What's the buzz about getting married in 2022?
The regular appearance of wedding photos on your Instagram does not mean that everyone has started getting married again, quite the contrary. In Quebec, the trend is downward, and has been for decades. But still in 2022, couples are still resisting this trend. Why?
This is a fact that will not surprise many people: in Quebec, we marry less today than 50 years ago. In 1972, the Statistical Institute of Quebec recorded no less than 53,967 marriages, which gave the province a marriage rate of 8.7 per 1000. By 2019 this rate had dropped to 2.6 per 1000 , then to 1.3 in 2020 (due to the pandemic), before rising to 1.7 in 2021, the year in which 14,708 marriages took place.
In 2022, although the figures have not yet been released, we could see a mini boom in the number of weddings, considering all those that have had to be postponed for the past two years. But according to sociologist Annie Cloutier, a specialist in the sociology of the couple and the family, the trend will most likely return to a downward trend in the coming years.
A history of disenchantment?
The reasons for this decline in interest in the sacred union of marriage in Quebec are above all historical. In the 1960s, with the Quiet Revolution, Quebec turned its back on religion. From a Catholic tradition, the province until then very religious and patriarchal suddenly became secular and progressive, with marriage gradually losing its importance.
“Suffocated by strict standards, the Quebec population felt the need to throw everything off at once,” explains Annie Cloutier. For those who are getting married today, so there are so many ways to celebrate.
“Before, it was necessarily happening in the church. Then there was a party and it was absolutely necessary to invite the whole family, recalls Annie Cloutier. Now, you can get married in all sorts of ways, in a very personalized way. Anyone can apply for a license to marry their friends, and non-religious marriage is recognized by the state.”
Social acceptance of unmarried couples has evolved more faster here than in the rest of Canada.
“Even today in the other Canadian provinces, a couple is perceived as being less serious if they are not married,” says Annie Cloutier. We don't have those prejudices in Quebec.
Also, more people get married in other provinces because immigration is higher there than in Quebec, she adds. “[Immigrants] are often people from more traditional, marriage-friendly societies.”
If people marry less nowadays in Quebec, they are not for all that less in couple, underlines however the sociologist. They favor cohabitation over marriage mainly because religion is no longer an incentive to marry in the province, she explains.
The fact remains that there are still people who marry in Quebec. But while the religious incentive has almost no more weight, one wonders what motivates them to perpetuate the tradition.
Émile, 27, has recently been engaged to his partner. ;State as a married couple, but out of love.
“It's the natural way we both found to show each other the seriousness of our commitment to our relationship, explains- he. We have confidence in our relationship, we believe in its longevity.”
Same thing for Anaïs, 35, who got married in front of eight people in her yard under construction in Saint-Bruno during the pandemic.
“We really believe in love, says she simply. We really believe that we will spend our life together and that is why we got married. My parents are married, I have been surrounded by friends who have been together for a long time and who are happy. In my entourage, there are not many separations.”
A stage to celebrate
Marriage has therefore become more of a commitment in the history of a couple, rather than a moral and religious obligation. A stage in the life of the couple that deserves to be celebrated.
“For many, it’s a rite of passage. We mark something important, which will be recognized by the community, explains Annie Cloutier. We have a party and people are invited, as if we were giving our love social recognition.”
For Émile and his partner, marriage is indeed an excuse to get together with their loved ones. “Our two families live far from each other, we have different gangs of friends, he says. We want our families to rub shoulders, our friends to meet, because that doesn't happen often in normal times.”
After a very small wedding, Anaïs and her husband have not given up on the idea of making their union a big party. They thus intend to remarry next year in front of 150 people. “We are really party people, she admits. We want to trip, share our love with all the people around us!”
The series “What is the 'buzz' breaks down the latest trends in an uninhibited way. Make your “reminders” during your next dinners by reading it regularly in the Inspiration section of the Journal Métro.