There seems to be no rush to walk down the isle as women are waiting until they are 30 before they tie the knot, according to the Office of National Statistics.
According to official figures, the typical first-time bride is now 30 years old, compared to 25 in 1991 and a youthful 23 back in 1981 when the last major Royal wedding took place.
In contrast to Lady Diana Spencer, who was just 20 years old when she married Prince Charles, Catherine Middleton will be 29 in her forthcoming Royal Wedding to Prince William next month.
‘There is evidence that couples are setting themselves a ‘to-do list’ before getting married – perhaps buying a house, getting the perfect job or buying the dream car,’ says Jenny North from the counseling charity, Relate.
‘As money gets tighter, these things get harder to achieve, and we could see less couples tying the not as a result,’ she says.
The Office of National Statistics figures also show a worrying long-running decline in the institution of marriage, with figures in 2009 lower than any year since records began in 1895.
‘A continued fall in marriage rates and numbers is no great shock, but it’s worrying,’ says Jenny. ‘Research shows us that the aspiration to marry is still high amongst the younger generation of the UK, but fewer and fewer are fulfilling that aspiration.’
Anastasia de Wall, director of Civitas says: ‘Your 20s have now become a decade for establishing yourself, education, degrees and a career. The 30s is now the decade for establishing a family.’
Do you agree that women are waiting longer before they get married? Should we be worried that less people are entering into the institution of marriage? Tell us your thoughts by posting a comment below.