Newlyweds now older than at any time since 19th Century

Katie Grover was in no rush to get hitched.

"None of my girlfriends were getting married right out of college, so I didn't feel any pressure to do that," says Grover, marketing director for Heartspring in Wichita.

When she and her husband, Travis, married in May, she was 30. He was 31.

Like many couples in Kansas and elsewhere, the Grovers waited to marry until they felt financially and emotionally ready. They're part of a growing trend of young adults waiting until their late 20s or 30s before deciding to marry.

Data from the U.S. Census' 2007 Community Survey shows that the median age for first marriages is the highest since the Census started keeping track in the 1890s -- almost 26 for women and almost 28 for men.

In Kansas, like much of the Midwest, the average couple marries at a slightly younger age -- about 25 for women and 27 for men.

"There are multiple reasons people wait longer," said Michael Duxler, a professor of social work at Newman University and founder of the Kansas Healthy Marriage Institute.

"Everything from economic issues to life being more and more complicated, and it just takes a longer time to mature."

Grover, who celebrated her seven-month anniversary Wednesday, said she's glad she waited. She and her husband met at Heartspring, an organization that helps children with special needs, where he works as an adapted physical education teacher. They started dating in 2005 and lived together more than a year before planning their wedding.

"About a year into it, we knew we were going to be together. But we just weren't rushing into anything," she said.

"We wanted to see if we were really compatible... Dating is one thing, but the day-in-and-day-out is a whole different story."

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