Average age for heterosexual marriage is 35 for women and 38 for men

Caroline Allen
Contributor
The latest official figures are out. (Getty Images)

The average age for women to get married is now 35.7 years and 38 years for men.

This is according to the latest official figures available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures recorded a decline in opposite-sex couples getting married and an even bigger decline in people getting married in religious ceremonies.

In fact, religious ceremonies accounted for just 23% of all weddings in 2017 - the lowest since records started.

Read more: Couple go ahead with wedding virtually after it was cancelled

The amount of same sex couples getting married in religious ceremonies was remarkably low, with only 0.6% making that choice in 2017.

There has been a 45% decrease in weddings since 1972, and the latest figures show there’s no sign of a resurgence yet, with a 2.8% decrease from 2016.

The cost of the big day will certainly be something that puts many couples off, with the average cost of a wedding in 2019 reaching £31,974, according to the 2019 National Wedding Survey.

Still, 242,842 marriages were registered in the UK in 2017, with 2 September proving to be the most popular day. 4,370 couples exchanged their vows that day.

Unsurprisingly, the least popular day to get married was 25 December with only three people choosing to tie the knot on Christmas Day.

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Despite the decrease in numbers of people getting married, the average age does seem to be plateauing.

Previously, we had seen an upward trend of people getting married later and later, but with no real age increase in recent years, it appears we might’ve reached an upper limit for now.

Many of us would have been surprised when our grandparents told us how young they were when they got married, but the trend of getting married under 20-years-old seems to have had a massive drop off.

To contrast that, more people than ever before are getting married over 65-years-old, climbing 31% for men and 89% for women.

Read more: Women in lockdown are putting old wedding dresses on

With so many weddings called off in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, it’ll be interesting to see how the pandemic affects the official wedding data this year.

It’ll also be interesting to note how many couples decide marriage is for them - or absolutely not for them - after spending a significant amount of time together during the lockdown.

Only time will tell, but there will certainly be some skewed figures across the board for 2020 and 2021.