The typical first-time bride is now 30-years-old when she walksdown the aisle, according to UK's national statistics. They alsoshow that the number of marriages is at its lowest level since1895.
Women today are on average nearly eight years older than theirmothers were when they married for the first time. In 1970 thetypical first-time bride was 22. By 1991 she was 25, and by 2000the average age rose to 28.
Men are also older before they tie the knot. The typical groomis now just past his 32nd birthday when he marries for the firsttime. In 1970 the average groom was 24, in 1991, he was 27 and in2000 he was 30.
Royal weddings reflect the age trend. When Kate Middletonmarries Prince William this month, she will be 29, and he will be28. By contrast, when Diana Spencer became the Princess of Walesshe was just 20.
Anastasia de Waal, deputy director of the Civitas think-tank,said many women were putting off marriage till their 30s to developtheir careers. "In the past, achieving 'adulthood' for women wasabout setting yourself up for family life whereas now it's aboutsetting yourself up first." The cost of the wedding could also be afactor in the delay, she said.