Couples getting hitched in Larne youngest in NI

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Marriages taking place in the Larne borough last year had on average the youngest brides and grooms in the province, it has been revealed.

Figures released by the Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) have detailed the number of marriages, divorces and civil partnerships throughout Northern Ireland in 2012.

And the report showed that the average bride getting married in Larne was 28.9 years old, while the average groom clocked in at 30.9 years old.

The figures also revealed that a total of 137 marriages were registered in the borough during 2012 – making Larne the third lowest area after Ballymoney (122) and Moyle (104).

Of the 137 registered marriages, 40 were Presbyterian, 33 were civil marriages, 21 were Catholic, six were Church of Ireland, six were Methodist, and the rest were other denominations.

Meanwhile, there were 117 divorcees in the borough last year, with 56 male and 61 female divorcees.

In total, there were more than 8,400 marriages across Northern Ireland, whilst the number of divorces recorded was just over 2,400.

The report also shows that over the last decade, civil ceremonies have become increasingly popular, making up almost a third of all marriages last year.

The average age of brides and grooms continues to be approximately five years older than their counterparts two decades ago. Last year the average groom was nearly 34 years old and the “average” bride almost 32.

The most popular day to get married last year was Saturday, August 25, with just over 113 couples getting married on that date.

There were 101 same-sex civil partnerships registered in 2012.

Dr David Marshall from NISRA said: “Last year saw more than 8,400 marriages in Northern Ireland. An interesting point is that around one quarter of those took place outside a religious building or registry office in an approved venue. Civil marriages at such venues only became possible following a change in the law in 2004.”

The 2012 statistics are provisional until final figures are published in the annual report of the Registrar General.