Love at any age …

Let’s talk about marriage when the couple is over a certain age. What age? Good question. Over 40? Over 50? Over 60? Yes, all of the above. There is no expiration date on love.

After divorce or loss of a spouse some people are not interested in finding another life partner. Others know they need to be paired up. We’re all different. But one thing I have learned from working with older couples, is there can sometimes be a hesitancy to fully celebrate this milestone. It might be because of children, or just the perception of being judged by society.

But when you find love, no matter what stage of life, it is wonderful, and regardless of previous relationships, marriage is an important rite of passage. Having said that, I do agree, it can, and dare I say ‘should’ be less extravagant.  There are ways to tone it down, when it’s not the first time around. Here are few things to think about.

If there are children, even adult children, it’s great to include them in various ways. Your kids can walk down the aisle with you – both partners – there is no need to confine this to a bride. A man can walk with his children as well. You might ask teen or adult children to share readings in the ceremony. Holding the rings is tried and true. And more creatively, how about having them say their own ‘I do’ in support of the new marriage or new step-siblings, and conversely you can say an ‘I do’ to them, pledging your continued love and support even as the family changes. This is especially important if the children still live at home.

Keeping it less formal feels right. A luncheon instead of a dinner, or a buffet instead of a sit-down meal, keeps is so.

You’re free to not wear tuxedos and gowns, and that can be quite a relief. You are also free from having to choose bridesmaids and groomsmen. Really not necessary at this stage. Maybe just have one best person each, or again, the children can stand with you…. or not.

Your vows might take a different tone at this stage in life. They might include words about the importance of having found love again, and how hopeful it is to find a partner in life. You may want to acknowledge the long road to where you are. You are mature now and you understand what marriage means.

And then there is elopement. I recently officiated for a couple who didn’t want to deal with the whole family scene, yet still had all the beautiful details including live music, photographer and videographer, a beautiful location and me – and that’s it! No guests. It was awesome.

Young love can be breathless, but older love has depth. Celebrate that!


photo credits: Garth Woods

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