CSO Release 2023 Wedding Trends

CSO Marriages 2023 Ireland

2023 Irish Marriage Trends: Insights for Wedding Professionals – An in-depth look at ceremonies, preferences, and demographic shifts

Hot off the press! 2023 marked a pivotal year, witnessing an 8.7% decrease in marriages alongside intriguing shifts in preferences. As wedding bells rang less frequently, August emerged as the frontrunner, stealing the spotlight as the new favourite month for tying the knot. Meanwhile, traditional religious ceremonies experienced a continued decline in popularity, signalling a profound transformation in how couples choose to say “I do.”

The data presented stems from the comprehensive analysis of marriage registration forms filed for all marriages in the Republic of Ireland throughout 2023. In May, we anticipate unveiling a detailed report that juxtaposes this year’s findings with trends observed over recent years. Meanwhile, you can access and download last year’s report for further insights.

These are the latest insights from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), analysing the trends and dynamics THAT SHAPED the Irish wedding industry in 2023.

The decline in marriages: The numbers

The latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) paints a picture of shifting trends in Irish marriages. In 2023, there was an 8.7% decrease in the number of marriages compared to the previous year. However, it’s worth noting that the 21,159 marriages celebrated in 2023 exceed pre-pandemic figures from 2019 by 4.2%. Notably, 646 of these marriages were same-sex unions, marking a 4.5% increase from 2022.

Popular Wedding Dates Ireland 2023

Age dynamics: Couples are waiting a bit longer

Couples are taking their time before tying the knot. The average age of brides and grooms increased again in 2023, reaching 35.8 years for brides and 37.7 years for grooms. In same-sex marriages, the average age of males also saw a slight uptick compared to the previous year.

In 2023, the average age of males in same-sex marriages was 40.8 years (up from 39.4 in 2022), while the average age of females in same-sex marriages was 38.0 years (down from 38.2 in 2022).

Preferred wedding dates: When love blooms

In 2022, July held the title of the most popular month for both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages, accounting for nearly one in seven unions. However, in 2023, August reclaimed its position as the top choice after a dip in popularity the previous year. August hosted just over one in eight opposite-sex marriages (13%), while July remained the favoured month for same-sex unions, consistent with 2022.

The year’s final quarter emerged as a sought-after period for weddings, with one in four marriages occurring during this time frame. In contrast, January witnessed the lowest turnout for opposite-sex weddings, making up only 3.1% of the total, while February saw a mere 3.6% of same-sex marriages.

“Friday and Saturday continue to be the most popular days for wedding ceremonies for opposite-sex couples, while Friday, followed by Thursday were the most favoured days to wed for same-sex couples. This has not changed since 2022. For all couples, Sundays and Mondays were the least popular days of the week to marry.”

Friday and Saturday maintained their reign as the most preferred days for tying the knot in 2023, with 62% of opposite-sex marriages occurring on these days. In comparison Sunday lagged way behind with only 3.3% of marriages taking place.

Friday, September 15th stole the spotlight as the most favoured date for opposite-sex marriages in 2023, hosting 215 ceremonies, closely followed by August 4th with 208 ceremonies.

For same-sex marriages, July 7th and August 11th emerged as the top dates, each hosting 11 ceremonies. Other popular dates included May 5th, July 28th, and October 27th, each witnessing 9 ceremonies.

WedPro CSO 2023 Marriage Data

Religious vs. Civil Ceremonies: A shifting landscape

Religious ceremonies, though still prevalent, experienced a decline in popularity, now constituting 60% of all marriages. Among these, Catholic ceremonies were the frontrunners, followed by ceremonies conducted by the Spiritualist Union of Ireland and the Church of Ireland. However, civil marriages gained traction, comprising 32% of all marriages. Humanist ceremonies also saw a notable presence.

“Roman Catholic marriage ceremonies were the most popular ceremonies for opposite-sex couples in 2023 accounting for 35% of ceremonies. A civil ceremony was the most popular choice for same-sex couples (52%).”

Destination “I Do’s”: A global affair

A significant portion (10.5%) of marriages involved couples residing outside the Republic of Ireland, with destination weddings becoming increasingly popular. Dublin City emerged as a hotspot for both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages, with Leinster, overall, registering 10,828 marriages, 52% of all marriages in Ireland.

Top 3 Areas for opposite-sex marriages
  • Dublin City with 2,898 marriages 
  • Meath with 1,421 marriages 
  • Cork County with 1,340 marriages 
Top 3 Areas for same-sex marriages 
  • Dublin City with 184 marriages
  • Cork County with 38 marriages
  • Cork City with 38 marriages

CSO 2023 Marriage Data WedPro

Key Findings Marriages 2023: 

  • Number of Marriages: 20,513 opposite-sex marriages, 324 Male same-sex marriages and 322 Female same-sex marriages
  • Average Age of Opposite-Sex Weddings: Male: 37.7 and Female: 35.8
  • Average Age of Same-Sex Weddings: Male: 40.8 and Female: 38.0
  • Most Popular Form of Ceremony for Opposite-sex Marriage: 7,256 (35%) Roman Catholic Ceremonies
  • Most popular day to wed: Friday: 7,419 ceremonies
  • The least popular day to wed: Sunday: 714 ceremonies
  • Most popular month to wed: August: 2,653 ceremonies
  • Least popular month to wed: January: 665 ceremonies
Reflecting on the insights: Unveiling trends and beyond

The data paints a vivid picture of the post-pandemic landscape and its impact on marriage dynamics. Despite a gradual decline since 2014, religious ceremonies continued to dominate opposite-sex marriages in 2023, showcasing enduring traditions amidst evolving preferences. These statistics also shed light on the shifting demographics, with an upward trend in the average age of brides and grooms, signalling a shift towards more mature unions. Additionally, the growing popularity of non-traditional wedding ceremonies highlights a broader cultural shift towards personalised celebrations.

These statistics have been compiled from the marriage registration forms of all marriages registered in the Republic of Ireland in 2023. For more detail on the data visit the Marriage 2022 section on the Central Statistics Office’s website. All data and images are from CSO Ireland. 

Want to get your hands on Our 2024 Wedding Industry report? Download your copy BELOW!

This year’s report consists of 27 pages filled with what modern couples want, don’t want, struggle with and would love to see! Our commitment to empowering wedding venues with actionable intelligence is at the core of this report. It’s more than just pages and stats – it is your roadmap to positioning your venue for success. Are you ready to dive into the 2024 Ireland Wedding Industry Report? Download your copy below!

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