Couples in Donegal are waiting a little longer in life to become newlyweds, according to new figures from the CSO.

The average age of Donegal grooms in opposite-sex marriages in 2019 was 36 – the highest ever.

The average age of Donegal brides also reached a new high of 33.8 years last year.

The figures are slightly below the national average, as the CSO revealed grooms across Ireland averaged at an age of 36.8 years and brides at 34.8.

The average age of men in a same-sex marriage was higher at 39.8 years in 2019, while the comparable age for women in a same-sex marriage was 39.3 years. 

882 couples said ‘I Do’ in Donegal in 2019. Twenty four of those marriages were same-sex.

And Donegal couples like to keep it local, it seems, as marriage registrations show 91.1% of brides were from the same area as the groom, while 87.9% of grooms were from the same area as the bride.

COVID-19 is set to have a major impact on marriage numbers in 2020, with the majority of ceremonies postponed until 2021 or future dates.

There were 20,313 marriages in Ireland in 2019 including 640 same-sex marriages. This equates to a marriage rate of 4.1 per 1,000 population.

Unsurprisingly, the warmer months of June, July and August were the most popular for weddings, while the cooler months of January and February were the least popular.

Friday and Saturday continue to be the most popular days to ‘tie the knot’ for opposite-sex couples, while Friday was the most favoured day to wed for same-sex couples. Sundays and Mondays remain the least popular days of the week to marry for all couples.

The Roman Catholic ceremony was still the most popular choice among Donegal’s opposite-sex couples, with 518 couples opting for this ceremony. 214 couples had a civil ceremony in the county in 2019.