage is more popular than ever," said Ms Barror.
As St Valentine's Day approaches, Accord acknowledges the pressure economic and financial instability could put on relationships.
However, director of marriage education, Stephen Cummins, said many families also recognised the strength and mutual support found in marriage.