More Scots couples are deciding to marry, according to new figures from the office of the Registrar General for Scotland.

Between April and June there were 8288 weddings in Scotland compared to 7872 in the same period last year – a rise of 5%.

Marriage guidance experts and spiritual leaders said the increase, the first in the April-to-June period for several years, may be down to people seeking to cement their relationships and strengthen their support systems as other aspects of their lives face a time of turmoil.

Glasgow had the largest increase of any Scottish city with a 16% rise – from 575 for the same three months last year to 689.

Marion Laird, of Scottish Marriage Care in Glasgow, said the recession had led to many couples coming forward for guidance, while others were seeking greater commitment to help keep their relationships going during tough times.

While a religious breakdown of the figures was not available yesterday, both the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church said there was anecdotal evidence of a rise in marriages.

Rev Ian Galloway of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council said: “Marriages are the strongest form of relationship and statistics show they last longer than co-habitation. A good marriage can help people to stand in difficult times and it may be that more people are seeing that, in what are harder times for people economically.”

Ronnie Convery, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church’s Glasgow Archdiocese, said: “The figures are encouraging. We are seeing a trend of couples marrying later in life but who are preparing well for marriage.”

• Full story at The Herald.

• Photo: Salvatore Vuono.