What Happens When You Get Married Late In Life

October 24, 2017  |  
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Gettyimages.com/African American bride and groom wedding cake topper on blue background

Marriage isn’t only for the young—it’s for the young at heart who see the beauty in uniting your life with another’s. And you can be young at heart at any age. But while marriage isn’t only for the young, the wedding industry seems pretty tailored to the young. Society tends to expect you to get married young. When was the last time the model in a bridal catalog looked over the age of 25? Probably never. Do you see many “Engaged to” statuses on Facebook of couples over the age of 35? Not likely. Though the average age of marriage varies by country, the oldest average is still just 33.1 in Germany. In the United States, that age drops to 27.9. So it’s to be expected that people react a little differently when you get married past that age. Here is what happens when you get married later in life.


You care less about the dress

If you get married in your 40s or 50s, you’re a bit more practical about the dress. Your parents probably aren’t paying for it at this point and, furthermore, you actually understand the value of $3,000, so you’re not dropping that on a dress. You just want something that flatters you and looks nice, but you aren’t putting the equivalent of an apartment down payment on it.


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You’re picky about your guest list

The idea of showing off your big day to 200 people who really don’t know you that well, doesn’t excite you anymore. The “show” aspect of your wedding goes away. This is no longer a production. It’s an intimate moment in time. As such, you aren’t inviting your distant cousins or your coworkers.









You can have the destination wedding

If you get married later, your friends have money, so the small guest list you do invite can make it to your destination wedding! That’s pretty awesome.










You get nicer gifts

Another perk of having older, wealthier friends is this: the gifts. You may not get as many gifts (because you’re having a small wedding) but the gifts you get will be amazing, like cruises and full furniture sets.









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Vendors assume you’re shopping for your daughter

When you walk into bridal stores, the sales representatives assume you’re shopping for your daughter’s wedding dress, or for a dress you can wear to your daughter’s wedding.










Friendship integration can be harder

You have couples friends who have been hanging out together for a couple of decades at this point. They sort of insulated themselves in a little married-persons-only group. You finally qualify for the group, but you and your partner can’t help but feel like outsiders because you’re joining the party 20 years late.







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Some of your friends are divorced

You have to deal with the sensitive subject of telling your recently divorced friends that you’re engaged. If you get married late in life, some of your friends may have already gone through their first wave of marriages…and ended them.









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Some people don’t make a big deal about it

You can get the overall sense that people don’t really think it’s a big deal. A wedding doesn’t signify the things it would have when you were younger, like having children or moving in together. You probably already did all of that a long time ago.








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Your kids may be guests

You and your partner might have already had children, with different partners. This means that your own children might be guests and witnesses at your wedding.










Your kids might protest

Some of your children, or your fiance’s children, may not want you to get married. They’ve been used to being a part of a single-parent household their entire lives and aren’t ready to add any members.










It means something entirely different

You’re not joining families anymore because, the sad reality is that, your parents may have already passed. You aren’t getting married to start families because you may already each have children of your own. This marriage is just about the two of you. That’s it.











You’re more practical about prenups

You’re far more relaxed about the prenup discussion. If you marry in your twenties, there’s a lot of “what if’s” surrounding your financial future. If you get married in your forties or fifties, you have a pretty good understanding of your wealth and earning potential. You both worked hard to get those. You’re practical and less emotional about prenups.






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Your parents may not be there

Your parents may have already passed on, and so they won’t be there to walk you down the aisle, give toasts, or help pay for anything.






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The bachelorette is toned down

Your friends in their forties and fifties don’t have the energy, time, or desire to throw you a roaring bachelorette party. Your bachelorette party might consist of a really nice dinner that ends at 10pm—if you get one at all.





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You’re writing a will at the same time

If you get married quite late in life, you may need to make adjustments to your will, in addition to signing all of the other documents and making all the other arrangements you’ll be making. It’s a time of life to think about those things.

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