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The last time these numbers were comparably low was during the era of British dominion, when registrations for all 32 counties meant Catholic marriages hovered around 70% between 19.Secular weddings are cannibalising religious ones It’s not just the Catholic church that has taken a hit in recent years, though.This was very rare, but there was a huge gender discrepancy involved.

The year with the highest sheer number of marriages was 1920, with 27,193, but since the foundation of the Free State, that honour goes to 1974, when there were 22,833 – 63 weddings a day.

The youngest average age for brides and grooms was 24 and 26.2, in 1977 and ‘78. There has never been a year since records began, when the average Irish bride was older than the average Irish groom, but over the last 60 years, the gap has steadily narrowed.

In 19, Irish men were on average one year and 10 months older than their lucky betrothed.

FIGURES RELEASED BY the CSO recently revealed the state of marriage in today’s Ireland.

But how has the institution changed in the last century?

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