Couples waiting longer to marry - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Couples waiting longer to marry

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

We all know the saying: first comes love then comes marriage then comes the baby in the baby carriage.

But that's not the love story of Kenny Mack and Lynn Irvine from Scotland. They're in their 40s and they've been together for 10 years. Kenny recently put a ring on it. And now they're in New York City to pick up their marriage license at the city clerk's office and get married in Times Square.

"I truly believe that this is still a decision of the heart," says Barbara Biziou, an author and global ritual expert. "It really is a heart decision. However yes, the longer they wait, the more they're trying to be rational about it. So it brings in the mind and the heart together."

Biziou has been studying marriage for more than 25 years. Over time, she has noticed couples waiting until they're older to tie the knot. Statistics show the average age for a first marriage in the United States is 27 for a woman and 29 for a man.

Barbara says one reason for that is economics. She says a lot of people have student loans and don't want to get into a marriage in debt.

Studies show the marriage rate in the United States reached its peak in 1920.

Now the marriage rate is currently 31.01, which equals about 31 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. It's the lowest rate in over a century.

But interestingly, the marriage rate in New York City is up.

"Marriage in New York City has gone up about 22 percent since I've been here, I've been here 10 years working for this agency," City Clerk Michael McSweeney says. He says the legalization of same-sex marriage has couples choosing to tie the knot in the Big Apple.

"Part of the reason for that is marriage equality," he says. "I think people are coming to New York City to get married. You're seeing a lot of people from all over the United States."

People from all over the country and all around the world come to the city to marry.

So while rules about marriage may be constantly changing, one thing has stayed the same.

"People all want love and they want partnership and they want companionship," Biziou says. "And they understand that life can be better when you share it."

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