The Central Statistics Office of Ireland has released new figures on marriage in Ireland in 2020, including the fact that the number of weddings to take place was down by 50% due to the pandemic. 

One of the most striking figures around the release is that Civil marriage ceremonies were the most popular ceremonies for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples in 2020. The number of opposite-sex couples that chose a civil ceremony (41.0%) outnumbered those that chose a Catholic ceremony (35.8%) for the first time in 2020. A civil ceremony was also the choice of 228 same-sex couples. While a humanist ceremony was the choice of 701 opposite-sex couples and 38 same-sex couples in 2020. 

The CSO released these figures on marriages in 2020, with data compiled from the marriage registration forms of all marriages registered in Ireland in 2020. 

Commenting on the report, Carol Anne Hennessy, Statistician, said: “There were 9,523 marriages in Ireland in 2020 including 314 same-sex marriages. This equates to a crude (unadjusted) marriage rate of 1.9 per 1,000 population. The number of marriages celebrated in 2020 fell by 53.1% from 2019, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

"Although the average age of grooms in an opposite-sex marriage was at its highest to date at 37.8 years, the average age of men in a same-sex marriage was higher at 40.0 years. The average age of brides in an opposite-sex marriage was 35.7 in 2020, while the comparable age for women in a same-sex marriage was 40.0 years."

She continued "The timing of weddings may also reflect the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. The cooler month of December was the most popular for opposite-sex weddings, while February was most popular for same-sex marriages. April was the least favored month to tie the knot for all couples.

"Friday and Saturday continue to be the most popular days to tie the knot for opposite-sex couples, while Friday followed by Thursday were the most favored days to wed for same-sex couples. Sundays and Wednesdays were the least popular days of the week to marry for all couples.”

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