20% of all weddings in Offaly are now civil ceremonies

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly



20% of all weddings in Offaly are now civil ceremonies

20% of all weddings celebrated in Offaly are now civil ceremonies, according to new CSO data.

In 2018, religious ceremonies accounted for the highest proportion of opposite-sex marriages (62.6%) but a growing number were using civil and humanist ceremonies to mark their big day.

Of Offaly's 300 weddings, 57, almost 20% were civil ceremonies while just over 200 were Catholic ceremonies.

There were 10,027 (49.2%) Catholic marriage ceremonies, 323 (1.6%) Church of Ireland ceremonies, 62 (0.3%) Presbyterian ceremonies while The Spiritualist Union of Ireland performed 1,341 (6.6%) marriage ceremonies in Ireland in 2018.

There were 664 same-sex marriages in 2018, of which 372 were male unions and 292 were female unions. Just three of these weddings were registered in Offaly, two civil ceremonies and one spiritual union service. 

The average age of couples in same-sex marriages in 2018 was 39.5 years.  The average age of male partners in same-sex marriages was 40.1 and the average age of female partners was lower at 38.7. 

There were 20,389 opposite-sex marriages in 2018.  The average age of grooms was 36.4 years, 0.3 years more than the average age of grooms in 2017.  

In the past 50 years, the average age of grooms decreased from 28.4 years in 1968 to 26.2 years, 10 years later, in 1978 and increased to a high of 36.4 years in 2018.

A similar trend is evident for brides with the average age decreasing from 25.5 in 1968 to a record low of 24.0 in 1978 and increasing to a high of 34.4 in 2018.

The number of all marriages registered in 2018 was 21,053 which equates to a crude marriage rate of 4.3 per 1,000 population, 0.3 less than the 2017 rate.

This is 968 fewer marriages than in 2017 when 22,021 marriages took place. Same-sex marriages accounted for 3.2% of all marriages in 2018.