Later in Life: It’s Love Again!

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“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” ~Anonymous

Are you getting married again or perhaps taking a chance at love for the first time while walking through the afternoon of life? Getting married after 50 or even 60 is not unusual, but some of the rules with which you might have been familiar in the past have changed.

For many who are falling in love and getting married after 60 and desire to share a hopeful future together, marriage is important. Standing before a minister or a judge, surrounded by friends and family and saying “I do” takes on an entirely new meaning now when it comes to matters of “in sickness and in health” or “for richer or poorer.”

While getting married later in life does dictate certain matters are fully attended to before the celebrating begins, such as estate planning, prenuptial agreements and life insurance, it is also important to embrace this exciting life event with the same enthusiasm you would if you were in your 20s and just starting out. Let’s address a few common questions you might have before you take that anticipated walk down the aisle.

Should I wear a white dress?
It has been what seems like ages since white has been worn to represent virginity. First-time brides are now wearing an array of colors, so what’s wrong with an older bride deciding she wants to wear white? Oddly enough, there are 100 shades of white from which to choose, and nothing is off the table. And if you want to dress in an age-appropriate manner, you don’t have to sacrifice your sense of style. Did you find a stunning strapless gown but would prefer a bit more coverage? Enlist the help of a seamstress who can create a long-sleeved jacket to complement and enhance your gown. You can choose to rock the look you want. It’s all about being comfortable and feeling beautiful in your own skin. You can also choose to have one gown for the ceremony, perhaps something a bit more refined and conservative, and then throw a bit of caution to the wind for the after-party and enjoy a completely different look, including a change in hair and makeup.

Should we register for gifts?
While you may not need another set of that hardly-used china, you may want an upgrade to your older blender or perhaps a new cooking gadget that interests you. If you don’t necessarily need more things, however, consider requesting experiences that relate to travel, entertainment or activities you have always wanted to do. Another alternative is to set up a wishing well. This is the perfect gift if you are saving up for something big like a home deposit or renovation or just a nice vacation to enjoy together. This will allow guests to give what they can to make your dream become a reality.

Is a large bridal party necessary?
If you’ve made it this far in life, you know a lot of people and have extended family. Now that you’re blending families, make it a true family affair. Have everyone involved to one extent or another. It’s better to include than exclude; that’s always more fun in the long run. Even if your mom is past the age of telling you what to do, ask her to go look at in-season flowers with you. That time together will remain a special memory.

Can we write our own vows?
Not only can you write them, you probably should! At this point, you have acquired much life experience and probably have a good idea of what you value in a spouse. Get busy writing those vows and make them truly special. Bonus suggestion: if one or both of you have children, include special vows for them to make them feel more accepted into this new union.

Do we need to have an all-night party to celebrate?
We get it. Partying long into the night might not be something you prefer to do anymore. Your reception does not have to be a high-profile event. In fact, depending on the season, you could opt for the casual setting of an outdoor picnic or backyard barbeque. Do what makes you feel most comfortable while taking into consideration the number of guests you have and how they also might enjoy commemorating this moment with you.

At the end of the day, age is really just a number, right? Should it really have any bearing on how you choose to honor your special day and embrace the excitement in the years to come? Absolutely not! The best way to celebrate is to focus on building a life you love together. ■

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