The most recent figures present that extra persons are avoiding the standard church marriage ceremony
(Photo: Unsplash / wedding photography)
According to the latest figures from the National Statistics Office, fewer people choose to make their relationship with a traditional church wedding official.
Only 54,000 people chose a church wedding in 2017 – the lowest number in existence – a sharp drop from 184,000 in 1987.
Around 40,000 married in Church of England churches in 2017 and just under 6,000 in Roman Catholic churches.
Overall, religious ceremonies accounted for less than a quarter (23%) of same-sex marriages in 2017.
The statistics reflect a general decline in the number of people who have made a living with 242,842 marriages in England and Wales. This corresponds to a decline of 2.8 percent over the previous year and the lowest level since records began in 1862.
Of these marriages, 6,932 were between same-sex couples.
The numbers continue to show a long-term decline in heterosexual couples who have opted for a wedding. The numbers have dropped by 45% since 1972.
At the same time, couples are reluctant to marry, with men with an average age of 38 years and women with 35.7 years making a bond among heterosexual couples.
Many also live together first, with almost 9 in 10 (88%) of same-sex couples living together before getting married in 2017.
Kanak Ghosh of the National Statistics Bureau, who produced the numbers, said: "Marriage rates for couples of different sexes are now at their lowest levels in existence.
"This has continued a gradual long-term decline since the early 1970s, with numbers falling a third over the past 40 years.
"The popularity of religious ceremonies fell to historic lows for the second year in a row. Less than one in four couples chose to marry through a religious ceremony."