Inter-faith or non-religious Millennial couples often choose to get married outside of traditional religious settings.
Among recent generations, Millennials are taking the brunt of criticism, for staying home after college, eschewing traditional relationships, avoiding all responsibility, and eliminating normal human conversation by doing all of their talking on their smartphones.
Now it comes out that when Millennials finally do decide to tie the knot, they are doing so in places other than in a standard religious setting.
A recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute discovered only 39 percent of married young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 got married in a church or other place of worship. That compares to nearly two-thirds of seniors over the age of 65.
The study showed that almost the same percentage of young adults (37 percent) were married in a secular setting and the ceremony was officiated by a secular officiant, like a justice of a peace or a properly licensed friend. That compares to only 20 percent of seniors who got married in a secular setting.
The New York Times recently noted that since 2008, there has been a nearly 50 percent increase in weddings held at the city clerk’s office.
Cost may play a role in these decisions. The cost of an average wedding in 2014 was reported to be more than $30,000, and the cost of a wedding. But there are other factors, including the strength of religion in Millennials and the number of interfaith marriages taking place.
Dan Cox, research director of the PRRI, suggested to Yahoo! News that there may be more than religion involved in the decision to marry somewhere other than a church.
“An abundance of nonreligious wedding venues may also appeal to young couples who believe the event should be a reflection of their tastes and interests, much like their curated social media lives,’’ Cox said. “Why settle for our children church when you could say ‘I do’ in an art gallery or at a craft brewery?”
But the PRRI reports that fewer than half (45 percent) of interfaith married couples get married at a house of worship, while two-thirds of couples who share the same faith do so. This is a result of traditional religious organizations failing to be able to handle an interfaith ceremony or opposing such unions.
The percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans continues to grow, and only 36 percent of unaffiliated Americans who are married report getting married in a place of worship.
The PRRI also reports that religiously unaffiliated Americans tend to marry others with the same religious beliefs. While 60 percent of unaffiliated Americans today report marrying someone else who has not religious affiliation, back in the 1970s 63 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans ended up marrying someone from a religious background.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.