Marriage and weddings in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts

Between 1990 and 2015 the marriage rate in England and Wales fell from 13.1 marriages per 1,000 people to 8.3, while for the UK as a whole, there were 21 thousand fewer marriages in 2014 than there were in 2000. At the same time there has been an increase in the age at which people marry. In 1973, for example, the average age at marriage for men was 28.8 years and 26.1 for women. By 2013, however, the average age for men getting married stood at 36.7, and 34.3 for women.

While there has been a general decline in the frequency of marriage in the United Kingdom, it is still an important institution, as well as a valuable industry. In 2017 there were over 24 million married people in England and Wales, while in Scotland 47 percent of the population were either married or in a civil partnership. Prior to 2014 civil partnerships were the only way for same-sex couples to gain the same legal rights as married couples, before same-sex marriage was legalized in March of that year.

The major demographic changes in marriage that have occurred in recent years have happened alongside an increase in weddings expenses. In 2009 the average wedding cost around 20 thousand British pounds, but by 2018 this figure had reached approximately 32 thousand British pounds. Wedding venues accounted for the most of this spending, but other costs were also significant, including engagement rings, estimated to cost an average of over 3 thousand British pounds in London during 2017. Although places of worship were still a favored choice for wedding venues in 2018, the most common types were country or manor houses. As for when weddings happened, the majority took place on a Saturday, with August being the most popular month.

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