It’s no secret that the Quebecers aren’t inclined to put a ring on it, but a new study shows fewer Quebecers are getting married than ever before.

A total of 21,300 weddings were held in Quebec in 2016, 700 of which were between same-sex couples.
The Quebec Statistics Institute found that if the 2016 marriage rates were to continue, only 27 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women would get married at least once before their 50th birthday.

Those who do marry are tying the knot at a later age, too. In 2016, the average age for men to head to the altar was 33.4 years, while for women, it was 31.9. In both cases, that’s a spike of about eight years since the early 1970s.

Weddings in Quebec are also much less likely to be officiated by a religious leader these days. Today, about 42 per cent of weddings are officiated by a religious leader, a drop from 71 per cent in 2002.

Instead, many are opting to have an officiant, such as a friend or family member, perform the service – ever since this option became legal in 2002. Now, about one in four marriages is held that way – but that number spikes to 43 per cent for same-sex couples.

Courthouse clerks or notaries make up the other 30 per cent in equal measure.

The results of the marriage study were released Wednesday by the institute.