Young people are reluctant to get married due because they feel under pressure to have expensive wedding ceremonies, Iain Duncan Smith has claimed.
Giving the keynote address at a conference organised by campaign group the Marriage Foundation, the Work and Pensions Secretary said:
“Reinforced by a glitzy celebrity culture and the glossy spreads of the various glossy magazines, the focus is too often on the ceremony itself, the celebration of that event.
And now, I understand, by some estimates, it costs something in the order of about £20,000 to establish that.”
“Some, as I understand it, [do not want] to take that decision because they are not able to afford the kind of celebration that they think is expected of them. “
In addition, the Minister claimed, signficant numbers of young people have a distorted understanding of marriage – “an incredible fairy tale view of what will happen”.
“Starting married life therefore with that problem or with the overhang of debt but without the understanding, the real deep understanding, that marriage requires at its heart compromise to overcome real challenges that two people face when they choose to live together, all of this puts huge pressure on new married couples from the start.”
The point of marriage, he concluded, was “love, commitment and that stable environment in which you can bring up a family”.