Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 - McCrindle Research

McCrindle Research has analysed the latest trends when it comes to marriages in Australia.

Analysis of the latest ABS marriages data (ABS cat 3310.0) shows record wedding numbers and also a growing preoccupation with memorable wedding dates. With Spring the most popular season to tie the knot, and auspicious dates highly sought after (10/10/10 was the most popular wedding date in 2010 and the 11/11/11 last year), wedding venues in Australia should brace for a few busy days over the next three months.

Lucky in numbers:

October was the most popular month for weddings in 2010, being in the middle of the most popular season for weddings, and helped by the sequence of numbers in 10/10, and in particular the most popular date of the year being 10/10/10 with 2,454 weddings taking place. Australians certainly place their faith in numbers as this was the only day that a Sunday exceeded the Saturday of the same weekend in relation to the number of weddings.

Our focus on numbers is a growing phenomenon. In 2007, 28% of weddings held in July took place on the 07/07/07, while in 2008 1,444 couples held Friday weddings just to snag the 08/08/08. The 09/09/09 also proved popular, with 7 times more weddings on that date than any other that month! 

Predicted dates in demand for 2012:

  • Friday 12/10/12
With Friday a day already increasing in popularity and the 12/12/12 falling on a Wednesday, it’s likely those heading to the chapel will flit to this October date instead.
  • Saturday 10/11/12
Falling on the most popular day of the week to wed and with its subsequent pattern of numbers, this date in late spring promises to be a super Saturday.
  • Sunday 11/11/2012
Weddings taking place on the 11/11 certainly won’t be forgotten... as this date is Remembrance Day! With Sunday afternoon weddings on the rise and this date so significant, it’s likely to be a busy day for nuptials in 2012.
  • Wednesday 12/12/12

 Despite its mid week positioning, it’s likely a few couples will risk ruffling a few feathers of guests having to take leave from work to secure this unique anniversary date.

When they are taking place: 

While Saturday is the most popular day to get married on by far, Fridays and Sundays are gaining momentum, perhaps as couples fight for the best venues and prices in an industry that turns over 4.3 billion a year (IBIS World 2011). Interestingly, Friday is continuing to boom and on some weekends in 2010 this day was even more popular than Sunday.

Time and money challenges are creating new options for couples. Some interesting choices in 2010 included:

  • Good Friday, 85 weddings 
  • Boxing Day, 130 weddings
  • Easter Sunday, 316 weddings
  • Valentines Day, 751 weddings
  • New Years Eve, 409 weddings
  • April Fool’s Day, 194 weddings
  • Australia Day, 103
  • Christmas Day, 61 weddings

Transitioning wedding months: 

The Director of McCrindle Research, Mark McCrindle said, “The wedding industry is seeing a migration away from Summer as higher venue prices, competition for venues and increased flexibility in taking leave from work influence couples as they choose a date. Similar to the travel industry, shoulder seasons have replaced Summer as a more desirable option when it comes to tying the knot.”

“The trend to civil weddings is also driving the season. With church attendances declining, the one time Australians were likely to pass through the church doors was for a wedding, but now just 30% of all weddings are conducted by ministers of religion. This has led to a trend of more varied locations for ceremonies, many of these with an outdoor aesthetic where the climate matters more than for the church wedding,” said social researcher Mark McCrindle. 

Whilst the statistics from 2012 aren’t in yet, October has been the most popular month for weddings for the past few years, with 15% of 2010’s nuptials occurring in this month. Other months that rated highly including March (10.7% of weddings), November (10.6% of weddings) and April (9.3% of weddings). June was the least popular month to tie the knot, with just 1 in 20 weddings taking place (4.7%). Up in the Northern Territory however (perhaps to escape the heat), June is the most popular most, with 17.6% of the states marriages taking place in that month. 

How many we average per day:

Australia sees an average of 332 weddings per day, with this figure rising to an average of 577 in October, the busiest month of the year, and down to 190 in June, the quietest month of the year.

Across the states and territories: 

Queenslanders had the highest wedding ratio in 2010, with 0.6% of the state’s population tying the knot and an average of 73 weddings per day. NSW came in at a close second, followed by Western Australia. Northern Territorians were the least likely to tie the knot with 0.4% of the population saying “I do” in 2010.

Australian Weddings Quick Stats:

 Record numbers of marriages: 

The number of marriages in Australia has been rising for more than a decade- now exceeding 121,000 per year. However while the “first marriage” numbers continue to rise the “remarriage- both partners” numbers have been declining for 12 years.

 First marriage v Remarriage: 

 Despite the perceptions of a rise remarriages, there are 6 marriages of “never married” couples for every marriage of “remarriage” couples.

 Civil ceremonies continue to dominate: 

 To find the era when religious celebrants out-officiated civil celebrants, you have to go back to the 1990’s. Civil weddings continue to grow in their share of all weddings. Currently 70% of all weddings are conducted by civil celebrants.

 Cohabitation before marriage still increasing: 

 The number of Australians living together prior to marriage has risen every year since records on this began more than a decade ago. Currently almost 4 in 5 Australian couples live together before marrying.

 Brides & Grooms are getting older: 

The average age of first time brides is now almost 28 and 30 for first time grooms. There are now half as many grooms aged 20-24 as there were in 1990. And while brides we most commonly aged 20-24 in 1990 today they rank third after those aged 25-29 and 30-34. In 2010 there were 31 Australians that married for the first time who were aged over 75!

For more information or media comment, call Mark McCrindle on 0411500090 or Francesca Dalton on 02 8824 3422. 


Contact Profile

Francesca Dalton

P: 02 8824 3422

Mark McCrindle

P: 0411 5000 90


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