Marriage stays strong in Saskatchewan
Canadian families are moving away from marriage, but Saskatoon is bucking that trend.
According to the 2011 census, married couples with or without children make up 71.4 per cent of families in the Saskatoon region.
That’s the same as when the 2006 census. Married couples make up 69.6 per cent of families in the Regina region. That’s down from 69.9 per cent in 2006.
Despite a growing population overall, the number of married couples in Canada declined outright by 132,715 over the past decade.
Kimberly Evans, partner and director of personal events with RSVP Event Design in Saskatoon, is amazed to hear marriages are on the decline at all.
“It surprises me actually that the stats are down, mainly only because our weddings are up,” she says with a chuckle.
“We are already higher at this point in this year for all of the upcoming 2013 weddings than we ever have been in the past.”
The nuclear family is not the norm anymore. Of the 285,370 families in Saskatchewan, 71.1 per cent are married couples, 12.5 per cent are common law and 16.4 per cent are lone-parent families.
The age at which people are getting married is changing, says Evans. She used to see a lot of couples in their early twenties wanting to get hitched. Now, she says her main demographic is between 30 and 50 years old.
“Those people are kind of a lot of the movers and shakers in this city (Saskatoon), I think. Perhaps there is more money and that type of thing. They are ready to have a wedding at this stage of life versus being 19 or 20 years old,” said Evans.
There are still people getting married who would decide not to have a big wedding. Evans says weddings are evolving and dropping a lot of traditions that were seen as “must-haves” in the past.
“Often parents were the ones paying for the wedding. Right now, we’re noticing lots of brides and grooms are paying for the wedding. So, it kind of throws a lot of those rules out the window. They can kind of just throw a party,” said Evans, adding couples will opt not to get married in a church so that the ceremony and reception can be held at the same venue.
Evans sees weddings becoming more diverse in several ways. Divorcees are deciding to get remarried, older people are deciding to have a wedding and people from other cultures are calling Saskatchewan home.
“I just did one for a 65-year-old couple this summer,” said Evans, who adds they were both divorced.
“The groom had children from another relationship. The bride didn’t ever have children with her first relationship. They had been together for quite a few years already and just decided it was time to make it official.”
Planning weddings for other cultures keeps Evans on her toes. She does a lot of research to make sure she’s prepared before she meets the couple.
“We’ve actually brought in some specific décor and different type things that are used, pretty much, at all of these types of weddings. Indian, specifically, we’ve brought in some things that every one of them requests but gets altered in different ways to give it a unique look for each wedding,” Evans said.
Evans has not planned a wedding for any the 850 same-sex couples living in the province, though she’s consulted with a few. She does, however, hope to in the future.
“We just feel that it would add an interesting dynamic of planning.”
Same-sex marriage is still relatively new in Canada, so Evans says the same-sex couples she has consulted with have wanted to add uniqueness to their wedding.
“It gets to throw a curveball in our laps to find unique and creative things to help them with their vision for their wedding.”
Evans says weddings are so popular here that people are planning them much further in advance than they used to.
“Now you’re looking in the 12-to-18 month mark in order for you to actually walk in to whatever venue you want and say, ‘This is the day that we’re getting married on.’”