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WE DO! Do kids of the divorce generation still dream of getting married..?

Byline: Tom Morgan

CHILDREN of the divorce generation still believe in marriage and want to tie the knot at a younger age than their parents.

Rather then being left on the shelf like Bridget Jones, desperately seeking Mr Right in their 30s, the torch bearers of post-feminism want to settle down while they still have their looks and have a child within a year of marriage, according to a survey.

More than eight out of 10 young women with divorced or separated parents still dream of walking down the aisle.

And they have no intention of putting career goals ahead of marriage plans - most want to get hitched in their mid-20s.

Despite soaring divorce rates, four out of five believe marriage should be for life and is the "ultimate commitment", ahead buying a house together or even having a child.

However, four out of 10 women over the age of 26 fear they have fallen into the Bridget Jones trap having already loved and lost Mr Right, the More magazine poll found.

The survey of 2000 women in their mid-20s showed they would ideally like to be married at 26 and have their first child at 27, a switch from 10 years ago, when women said they wanted to wait to marry when older.

Only one per cent thought it a good idea to marry at the age 21 or under.

When it comes to the big day itself, a traditional white wedding remains the top choice.

More than half said separating or getting a divorce was too easy and six out of 10 believe it is important to be married before having children.

More editor Chantelle Horton said: "Young women today no longer want to be party girls throughout their 20s, only to reach their early 30s and find they've loved and lost Mr Right. They don't want to fall into the Bridget Jones syndrome and view their future through an empty wine glass.

"They want to marry and have their first child while their complexions are still youthful and dewy - rather than Botoxed and filled.

"It's easier to fulfil their 'have it all' dream of marriage, parenthood and career while they're still young and full of energy.

"They no longer see living together or even having a child together as a firm commitment - they want marriage and life-long togetherness.

"They also want a ring on their finger before children arrive. In other words, they don't want to make the same mistakes as many of their mothers."

A woman is most likely to marry her sixth boyfriend, the survey found, while a man is most likely to marry his fifth girlfriend.

ACHURCH wedding is favourite for two out of five women, even though fewer than one in four said they are religious.

One in five dreamt of hosting the big day in a posh hotel or castle.

Less than seven per cent would opt for a register office and only 12 per cent said they would prefer to keep it low-key with just a few witnesses.

The white dress remains a firm favourite, with 95 per cent of the women prepared to fork out more than pounds 1870 for their "dream dress."

However, today's women are not prepared to get into massive debt for their big day and are happy to shop around for a deal and even shun wildly expensive designer dresses.

Horton said: "Switched-on young women know a bargain when they spot it and some high-street dresses are dead ringers for designer labels.

"But whatever she wears, a bride wants it to be her day - she doesn't want to be upstaged by anyone.

"More than anything she still loves the tradition of a white wedding."

She added: "Marriage is back in fashion, big time. Living together longterm is passe.

"Young women today are determined to put in more effort than their parents' generation to make it work, not just for themselves, but for their children."

COUPLES CUT COST OF GETTING HITCHED

COUPLES are spending 35 percent less - pounds 4000 - on their weddings than they did 10 years ago.

Brides are saying "I won't" to lavish dos and cutting back on extras such as expensive thank you presents and exotic honeymoons.

More magazine's survey found a couple tying the knot in a traditional ceremony this year will spend pounds 7413 on their big day, compared with pounds 11,430 in 2000.

Credit-crunch weddings have seen the price spent on rings cut by almost half.

At just over pounds 1000, only the cost of the dress has remained the same - but savvy brides use auction websites and high street stores to get more for their money.

CAPTION(S):

HIT OR MISS : Most w o m en want t o g et married young rather than end up like Bridget, left
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 13, 2010
Words:801
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