More couples saying ‘I do’

dws pic register office'Dewsbury Register Office. (250227)
dws pic register office'Dewsbury Register Office. (250227)

MORE couples are getting married at council register offices as figures show its registrars have been getting busier every year.

In 2009/10, 530 couples got married in a council register office. That rose to 540 couples in 2010/11. This year looks set to be busier still, as 438 couples were married by a Kirklees registrar between April and December 2011.

Clare Moorhouse, owner of To Have And To Hold bridal shop in Mirfield, said: “This year seems to be a busy year. Maybe with the economic downturn people want a bit of good news, and weddings are always something to look forward to.”

Kirklees registrars are also conducting more and more weddings at ‘approved venues’ not owned by the council, such as hotels or public halls.

In 2009/10 there were 382 Kirklees weddings in such venues, 430 in 2010/11, then 400 between April and December last year.

Civil partnerships are getting more common, with Kirklees registrars conducting 19 ceremonies in 2009/10, 24 the year after, and 39 between April and December last year.

In April, Dave Housecroft married long-term partner Lynn Hood at Dewsbury Register Office. He said: “We had both married before but this marriage was the most special and most important simply because we had been together 10 years.”

Mr Housecroft thinks more couples are getting married because they are rushing into it, which means higher divorce rates and more second marriages.

He said: “Back in the day people wanted to get married on next to nothing and start from scratch, whereas these days a lot of people get married for a lot of different reasons.

“It’s easier to get in to a marriage and it’s easier to get out of it, whereas before people would have stayed together.”