Save the date

There have been more than 22 million weddings in England and Wales over the last 70 years. The number of marriages peaked in 1972 at over 400,000. However, the number of weddings has almost halved since then. In 2013 there were 240,854 marriages.

Looking at marriage registrations in more detail, by month and by date, shows some interesting patterns.

Tax benefits

Each line on the circular chart and each bar on the bar chart represents a year from 1947 and 2013. The shape of the line shows how popular each month is to marry in, while the bar represents the total number of weddings.

From 1950 to 1969, men were entitled to tax benefits if they married at any point during that tax year. This led to high numbers of marriages in March compared to all other months. In 1968 the law was changed, so that couples had to marry before May to get the full allowance, after which a twelfth was subtracted for each month the couple was not married. In May 1969, there was a 97% increase in marriages compared to May 1968.

Marriages during the summer months have always been popular. However, since the 1980s the percentage of marriages taking place in the summer has increased.

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there were

of which

Financial reasons increased the popularity of the April and May wedding in the 1950s to 1960s. Notice how Easter, summer and Christmas have consistently been preferred times to marry, likely due to the fact that many people are on holiday.

The following interactive looks at marriage registrations between 1995 and 2013 by total number each day, to highlight further patterns.

Saturdays and
other popular days

Each ring layer represents a day of the week, with the size of each circle plotted along the rings symbolising the number of weddings on this date between 1995 and 2013.

The larger size of circles on the outermost layer shows that Saturday was the most popular day to get married. Friday was the second most popular wedding day, although if the Friday fell on the 13th the number of weddings dropped by 49%.

Amongst favourites, such as Valentine's Day or bank holiday weekends, the most popular wedding day was the Saturday of August bank holiday weekend. This year it falls on the 26th August. Unsurprisingly, the least popular day to get married was Christmas day, despite the popularity of other days either side of Christmas.

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had a total of

and an annual average of