Newlyweds in Derry get married later in life compared to couples in all other parts of the north, new figures reveal.
Provisional figures just released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency reveal there were 460 marriages in Derry in 2010 with civil ceremonies accounting for almost one third (30%) of all marriages in the city last year.
The 2010 figures also show the average age of both Derry brides and grooms is on the rise.
Last year the average age rose to 35.5 years for a groom and for brides to 32.7 years.
The age for both Derry brides and grooms has been rising steadily since 2005 when the average age was 32 years for a groom and 29.9 years for a bride. The average age for newlywed couples in Derry is now the oldest across the north’s 26 local district council areas.
The Beech Hill Country House Hotel is the most popular approved venue in Derry, playing host to 19 ceremonies last year, while St. Eugene’s Cathedral and St Patrick’s Church, Pennyburn had the most weddings of all religious buildings in the north.
The figures further reveal that almost half, 47 per cent of local couples, were living together at the same address before getting married. Seventy eight percent of of those who tied the knot in Derry last year were getting married for the first time. The figures also show there were 10 civil partnerships in Derry last year with five male couples and five female couples exchanging their vows in the city.
Meanwhile the statistics further reveal 358 couples were divorced in Derry last year with 185 women filing for divorces and 168 men filing petitions.
Across the north the number of marriages registered in 2010 was 8,200, an increase on the 7,900 marriages registered in 2009. A NISRA spokesperson said the rise follows a two year drop on the number of weddings and could be due to
“local economic influences.”
In 2010, 2,600 divorces were registered in Northern Ireland, an increase on the 2009 figure of 2,200 divorces.