Civil marriages have outnumbered religious ceremonies since 1999 when 51.3% of all marriages were performed by civil celebrants. In 2008, the trend toward civil ceremonies continued, with 65.0% of marriages performed by civil celebrants.
Of the 41,545 marriages performed by ministers of religion in 2008, the most common rites used were Catholic (33.5%) followed by Anglican (17.7%).
Type of celebrant, 1989-2008
In 2008, couples who lived together before marrying were more likely to marry in a civil ceremony than those who lived apart, with 71.7% of couples living together married in a civil ceremony, compared with 41.6% of those who lived apart.