The best part of marriage after 50 is that you don’t have to listen to anybody. You aren’t obligated to make choices based on your parents’ wants and wishes and you can actually do whatever you want. Weddings after 50 are about beating stress and valuing what’s really important.
Whether you’ve found love for the first time in midlife or divorced and getting married again, it’s never too late to celebrate and make it an event to remember. But what if you don’t want a big ceremony? A micro wedding is the latest trend and the way forward. It has all the elements of a traditional ceremony, including a beautiful venue, photographer, cake, and decor without the need for you to compromise in style.
Intimate celebrations can actually be more meaningful than larger-scale parties- says Liz Linkleter, owner and creative director of a London-based events company to The Financial Times-. Personal touches that can make the day feel extra-special are more achievable with smaller numbers. Go to town on bespoke, artisanal details – a handpainted tablecloth or hand-illustrated plates that can double as keepsakes for guests. And when it comes to food, downsizing can open up more possibilities. You don’t necessarily need to go for a traditional caterer. Your favourite restaurant may have baulked at the idea of a larger group but may well cater for 15.
Cover the basics and get creative
According to The Knot 2019 Real Weddings Study, wedding sizes have been trending down for a decade as couples cut the guest list so they don’t have to cut corners in other ways. Then the coronavirus pandemic came along and limited the number of guests who could gather at an event, cementing the micro-wedding (50 or fewer guests) in the pantheon of nuptial options with plenty of advantages.
With fewer guests comes less work, fewer people to please, less budget required, and more options in terms of spaces to celebrate. Also, micro weddings are most likely to be held in exclusive-use venues, cosy locations where you can easily create the atmosphere you want. Not convinced, yet? All you need is to prioritise what’s important for you and not be afraid to get creative.
The three things to have at all weddings, regardless of size, are great food, music, and alcohol- says Jove Meyer, the owner and creative director of Jove Meyer Events-. Weddings are celebrations, and people love to come together to share a meal and dance, so these three items are a must. Food is the base, alcohol loosens everyone up, and dancing makes it fun. Start with the basics, and then add few details to enhance the evening and create a vibe that encourages joy and love.
What about the venue?
Couples often combine an elopement or a very small venue and a reception to create their micro wedding, but you can have the option to do both with a smaller party. Dare to explore non-traditional venues like local recording studios, cafés, bars, theme parks, nurseries and even art galleries or theatre. As for the reception, think of brunch, smaller cakes, feasting menus, BBQ’s or a wedding day picnic replacing the traditional three-course wedding meal.
Feel the fear (of getting married) and do it anyway
Intimate, heartfelt and often laid-back, micro weddings also offer more quality time with the closest members of your family and friends. They definitely represent a conscious and unconventional choice made by couples who value the uniqueness of their love story. And guess what? Even if you’re over 40 and not tying the knot in a chapel, you can still wear a white dress. According to Sharon Naylor, best-selling author and weddings expert: “white stopped being worn to represent virginity a long time ago. First-time brides are now wearing colours, so why not older brides wearing white? There are 100 shades of white anyway — and nothing is taboo“.
Remember that marriage is a choice and if you decide to say “I do”, then go for it no matter the age. There are definite advantages to getting married in your 50s: your career and social circle are more established, which means you’re not as reliant on your partner for your identity; you also have a much better understanding of what you want out of life, how you feel about major life decisions like having kids, and what type of partner would best fit in your life.
If cupid’s arrow has struck again, and you found “the one” you want to grow old(er) with; then why not take the plunge?