Brides and grooms are getting older
Civil marriages account for more than a fifth of weddings while the age of brides and grooms is on the rise, latest figures revealed.
Some 5,146 civil services were recorded in 2007 as 22,756 couples took their vows.
The rate of marriage has dropped in recent years, from 5.2 per 1,000 of the population three years ago to 4.8 last year.
The 2007 data include the most recent detailed figures on marriages from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
They showed the average age rose to 33.4 years for a groom and for brides to 31.3 years.
Roman Catholic ceremonies remained the most popular in the country, with 16,854 accounting for 74pc of all marriages. Some 526 ceremonies were Church of Ireland and the remaining 1pc made up of Presbyterian, Methodist, Jewish and other ceremonies.
The CSO said that while the number of civil services soared following the legislation of divorce in 1997, the figures rose only slightly in more recent years.
They were most popular in the Dublin region and for grooms aged over 45 and for brides aged 40 and over, and more than a third involved at least one person who was divorced.
There were 2,320 marriages involving at least one divorced person in 2007, including 449 marriages where both parties were divorced. Divorced men accounted for 6.5pc (1,486) of grooms while divorced women accounted for 5.6pc (1,283) of brides.
The highest proportion of divorced men who remarried were from the south east (8.4pc) while most divorced brides were from the mid-east region (7pc).
Another 329 men and women who remarried had been widowed.
Figures showed the groom was older than the bride in 63pc of marriages. They were aged the same in 15pc but the bride was older in a quarter.
This was generally witnessed across all age groups except in the case of males under 25, where the bride was older in nearly half of marriages.
Regionally, Ulster men and women were quickest to get to the altar and had the lowest average age for grooms and brides, at 31.8 years and 29.5 years respectively.
More than nine out of 10 couples were living in Ireland before they wed, with 84pc residing in the same local authority area.