Love is in the air: The most popular places for marriage in England and Wales

Loved-up couples in Kent and Essex were the most likely to get married in 2022, new data that maps where people are getting hitched reveals.

While the southeast counties had the highest number of registered marriages, Monmouthshire in Wales has seen the biggest increase in people coupling up, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Marriages increased by 67.4 per cent in the picturesque Welsh county between 2019 and 2022, as couples caught up with weddings after the pandemic. Marriages registered in Haringey, London, have fallen the most however - plunging by 51.1 per cent in those three years.

Saturday 30 July was the most popular day to get married in 2022, with a total of 3,608 weddings taking place. But the popularity of getting hitched on a Saturday is slowly decreasing, analysis from the Office of National Statistics found.

Nine in ten couples live together before they get married (Getty Images)
Nine in ten couples live together before they get married (Getty Images)

Christmas Day remains the least popular day to get married, with only three weddings taking place on that day in 2022.

Kent saw 7,510 registered marriages that year, while Essex and Hampshire saw 6,906 and 6,040 respectively.

Westminster was the most popular London borough for newlywed couples, with 3,316 marriages registered.

Data from the ONS showed that the trend of people living together before they get wed is increasing over time, with 9 in 10 heterosexual couples now cohabiting.

The age at which both men and women marry has also been increasing. In 2022, the median age for heterosexual couples to get hitched was 32.7-years-old for men and 31.2-years-old for women.

This was slightly higher for same-sex marriages, with the median age for men marrying a partner of the same sex was 36.2-years-old. For women this was 32.6-years-old.

While only half of marriages were civil ceremonies in 1992, this has risen to 83 per cent two decades later. Only 17 per cent of marriages were religious ceremonies in 2022.

The number of women getting married to each other is also increasing, ONS data shows. They made up 62.8 per cent of all same-sex marriages in 2022, the highest proportion of female couples recorded.

Sital Fontenelle, head of family law at Kingsley Napley, said the rising median age of married couples partly explains the growth in pre-nups that they are seeing.

She added: “In many cases couples tying the knot later in life already have assets or successful careers (and earning power) which they want to protect in the event of divorce.

“Whilst the highest number of marriages occurred to people in their thirties, the fact those who remarry in their fifties, sixties and beyond are largely divorcees is evidence people are living longer and healthier lives in their maturity and still value the commitment marriage brings.”

David Lillywhite, partner at Burgess Mee, family law solicitors, said that cohabiting couples need more legal protection and are left “without the same protections” of married people.

Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said earlier this year that Labour would reform the law on cohabitation to give unmarried couples more rights, however there was little detail on what this would entail in the party’s manifesto.