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More UK marriages taking place but the reasons may be ‘not so romantic’

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Marriages have increased in number by more than 5% in England and Wales—with immigration, money and the availability of pre-nups named as possible reasons.

The latest ONS statistics showed a 5.3% rise to 262,240 weddings. The figures, which cover 2012, show the biggest rise in the number of people getting married since the end of the Second World War, one of the biggest single increases since the early 1970s and the highest level for a decade. Civil ceremonies accounted for 70% of these.

“It is not possible to determine at this stage whether the rise in the provisional number of marriages in 2010 signifies an end to the long-term decline of marriages or whether such increases will continue,” an ONS spokesperson said in a statement.

The greatest number of marriages was for men and women aged 25 to 29. The average (mean) age for men was 36.5 years, and 34 for women with the average age of both men and women marrying rising by eight years since 1972. However, the age group with the largest percentage increase in number of marriages was men and women aged 65 to 69, rising by 25% and 21% respectively.

Economic factors

Daniel Prince, Family Law Partner at Pearson Solicitors, said: “The reality is there are likely to be a number of factors at play – many not so romantic.

“Although it is speculation before further research behind the increase in marriages is done, now that the recession appears to be behind us weddings are more affordable.

“This seems to be supported by the fact that in 2009 – at the height of the financial crisis – the number of weddings taking place was at its lowest since the Victorian era.

“”The 2011 Royal wedding of William and Kate may also have produced a so-called ‘fee-good factor’ too.”

Immigration and Asylum

Commentators suggest that it may now being easier for legitimate marriages to take place by people subject to immigration controls when the Certificate of Approval Scheme was abolished in May 2011.


Daniel Prince added: “In the wake of recent Law Commission guidance suggesting that pre-nuptial agreements could soon be legally binding in England and Wales, Pearson Solicitors’ Family Law team has seen a number of new enquiries about the agreements, especially from older couples seeking to marry, as they tend to have more assets to protect and children to support.”

Pre-Nuptial Agreement Solicitors

Pearson Solicitors are able to draft pre-nuptial agreements. For more information, contact our Family Law team on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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