Irish people waiting longer than ever to get married

The average groom is just over 36 years, with brides about two years younger

Irish people are waiting longer to get married than ever before, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

The average groom is just over 36 years of age, with brides typically about two years younger.

Same-sex couples tend to wait just a little longer before marrying, with the average age of men in same-sex unions put at 40.1 and 38.7 for women.

Last year Monaghan had the lowest average age for both grooms and brides at 34.5 and 32.5 years respectively, while Wicklow had the highest with the average ago said to be 38.3 years for grooms and 36.3 years for brides.


The CSO figures show there were 20,389 opposite-sex marriages in 2018 and 664 same-sex marriages, of which 372 were male unions and 292 were female unions.

In the past 50 years the average age of grooms decreased from 28.4 in 1968 to 26.2 10 years later, before rising to a high of 36.4 last year.

A similar trend is evident for brides, with the average age falling from 25.5 in 1968 to a record low of 24 in 1978, and increasing to a high of 34.4 last year.

Religion continues to dominate the marriage pact, with religious ceremonies accounting for 61.2 per cent of all unions last year.

There were 10,027 marriage ceremonies in Catholic churches, equating to 47.6 per cent of the total. There were a further 323 Church of Ireland ceremonies, which is 1.5 per cent of the total.

The Spiritualist Union of Ireland performed 1,430 or 6.8 per cent of all ceremonies, while 1,108 or 5.3 per cent of couples opted for other religious ceremonies.

The majority of non-religious ceremonies were civil marriages, which accounted for 29.8 per cent or 6,278 of all marriages. The remaining 1,887 or 9 per cent of couples had Humanist ceremonies.


The most popular form of ceremony for same-sex celebrations was civil marriage, accounting for 417 marriages or 62.8 per cent of the total. A further 121 or 18.2 per cent of ceremonies were Humanist, while the Spiritualist Union of Ireland accounted for 89 or 13.4 per cent of ceremonies. The remaining 37 of same-sex couples had ceremonies with other religious denominations.

August was the most popular month for marriages, with August 4th last year the busiest day for wedding solemnisers. January was – as ever – the least popular month to wed.

Friday and Saturday were the most popular days of the week to get married, with the least popular day being Sunday.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor