2022’s Best Cities to Get (and Stay) Married

Elderly happy married couple

There’s never been a better time to tie — or tighten — the knot. The 2022 wedding season is projected to be the biggest in 40 years.

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

With wedding season in full swing, LawnStarter ranked 2022’s Best Cities to Get (and Stay) Married. 

We compared 190 of the biggest U.S. cities across nine key indicators of nuptial success — from current marriage rates to 5-year divorce rate comparisons to wedding-venue access.

Check out our ranking below, followed by highlights, lowlights, and expert matrimonial advice.


  1. City Rankings
  2. Highlights and Lowlights
  3. Ask the Experts
  4. Methodology
  5. Happily Ever After

City Rankings 

See how each city fared in our ranking:

Overall Rank (1=Best)CityOverall ScoreMarriage StabilityMarriage PotentialMarriage InterventionWedding-Friendliness
1Bellevue, WA68.772491223
2Pasadena, CA65.564410515
3Fullerton, CA63.28520408
4Grand Rapids, MI62.99122794
5Orlando, FL59.425714412
6Newark, NJ59.1833211237
7St. Louis, MO58.947430231
8Atlanta, GA57.427873247
9Washington, DC57.4211862048
10Naperville, IL57.343041227
11San Francisco, CA57.0035471514
12Fremont, CA56.92195183135
13Santa Clarita, CA55.9281810867
14Sunnyvale, CA55.7644315497
15Irvine, CA55.74151751132
16Rancho Cucamonga, CA55.562427349
17Santa Rosa, CA55.1223403643
18Oakland, CA55.085091569
19Boston, MA54.9218895911
20Glendale, CA54.85291203510
21Miami, FL54.586912877
22Jersey City, NJ53.6833347615
23Minneapolis, MN53.63114119192
24Arlington, VA53.57271373042
25Torrance, CA53.45411062938
26Cincinnati, OH53.29461282430
27Providence, RI53.20226717112
28Olathe, KS53.1616513596
29Chula Vista, CA52.83618215825
30Tampa, FL52.7799111816
31Chesapeake, VA52.699497149
32Overland Park, KS52.51171344670
33San Diego, CA52.4842528613
34Austin, TX51.6931974579
35Plano, TX51.5548254983
36Orange, CA51.489485320
37Moreno Valley, CA50.87138016764
38McKinney, TX50.7271876685
39Alexandria, VA50.55106145166
40St. Paul, MN50.4284133379
41Sacramento, CA49.9460235591
42New York, NY49.73385013365
43Long Beach, CA49.61641075450
44Seattle, WA49.5779773854
45Omaha, NE49.552526118110
46Chicago, IL49.4361568740
47Salt Lake City, UT49.306812514109
48Los Angeles, CA49.2451939452
49Fort Lauderdale, FL49.22153152324
50Virginia Beach, VA48.992110116147
51Amarillo, TX48.94363181125
52San Bernardino, CA48.913712912058
53Scottsdale, AZ48.87651413975
54Modesto, CA48.69496149118
55Fontana, CA48.632811417959
56Dallas, TX48.57475377102
57Peoria, AZ48.553919141108
58Richmond, VA48.36117827105
59Cary, NC48.354317143101
60Tempe, AZ48.08127683327
61Anaheim, CA48.075215715718
62Philadelphia, PA47.9780399255
63Nashville, TN47.96543684107
64Riverside, CA47.72531398966
65Gilbert, AZ47.59321837468
66Honolulu, HI47.4872698878
67Baton Rouge, LA47.47701704773
68Pittsburgh, PA47.46152811317
69Vancouver, WA47.31109155770
70Garden Grove, CA47.306711717718
71Portland, OR47.141001184445
72Salinas, CA47.111016182184
73Oceanside, CA47.10866410936
74Las Vegas, NV46.88871446146
75Ontario, CA46.876312214644
76Buffalo, NY46.7391486287
77Irving, TX46.71628717356
78Palmdale, CA46.663492169113
79Elk Grove, CA46.352017814393
80Cape Coral, FL45.7719162162126
81Tacoma, WA45.62962431144
82St. Petersburg, FL45.33123605282
83Rochester, NY45.22164124681
84Huntington Beach, CA45.151411264826
85Henderson, NV45.04115319174
86Corona, CA44.995918411057
87Denver, CO44.981471602731
88Phoenix, AZ44.62973516076
89Springfield, MO44.61759107155
90San Jose, CA44.4926130140163
91Lincoln, NE44.4714150152177
92Escondido, CA44.331139914834
93Mesa, AZ44.308913514460
94Hollywood, FL44.14151225662
95Durham, NC44.137116542150
96Reno, NV44.06986570114
97Santa Ana, CA43.899317912328
98Pomona, CA43.7910815416522
99Fort Worth, TX43.747374125127
100Kansas City, KS43.711129417139
101Syracuse, NY43.6613411110142
102Indianapolis, IN43.6581115131106
103Charlotte, NC43.4210510160119
104Kansas City, MO43.31156429921
105Yonkers, NY43.241254612480
106Hayward, CA43.2377104172111
107Colorado Springs, CO43.181295964104
108Garland, TX43.065879176137
109Frisco, TX43.04401902698
110Huntsville, AL42.90665195174
111Madison, WI42.659016485114
112Milwaukee, WI42.6512613213451
113Pasadena, TX42.534538184185
114Dayton, OH42.31171845128
115Fort Collins, CO42.3013617321116
116Eugene, OR42.241117634168
117Lakewood, CO42.241551516533
118Chandler, AZ41.84145449088
119Clarksville, TN41.771247155130
120Thornton, CO41.6411871153100
121Bakersfield, CA41.558337170157
122Shreveport, LA41.559213137170
123Oxnard, CA41.437618812961
124Raleigh, NC41.3714410032132
125Norfolk, VA41.361032180173
126Savannah, GA41.211608527117
127Louisville, KY40.99101103115131
128Lexington, KY40.698298139166
129Midland, TX40.681611178120
130Fresno, CA40.5611078138128
131Stockton, CA40.3756172185154
132Fort Wayne, IN40.3112129159133
133Houston, TX40.2810445104169
134Baltimore, MD40.201621495084
135Columbus, OH39.971499015072
136Grand Prairie, TX39.9588131164148
137Birmingham, AL39.941638825134
138Paterson, NJ39.851467518863
139Aurora, CO39.81130109135121
140Salem, OR39.7812028101167
141New Orleans, LA39.35187155583
142Knoxville, TN39.30177614190
143Joliet, IL39.23116153151124
144Lubbock, TX39.16107140142139
145Brownsville, TX39.008570189171
146Murfreesboro, TN38.95102156105161
147Tucson, AZ38.921685410389
148Sioux Falls, SD38.5495112167172
149Laredo, TX38.3355176190175
150Chattanooga, TN38.23175337595
151Rockford, IL38.0815814210294
152Jackson, MS38.071355872186
153Cleveland, OH37.841801108135
154Mesquite, TX37.7514357175129
155Newport News, VA37.7313816196146
156Macon, GA37.58133168111138
157Arlington, TX37.5414272113162
158Columbus, GA37.48122113166159
159Winston-Salem, NC37.3213714869178
160Springfield, MA37.28128169119151
161Corpus Christi, TX37.10132121186145
162Bridgeport, CT36.8215716679123
163Aurora, IL36.7715018113292
164Memphis, TN36.46119127156183
165Tallahassee, FL36.3714813667175
166Detroit, MI36.081705598142
167Mobile, AL35.93131138121188
168Wichita, KS35.04165123114141
169Pembroke Pines, FL34.631541899399
170Jacksonville, FL34.2815966147178
171Tulsa, OK34.2016796122164
172Greensboro, NC34.0017314368153
173Spokane, WA33.601836363152
174Des Moines, IA33.361781858286
175Glendale, AZ33.3518583127103
176Akron, OH33.23174102106156
177McAllen, TX33.15140177163180
178Worcester, MA32.9717215878158
179Oklahoma City, OK32.81169163117165
180Little Rock, AR32.301796271187
181North Las Vegas, NV32.2018418018041
182Toledo, OH31.65181116126140
183Hialeah, FL31.591901717453
184Killeen, TX31.56139186128190
185El Paso, TX31.14166174187160
186Fayetteville, NC30.8517616783181
187San Antonio, TX30.77182159145136
188Albuquerque, NM29.64188147130122
189Augusta, GA27.08186146100189
190Montgomery, AL25.21189108161182
2022's Best Cities to Get (and Stay) Married Infographic is based on marriage rate, divorces, relationship therapists, and more!

Highlights and Lowlights

Wedding Bells in Bellevue, Washington

This fast-growing city about 10 miles east of Seattle is our No. 1 Best City to Get (and Stay) Married in 2022, placing second overall for Marriage Stability. 

Bellevue was once known as the place “where your parents lived,” but the influx of tech-savvy millennials in recent years eroded that reputation. Our data suggests, though, that Bellevue’s nuptial-friendliness is very much still alive. 

When more couples were splitting up in 2020, Bellevue spouses were sticking together that year. Among the 190 cities we ranked, Bellevue registered the biggest 5-year decrease in separations and divorces, at -23%.

Perhaps Bellevue couples can thank the over 300 local relationship therapists for getting them through the roughest patches of the pandemic. Bellevue ranked 12th overall for Marriage Intervention.

Playing the Long Game in California

Want a shot at making it to your golden anniversary? Move to the Golden State. California dominates our ranking by claiming 11 spots in our top 20.

Pasadena is tops among California cities and placed first in Marriage Intervention, while Fremont proved to be the prime location for Marriage Stability (No. 1). The strong Catholic presence in Fremont might help explain its track record. 

But if you’re looking for your soulmate, set your Bumble location to Rancho Cucamonga, No. 2 in Marriage Potential. 

Wedded bliss is clearly the name of the game in California.

Alabama: The (Broken) Heart of Dixie

Alabama’s poor performance in our ranking underscores the irony in its nickname as the Heart of Dixie. (The moniker, of course, comes from the state’s geographical position.) 

All four Alabama cities we ranked landed among our bottom 50%. In fact, Montgomery is our No. 1 Worst City to Get (and Stay) Married, owing to its position as the second worst city for Marriage Stability and ninth worst in Wedding-Friendliness. Huntsville is Alabama’s top performer at No. 110 out of 190 overall.

You’ll hear a lot of bells clanging in Alabama, but you might just be getting summoned to dinner.

Las Vegas: Great for Quick Nuptials, Average for Longevity

Las Vegas might be the most iconic — albeit ephemeral — wedding destination in America, but it’s only middling at best in our ranking at No. 74. 

Why so mediocre? The city’s separation and divorce rate is one of the highest in the nation, though couples who wed in Vegas don’t necessarily stay in Vegas — and their marriages may not last, either. Remember Britney Spears’ surprise trip down the aisle in Sin City, followed by divorce 55 hours later

But if you dream of being married by Elvis, then by all means book that $79 Southwest flight to Vegas now. 

Woofing Witness in Colorado

If you’re suddenly without a witness at your nuptials in Colorado, you’re in luck: Your four-legged BFF can literally step in as your witness in the Centennial State. 

One caveat: Your odds of marital success in this state are mediocre at best. Denver is our best Colorado city at No. 87. It’s ideal for a wedding ceremony (No. 31 in Wedding-Friendliness) and to save your marriage if it’s on the rocks (No. 27 in Marriage Intervention). Fort Collins has even more relationship therapists, ranking 21st in that category.

In general, Marriage Stability is the worst category for Colorado couples, so perhaps your absent, two-legged BFF just saw into the future.

Ask The Experts

Attitudes about marriage change over time. We reached out to a panel of experts to weigh in on marital trends and share their best tips for wedded bliss. See what they had to say below.

  1. What does marriage mean to Americans today compared with, say, 10 or 20 years ago?
  2. Contrary to predictions that the U.S. divorce rate would surge during the pandemic, it appears to have declined. What gives?
  3. Just as the U.S. divorce rate has declined over the years, so too has the marriage rate. Why are fewer people getting married?
  4. What are the top three advantages of marriage in the U.S. today?
Anthony G. James Jr., PhD, CFLE
Interim Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the President
Anthony Paik
Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology
William Henninger
Associate Professor, School of Applied Human Sciences
Dr. A. J. Ramirez
Lecturer of Sociology
Anthony G. James Jr., PhD, CFLE
Interim Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the President
Miami University

What does marriage mean to Americans today compared with, say, 10 or 20 years ago?

I think it depends on your values about marriage and relationships. Of course, the marriage rate is declining for a variety of reasons, because some people have other things they may be interested in and there is less shame about living together or being in long-term committed relationships outside of marriage (note: this is quite prevalent in many European countries).

There are some consequences to such decisions (e.g., married Black couples have a very low poverty rate compared to Black single-parent families), but deciding to not marry or explore other family structures is a freedom that people can choose.

Contrary to predictions that the U.S. divorce rate would surge during the pandemic, it appears to have declined. What gives?

We would need much more research (data) to answer that question more confidently, but it may be that the pandemic was a great reminder of the need for healthy and sustainable human relationships. Marriage is one such, which requires effort and sacrifice (much like intimate friendships).

The pandemic forced couples to spend more time together. For some, that may have exacerbated problems that caused a split, but maybe for most it was a time to recommit to each other and find ways to strengthen the relationship; hence, lower divorce.

Additionally, financial constraints may have also provided more pragmatic motivations to stay together and make things work.

Just as the U.S. divorce rate has declined over the years, so too has the marriage rate. Why are fewer people getting married?

In short, see answers above. Additionally, school focus, career focus, exploration of nonsexual intimate relationships (e.g., friendships), more focus on self-actualization, reduction of social shame for not being married (e.g., old-maid trope), etc.

What are the top three advantages of marriage in the U.S. today?

There are many, but I would say:

  1. The chance to build a life with a partner
  2. Increase household income (the vast majority of marriages are two working adults), and
  3. If there are children involved, more adults to care for kids.
Anthony Paik
Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

What does marriage mean to Americans today compared with, say, 10 or 20 years ago?

A lower proportion of Americans are getting married today, compared to 15 or so years ago, and a higher proportion are cohabiting. At the same time, marriage rights were extended to same-gender unions during this period.

In terms of the meaning of marriage, people today have flexibility to structure their intimate relationships in ways that fit what they would like. If some prefer cohabitation over marriage, they can form them. Likewise, if people prefer to marry, the right to marriage is now available to all.

Contrary to predictions that the U.S. divorce rate would surge during the pandemic, it appears to have declined. What gives?

I am not sure what predictions you are looking at, but the theory is that divorce rates go down during times of national stress (e.g., divorces during the Great Recession). As such, we should have expected a lower divorce rate during the pandemic, which is what happened, but now there should be a spike in 2021.

Just as the U.S. divorce rate has declined over the years, so too has the marriage rate. Why are fewer people getting married?

See my answer above regarding cohabitation.

William Henninger
Associate Professor, School of Applied Human Sciences
University of Northern Iowa

What does marriage mean to Americans today compared with, say, 10 or 20 years ago?

I am not sure if there is a lot of conclusive research out there on this question. We do know that fewer Americans are getting married and divorced. We also know that Americans are waiting longer to get married and have kids.

In that respect, it might be that there is a subpopulation of the younger generation that looks at marriage as more of an emotional bonding than a bonding that also consolidates wealth and signifies a progression toward “baby making” years.

With that being said, social science researchers often comment on the changes in averages they find in their data and then make educated guesses about what it means for the population as a whole. That does not mean that the norm in America is now for people to not get married or have kids. It means that fewer people are deciding to get married and have kids on the schedule that their parents did.

Contrary to predictions that the U.S. divorce rate would surge during the pandemic, it appears to have declined. What gives?

That is a great question. I have not seen any conclusive data on why this is the case, but there are some theories that might give us guesses:

  1. Social exchange theory would suggest that people don’t leave relationships when they are miserable. They leave relationships when they are miserable and have better alternatives. If we are locked in our houses, it is hard to really find alternatives. I think an interesting follow-up question will be if we see a spike in divorces/separations once we have restrictions lifted.
  2. When we think about “relational value,” it is the extent to which our partners look to us as a source of comfort. Maybe because we are only spending time with our household, it is strengthening that relational value. Unfortunately, social science is not like chemistry; we rarely get a black-and-white answer. But, for me, that is what makes it fascinating.

Just as the U.S. divorce rate has declined over the years, so too has the marriage rate. Why are fewer people getting married?

There is probably a confluence of variables that impacts this trend. One thing to note is that this is a global phenomenon (per United Nations stats).

The age at which people get married has increased. Delaying marriage allows people to get more set up in their careers and become more discerning about who they marry. People will always get divorced, but financial stability and picking a partner with similar goals and beliefs will decrease the chance of divorce.

Wolfinger at the Institute of Family Studies has cited research that suggests for each year a person puts off marriage after the age of 18, there is an 11% decrease of divorce until age 32. But there is a caveat (as with most social science data): After the age of 32, there is a 5% increase in the change of divorce for each additional year a person waits.

It should be noted, the longer people put off marriage, the chance they will not get married becomes greater. That can be due to a smaller pool, less of a desire to get married (they may live with a partner, just not “tie the knot”), or they die and never have a chance to get married.

What are the top three advantages of marriage in the U.S. today?

Assuming a person marries someone they are a good match with (I would say there is little advantage in getting married to someone with whom you don’t get along), there are a lot of advantages. A noninclusive list looks like:

  1. Emotional connection
  2. Someone to raise children with (many people have children without marriage or a partner)
  3. Financial incentives (both pooling resources and governmental incentives)
  4. A person to rely on. I had knee surgery last summer, and my wife drove me to the doctor, picked up my medication, etc. If I were not married to a kind and helpful person, I would have had to find other people to help me out.
  5. For men in heterosexual marriages, emotional support is often provided by their wife. We find that if their wife leaves them or passes away, they are likely to experience depressive symptoms due to a lack of emotional support. Women tend to be pretty good about getting emotional support from friends and family.

There are a lot more benefits. Honestly, the top three benefits are what the person getting married values the most. It should be noted that many of these benefits can be experienced in committed relationships where people decide not to get a legal marriage.

Dr. A. J. Ramirez
Lecturer of Sociology
Valdosta State University

What does marriage mean to Americans today compared with, say, 10 or 20 years ago?

Marriage is a nonstatic institution. As society evolves with time, so do its relationships, including marriage.

The meaning of marriage is changing as time continues. How Americans identify what marriage is today vs. 10 or 20 years ago would depend on the couple and their geographic locations.

One significant change occurred in 2015 when the U.S. legalized same-sex marriage with the Marriage Equality Act. This is something new that was not present 10 or 20 years ago that explains briefly how the definition of marriage can change over time.

Just as the U.S. divorce rate has declined over the years, so too has the marriage rate. Why are fewer people getting married?

According to the U.S. Census website, marriage from 2009-2019 decreased as well as divorces. In 2009, 17.6% new marriages for women ages 15 and older were reported, and in 2019 there were 16.3% of marriages reported. In 2009 there were 9.7% of divorces for women ages 15 and older, and in 2019 there were 7.6% of divorces for the same population. This information comes prior to the pandemic and could possibly be explained by many different factors.

As mentioned before, time contributes to how people view marriage. Society evolves as new technology creates new advantages and adds resources to our living standards.

Marriage traditionally was viewed as an economical advantage, depending on whom one married. However, for the last several decades, this has become less and less of a factor as women are more active in the job force, as well as earning degrees of higher education and as technology provides advantages to life that were not previously available. Access to the internet has opened more opportunities for socializing, career attainment, and educational achievement, to name a few.

Marriage traditionally was based heavily on a patriarchal advantage of giving women limited opportunities for independent success. However, in the 21st century, we see less of this as a motive for marriage. What women once had to accomplish through the success of their husbands can now be accomplished independently, therefore making marriage possibly less desirable.

This is not to say that marriage is out of favor with all genders. As marriage equality in 2015 gave the right for same-sex couples to marry, we are witnessing a new definition of what marriage means in our current century.

I believe as time continues, we will redefine the heteronormative standards of what marriage was and begin to see the institution shift to a new meaning. This among many other factors may be why we are seeing a change in numbers of both marriage and divorce.


We ranked 190 of the largest U.S. cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 190) for getting and staying married based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across the weighted metrics below.

MetricWeightingMin. ValueMax. ValueBest
Marriage Stability
Marriage Rate223.0%62.6%Max. Value
5-Year Change in Marriage Rate (2020 vs. 2015)4-8.5%11.6%Max. Value
Separation and Divorce Rate36.3%19.4%Min. Value
5-Year Difference in Separation and Divorce Rate (2020 vs. 2015)4-23.1%27.8%Min. Value
Marriage Potential
Never-Married Young Population Rate150.6%87.0%Min. Value
5-Year Change in Never-Married Young Population Rate (2020 vs. 2015)3-4.6%20.3%Min. Value
Marriage Intervention
Relationship Therapists per 10,000 Married Households43215Max. Value
Outdoor Wedding-Friendliness21191Min. Value
Indoor Wedding Venues per 100,000 Residents207Max. Value

Sources: Lawn Love, Psychology Today, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Yelp, and Zola

Happily Ever After

After a heartbreaking two years of delays and cancellations, the U.S. wedding industry is heading into its busiest season in 40 years

That’s great news. U.S. couples clearly are ready to commit, but the real work begins the day after the big day. 

According to researchers, marital health depends not just on a couple’s level of commitment to each other, but also on the durability of other marriages in their circle. In other words, being surrounded by successful or failed marriages can influence a couple’s own odds of 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.

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Richie Bernardo

Richie Bernardo

Richie Bernardo is a managing editor who previously wrote about personal finance and immigration. Philippine-born, Kansas City-bred, and barbecue-fed, Richie enjoys baking, deal hunting, and binging “Ancient Aliens.”