As a business we’ve only been operating 6 months now, but probably our single best-selling range of gifts so far have been Anniversary Gifts. And now I wake up this morning to hear on TV 1’s Breakfast that the marriage rate in NZ has reached an all-time low. Great.
Apparently the marriage rate in NZ last year was 12.5 marriages per 1,000 unmarried adults, which is less than one-third of the peak recorded in 1971 and half the 1987 rate. (Statistics NZ Media Release)
So why aren’t we so keen on getting married then? Stats NZ cites the increasing numbers of de facto unions, a general trend towards delayed marriage, and more New Zealanders remaining single (whether this is by choice or by lack of choice who knows??)
You would have to imagine too, that finances must be a bit of an issue here, especially if couples are having children before they get married. Then, the big expense of a wedding must come pretty low down the priority list compared to things such as a warm house in a nice neighbourhood & providing your kids with everything they need.
It seems a bit of a shame though… the whole tradition of marriage & the wedding ceremony itself is such a huge part of our culture and heritage. You know that a wedding isn’t a measure of how much a couple loves each other, but it is an open declaration of their commitment to each other AND it’s a great chance for a family/friends to celebrate a happy occasion together.
So maybe if finance is part of the reason why people aren’t marrying, wouldn’t it be great if we could all start to focus more on how fabulous lower budget, low key, creative weddings can be compared to a Bridezilla type occasion costing tens of thousands of dollars.
I am such a fan of the online crafty marketplace Etsy, and absolutely love their “handmade weddings” showcases. Granted that most of these couples are extremely creative & crafty, but it’s so great to see their individuality shine through (usually on a budget) while still celebrating the best of the wedding traditions.
But back of the subject of anniversary gifts – I would be really interested in knowing if couples that have been together in a de facto relationship for many years share an anniversary? And if you do… how do you choose which day to celebrate? And do you exchange gifts?
On the positive side of the stats the divorce rate is now the lowest since 1980. So it seems that the longer waiting times for marriage, and increased age of the bride & groom may lead to less unhappy marriages, and you have to celebrate that!