NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — For 14 couples in Davidson County, Valentine’s Day was also wedding day; however, marriage and divorce in Tennessee aren’t as popular as they used to be in years past.
“We were just ready, we wanted to get everything rolling,” said newly-married Luis Meneses.
While planning their wedding for next year, Meneses and his wife Amy Dondero received a call from Meneses’ former boss, Judge Allegra Walker. Judge Walker officiated courthouse weddings for Valentine’s Day and had an extra spot.
“It was a God-given opportunity,” Meneses said. “I think if you can find one thing that’s certain it’s love.”
According to state data, there’s been a more than 15% decrease in marriages in Tennessee from 2011 to 2021. In addition, there were 23% fewer divorces in 2021 than there were in 2011.
Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda is a family law attorney and says these decreases aren’t because people are loving any less.
Rather, Castañeda says couples are planning more for marriage ahead of time. She says some people think about their friends and family’s positive and negative experiences with marriage and divorce and incorporate that into their decisions. One example of that is she is seeing more couples discuss prenuptial agreements.
“It’s not unromantic to be talking about dollars and nickels in your marriage and that includes conversations about whether a prenuptial agreement is appropriate,” said Castañeda.
But the decline in marriage and divorce rates is not discouraging Nashville singles.
“I’m 35 and single, but I absolutely believe in love,” said a woman with her friends on Broadway.
However, one man had the opposite point of view and said he is enjoying the single life for the time being.
“I’ve just had my heart broken too many times,” he said.
Castañeda said in her experience the key to a smooth divorce and marriage is the same: communication.