There are two main types of people getting married in New Zealand, those over 25 with their life in order and those from generation X and Y who are essentially married already bar the paper work, Celebrant Aaron Bloomfield says.

It comes as new figures reveal that marriage is becoming less common in New Zealand - though the rate of divorces has also decreased.

Despite a steadily rising population, the general marriage rate has dropped, according to Statistics NZ.

In 1992, the marriage rate was 18.3 couples per 1000 people eligible to marry (or form a civil union from 2005). This has dropped to 10.9 couples in 2017.


"The highest number of marriages and civil unions in the last 25 years was in 2008, when 22,275 couples celebrated," said population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers.

"The lowest number was in 2013, when 19,425 couples celebrated."

Bloomfield said many couples were getting married later in life, they were one of the main two categories of people he married.

There were the "young'ns" who were millennials fresh out of study with a five-year plan.
"Part of which is to marry and start a family by the age of 30.

"They usually get married the same time as their peers and I often see the same faces at multiple weddings over the same wedding season."

There was also what he called the "forever fiance'd" people from Generation X and Y who had taken their time to get their ducks in a row for their already-built family.

"They date for about a year, move in together, purchase a home, trial raising a fur baby together, and one day they realise they've got it made and decided to go official."

It did not surprise him that fewer couples were getting divorced compared to 20 years ago.


"Marriage is no longer the first thing you tick off straight out of high school like my parents' generation did.

"Marriage really is a choice these days - It's a choice to get married and a choice to stay married - I love that the stats reflect that people continue to choose each other well after the wedding day."

The "young'ns" had their heads screwed on and had already mapped out a plan for their lives by the time they came to him.

"By the time they're sitting in front of me to discuss their big day they've lived a little, journeyed together and worked out compatibility and are mature enough to overcome small niggles that if left untouched could turn into big ones - which are what causes relationship breakdowns."

The "forever fiance'd" were already married in their heads and their hearts and "getting legally married may just complete the picture of family where it could be as simple as the only change being that they all now share the one name".

The same lower marriage trend is also taking place in Britain and Australia.


But the number of divorces had also dropped over the past 25 years.

In 2017, 8001 couples split up and the number of divorces per 1000 existing marriages was 8.4.

This was in comparison to a divorce rate of 11.9 in 1992.