Episode 7:
Seven Interesting Facts about Marriage in the U.S.

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Transcript of the Episode: 

Main Intro: Welcome to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! I’m your host, Caren Hayden, and I’m here to help you improve your English.




Show intro: This week’s podcast is all about marriage in the U.S. I will discuss seven interesting facts about what marriages and weddings look like in America today. Stay tuned!




Wedding customs in the United States vary depending on a couple’s personality, values, religious beliefs, and cultural background. Also, in recent history many marriage laws have changed to become more inclusive. In 1967, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court made it legal for Americans to marry someone of a different race. Also, in 2015, same-sex marriage was made legal in all states.


Most people choose to “tie the knot” in the U.S. because they are in love. Other reasons Americans get married are to make a lifelong commitment, to have children, to gain financial stability, or to recognize a relationship in a religious ceremony.


Here are 7 interesting facts about marriage in the U.S.:


1.  Americans are waiting longer to get married. As of 2017, the median age at a person’s first marriage was 29.5 for men and 27.4 for women. Most couples wait, on average, about three years from the time they start dating to get married, and the average engagement is 14 months long.


2. Many Americans decide to just live together instead of getting married. They may get married eventually, or they may not, even if they have children together. This is becoming more and more socially acceptable.


3. The average cost for weddings in the U.S. is going up. An average wedding costs more than $31K, and that doesn’t even include the cost of the honeymoon. Also, some marriages can cost significantly more because of expensive and extravagant tastes of the family and couple, or it can be more expensive depending on where the couple lives. I’ve personally attended a few weddings that cost more than $250K.


4. Interracial, intercultural, interfaith, and same-sex marriages are all increasing. As the demographics, social climate, and cultural beliefs and values change in the U.S., people are opening their minds and hearts to accept others with a different background or a different type of marriage. For example, public support for same-sex marriage has grown to 62%, up from 46% in just ten years. One popular saying to support these changes is: Love is love.

5. More and more Americans are turning to the Internet to find love. At least 15% of Americans have used online dating sites and apps before, and many of those people have been able to find a committed relationship as a result. For the most part, people in the U.S. today view online dating positively.


6. The divorce rate in the U.S. is relatively high, but it’s actually decreasing. Many people quote an incorrect statistic that the divorce rate in America is 50%, but that number is not true, especially for first marriages. The divorce rate peaked in 1980 at 40% and has been slowly declining ever since.  For marriages that started in the 90’s, 70% will last at least 15 years.  Also, people who do get divorced are very likely to get remarried.


7. Most couples have a wedding shower a few weeks before their marriage. This is a special party where friends and family gather to give presents to the couple before they get married. The couple usually registers at a few stores for items they want to receive, such as dishes, appliances for the kitchen, or sheets and towels. This way, the couple gets the things they need and want, and duplicate gifts are not given.


Well, that’s it for today. I hope you have learned something about marriage in the U.S. How are marriages and weddings different in your country? How are they the same? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to send me comments through iTunes or the podcast website!


Main Outro: Thank you so much for listening to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can find the transcript for today’s show and more information about today’s episode on the show website: www.englishforeveryonepod.com. [Stay tuned for the slower version of today’s podcast.]




(same script)


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Music is Where’s My Jetpack by Computer Music All-Stars found on www.freemusicarchive.org