Opinion poll reveals: First a baby, then getting married?

Couples who decide to begin their family and then get married, are not rare today. This and other interesting facts are revealed by our recent opinion poll among 300 UK...

Couples who decide to begin their family and then get married, are not rare today. This and other interesting facts are revealed by our recent opinion poll among 300 UK brides and brides-to-be on our wedding portal Finalstitch.co.uk 

It is not surprising, that couples who celebrate their wedding with their offspring are nowadays quite common (ca. 29% of all couples).  Almost 40% of all couples plan to, or have actually had a baby before their wedding.  Traditional patterns in family planning are vanishing; many young couples are not afraid of first opting for a child before planning a wedding or even thinking of getting married. This change in order is helped by our more modern society’s acceptance of different forms and orders of family planning than possibly it would have even a few decades ago. 

As a reaction to our poll many current and potential future mothers indicated to us their expectations of their own family planning in relation to their wedding date. Many relevant questions were asked, such as: When is it most common for couples to start their family – before or rather after the wedding? How frequently do couples actually plan their starting a family or do they simply wait until nature takes its course? Or might there be reasons to not have a family at all?
Planning a wedding, planning a pregnancy and becoming pregnant at just the right time – this is the wish of about one quarter of future brides who hope to conceive shortly after their wedding. On the other hand, only one fifth of couples plan to wait for a while after the wedding before becoming parents; perhaps to enjoy time together as wife and husband before having children. Only a very small minority of couples do not plan to have their own children (2%), and even fewer prefer to adopt a child (0.3%). 

Most women know or feel when the time is right for them to have a child, whether this is before or after the wedding. The important thing is that one’s relationship is stable, and that there is some degree of financial stability. Possibly, potential mothers may hope to have an established job or career, to which they could return after maternity leave. Financial security may be important to couples who wish to give their child (or children) the very best possible opportunities they can afford such as a private education or a larger family home.  With many women establishing a career before they start their family it may be fair to assume that the primary reason for this is to accumulate greater wealth which will help to achieve this aim. For others a stable and trusting relationship between the couple is the absolute priority. Certainly many other reasons also exist for couples to not have children at all. 

The official birth statistics issued by the Office for National Statistics provide some insights on the overall situation in the UK.  UK women today have on average 1.96 children (year 2008). The timing of the arrival of these children in their parent’s lives is also interesting.  It is a fact that over the past two years the number of women giving birth between the ages of 35 and 40 saw a strong upward trend and a similar trend is seen for women between 30 and 34 years of age. 

The mean age of women having their first baby has risen slightly over the past decade – from 28.4 to 29.4 years. There are a number of reasons for this trend; however two reasons seem to be prevalent. The first reason is that women are fertile longer as diseases decrease and assisted conception techniques become more successful. The second reason would seem to be that some couples wish to have children later, possibly for reasons relating to their career. 

A lot of interesting opinions from current and future mothers can be found and shared on www.finalstitch.co.uk. 


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