Belfast Telegraph

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 show.

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 includes the most recent detailed figures on marriages from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

They show 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 74% of all marriages. Some 526 ceremonies were Church of Ireland and the remaining 1% were 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 6.5% (1,486) of grooms while divorced women accounted for 5.6% (1,283) of brides.

The highest proportion of divorced men who remarried were from the south east (8.4%) while most divorced brides were from the mid-east region (7%).

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From Belfast Telegraph