Personal Finance

2021’s Best Cities to Get and Stay Married

Couple in front of home
Monkey Business Images /

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

As the country opens up, there’s never been a better time to tie — or tighten — the knot. In fact, the 2021 wedding season is projected to be the biggest ever.

But your chances of marital bliss vary from city to city. So where should you settle down with your significant other for the best chance at a happily ever after?

LawnStarter ranked the best cities to get (and stay) married by comparing the 150 biggest U.S. cities across 11 key indicators of nuptial success — from the rate of married households to the change in the divorce rate to the number of wedding venues in each city. Following are the top cities.

(FYI: As the gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic ends and you pick out your wedding attire, brights are in, while darks are out.)

1. Fremont, CA

Fremont California traffic
Sundry Photography /

Overall score: 74.87

Married population rank: 1

Unmarried population rank: 1

Wedding-friendliness rank: 11

2. Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City, New Jersey
f11photo /

Overall score: 67.87

Married population rank: 19

Unmarried population rank: 4

Wedding-friendliness rank: 3

3. Glendale, CA

trekandshoot /

Overall score: 66.91

Married population rank: 87

Unmarried population rank: 17

Wedding-friendliness rank: 1

4. Arlington, VA

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone /

Overall score: 60.91

Married population rank: 73

Unmarried population rank: 19

Wedding-friendliness rank: 2

5. Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana, California
Matt Gush /

Overall score: 57.36

Married population rank: 10

Unmarried population rank: 90

Wedding-friendliness rank: 10

6. Oakland, CA

Oakland bridge
Micha Weber /

Overall score: 57.12

Married population rank: 36

Unmarried population rank: 57

Wedding-friendliness rank: 4

7. Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio /

Overall score: 56.84

Married population rank: 43

Unmarried population rank: 16

Wedding-friendliness rank: 9

8. Santa Clarita, CA

Santa Clara, California
Sundry Photography /

Overall score: 56.76

Married population rank: 2

Unmarried population rank: 12

Wedding-friendliness rank: 55

9. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Capitol
Orhan Cam /

Overall score: 54.87

Married population rank: 63

Unmarried population rank: 46

Wedding-friendliness rank: 7

10. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, California
IM_photo /

Overall score: 54.85

Married population rank: 26

Unmarried population rank: 34

Wedding-friendliness rank: 16

11. Ontario, CA

Ontario, California
Matt Gush /

Overall score: 54.77

Married population rank: 13

Unmarried population rank: 33

Wedding-friendliness rank: 26

12. Irvine, CA

Irvine, California
LagunaticPhoto /

Overall score: 53.68

Married population rank: 22

Unmarried population rank: 37

Wedding-friendliness rank: 20

13. Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Rancho Cucamonga California
Tim Gray /

Overall score: 53.64

Married population rank: 12

Unmarried population rank: 7

Wedding-friendliness rank: 47

14. Fort Lauderdale, FL (tie)

Fort Lauderdale Florida
GagliardiPhotography /

Overall score: 52.65

Married population rank: 42

Unmarried population rank: 126

Wedding-friendliness rank: 5

14. Newark, NJ (tie)

Newark, New Jersey
EQRoy /

Overall score: 52.65

Married population rank: 108

Unmarried population rank: 50

Wedding-friendliness rank: 6

16. Orlando, FL

Sean Pavone /

Overall score: 52.08

Married population rank: 41

Unmarried population rank: 63

Wedding-friendliness rank: 14

17. Providence, RI

Providence, Rhode Island
Nagel Photography /

Overall score: 51.70

Married population rank: 50

Unmarried population rank: 79

Wedding-friendliness rank: 13

18. Tacoma, WA

Diane Fetzner /

Overall score: 51.12

Married population rank: 56

Unmarried population rank: 20

Wedding-friendliness rank: 21

19. Anaheim, CA

Anaheim California neighborhood

Overall score: 50.92

Married population rank: 68

Unmarried population rank: 74

Wedding-friendliness rank: 12

20. Plano, TX

Plano Texas
Epiglottis /

Overall score: 50.11

Married population rank: 7

Unmarried population rank: 8

Wedding-friendliness rank: 102

21. San Jose, CA

San Jose California traffic
Sundry Photography /

Overall score: 50.10

Married population rank: 14

Unmarried population rank: 28

Wedding-friendliness rank: 51

22. Irving, TX

Irving, Texas
Philip Lange /

Overall score: 49.65

Married population rank: 16

Unmarried population rank: 11

Wedding-friendliness rank: 71

23. Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa, California
Anzhelika Polyak /

Overall score: 49.59

Married population rank: 39

Unmarried population rank: 85

Wedding-friendliness rank: 18

24. Fontana, CA

Fontana, California
Matt Gush /

Overall score: 49.27

Married population rank: 5

Unmarried population rank: 55

Wedding-friendliness rank: 83

25. Chesapeake, VA

U.S. Naval Academy
Sean Pavone /

Overall score: 48.94

Married population rank: 17

Unmarried population rank: 5

Wedding-friendliness rank: 97

26. Denver, CO

Denver skyline
Andrew Zarivny /

Overall score: 48.91

Married population rank: 74

Unmarried population rank: 41

Wedding-friendliness rank: 23

27. Overland Park, KS

Overland Park Kansas
Jacob Boomsma /

Overall score: 48.89

Married population rank: 24

Unmarried population rank: 30

Wedding-friendliness rank: 49

28. Huntington Beach, CA

Huntington Beach California
f11photo /

Overall score: 48.42

Married population rank: 49

Unmarried population rank: 116

Wedding-friendliness rank: 15

29. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
Joe Guetzloff /

Overall score: 48.17

Married population rank: 100

Unmarried population rank: 25

Wedding-friendliness rank: 22

30. Grand Prairie, TX

Grand Prairie Texas
Trong Nguyen /

Overall score: 47.68

Married population rank: 9

Unmarried population rank: 64

Wedding-friendliness rank: 82


Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes /

We ranked the 150 largest U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 200) based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across these weighted metrics:

  • Married Population
  • Rate of Married Households
  • 5-Year Difference in Rate of Married Households
  • Unmarried Population
  • Share of Never-Married Young People
  • 5-Year Difference in Share of Never-Married Young People
  • Separation and Divorce Rate
  • 5-Year Difference in Separation and Divorce Rate
  • Wedding-Friendliness
  • Wedding Chapels and Churches per 100,000 Residents
  • Venues and Event Spaces per 100,000 Residents
  • Event Planners per 100,000 Residents
  • Bridal Shops per 100,000 Residents
  • Tuxedo Shops per 100,000 Residents

Why This Study Matters

Couple at a wedding
Wedding Stock Photos /

After a heartbreaking year of delays and cancellations, wedding season is back on in full force. And though pandemic restrictions are all but erased, many couples are choosing to exchange their vows outdoors for safety.

But physical health isn’t the only consideration for couples on their big day — they need to protect the health of their marriage, too. That depends not just on their level of commitment to each other, but also on the durability of other marriages in their circle.

According to researchers, “a couple’s social situation and community network can also affect the status of their marriage and their prospects for marital dissolution.” In other words, being surrounded by successful or failed marriages can influence a couple’s own marital success or risk of divorce.

So if you’re hoping for everlasting love — or feel like your marriage is on the rocks — try renewing your vows or moving to one of the best cities to get (and stay) married.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.