Decline in marriage numbers – the marriage statistics for 2013 have now been released (belatedly, but these are the most recent we have). The number of marriages reduced, by nearly 9% compared with 2012, to around 240,000. Nearly three-quarters were non-religious ceremonies. The average mean age for grooms was nearly 37 and for brides just over 34 (but this will include second marriages, although over three-quarters of brides and grooms were marrying for the first time). Mark Tattersall, partner at Chivers Walsh Family Law.