There has been an increase in marriages in England and Wales, according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

Carl Bengtsson

YOU-WON'T-BELIEVE-IT-BIG-DAY FACTS

The provisional figures, released yesterday, show a 5.3% increase in weddings, bringing the total number of marriages to take place in 2012 to 262,240.

That means that in 2012, there was one marriage every two minutes. (Yes, you read correctly: Every. Two. Minutes)

Of all those weddings, only 30 per cent were religious marriages, while 70 per cent were civil ceremonies.

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What's more, 174,040 of all marriages were a first for both partners - that's 67 per cent of all weddings. Only 15 per cent were remarriages for both parties and 19 per cent were second-time-brides/grooms.

Marilyn Stowe, Senior Partner at Stowe Family Law, the UK's largest specialist family law firm said: "It's interesting that the largest percentage increase in the number of marriages was for men and women aged 65 to 69. Also that the trend for marrying later in life continues to go up, now reaching  36.5 years for men and 34 years for women."

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She puts the growing trend down to the rising cost of living and the effects of a post-recession Britain: "The cost of living means that couples need to save for longer and therefore as the country emerges out of recession I would  expect the total number of marriages will increase again next year too."

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