The Office for National Statistics published its latest marriage rate figures yesterday and they show that the numbers of couples tying the knot have fallen sharply.


The figures, for the period January to December 2005, show the number of UK marriages has dropped by a just under a whopping 10%!


According to the ONS, in 2005 there were 283,730 UK weddings compared to 313,550 in the previous twelve months. The figures for England and Wales show a drop of over 10% and marriages at their lowest since 1896. For Scotland the picture is slightly less bleak with a 4% drop being recorded whilst for Northern Ireland just a 2% fall occurred.


The figures also showed a continuing trend for couples to marry at an older age with 36 now the average age for Grooms and 33 now the average age for Brides.


The finger has been pointed at the recent laws to discourage 'sham marriages' and the growing trend for overseas marriages. Whatever is behind the drop, let's hope these trends don't continue or our business venture could be a very short lived one!


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