Westmeath rated as the midlands' marriage hotspot
Westmeath had the highest number of weddings in the midlands last year.
That's accoridng to recently published figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) that revealed there were 451 opposite sex marriages in the county last year compared to 358 in Laois, 300 in Offaly and 151 in Longford.
Of the 451 unions, 241 were Catholic ceremonies, 76 were civil ceremonies, 51 were other religious denominations, 40 were ceremonies officiated by the Humanist Association, 37 by the Spiritualist Union of Ireland and six were Church of Ireland ceremonies.
Westmeath also had the highest number of same sex marriages (11) in the region, followed by Laois (4) and Offaly (3). There were no same sex marriages in Longford last year.
Of the 11 same sex marriages, six were officiated by the Spiritualist Union of Ireland, three by the Humanist Assocation, one was a civil ceremony and one was other religious denominations.
The average age of Westmeath grooms who married a member of the opposite sex last year was 36.1 years, slightly lower than the national average of 36.4, while the average age of local brides was 33.7 years compared to the natioanl average age of 34.4 years. Nationally, the groom was older than the bride in 62.5% of marriages in 2018.
Of the 20,389 opposite sex marriages celebrated in Ireland last year, 87% (17,789 ) were first time marriages for both the bride and groom, while 85% of same sex marriages involved first timers.
August is the most popular month for both opposite and same sex marriages with Friday and Saturday the most popular days for couples to celebrate their weddings.