GETTING MARRIED FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER 40
I still remember life B.B. (Before Bill) when I went on a date with a guy who chastised me for not being divorced.
Apparently the fact that I didn't fail at marriage in my 20’s or 30’s was considered a “red flag” on dating sites. According to him, no failed marriages wasn't an accomplishment, but a scar on my record.
My mid-30's self went on the defense against this moron.
I fired off comments like, “I’ve been focused on my career. I haven’t met the right person. I haven’t found the time to date the right people.”
Sheesh! Who was the real moron though? Why was I justifying the timing of my life to anyone, let alone this guy?
The date ended, thankfully. But judgement from others about my past continued.
I GOT ENGAGED
On May 12, 2017, I got engaged. Woohoo! The moment I always wanted finally arrived.
My family was ecstatic. My friends were over the moon with excitement. I think I finally gave them validation that I wasn’t as crazy as they thought. Or maybe they thought I found someone just as insane as me.
Regardless, celebration ensued.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT, YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE….
When I told people I was engaged, they had opinions. Here are some of my favorites.
You’re too old to have a big wedding. What will people think? You should elope. I heard that on many occasions. I didn’t listen.
You can’t wear a traditional wedding dress. You're just too old for that. What? When did the purchase of a bridal gown require a license to show your age to see if you’re too old to buy a gown? Oh wait, it doesn’t.
You’re having a bridal shower? You can’t register. People will be offended. To remind people what this post started with, I got married after age 40. Which meant, I lived on my OWN salary for more than two decades. That meant paying ALL of my bills without the help of others. In fact, my everyday china was from my college days. I guess new plates and dishes just weren’t ever in the “I HAVE TO PAY MY BILLS” budget.
You shouldn’t have so many bridesmaids. You’re too old. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are for couples just starting out. Says who? We got married older and it gave us time to develop strong bonds with people we love. There was NO WAY those people wouldn't be surrounding us during the ceremony.
What do you mean you’re having a bachelorette weekend? Are you having a midlife crisis? Guess what, not only did I have a bachelorette weekend, we drank out of penis straws. Ha! How do you like that? But don’t worry, no one took their clothes off, despite several requests from our "entertainment."
THERE ARE NO RULES WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING MARRIED
There are no rules when you get married, especially when you're paying for it.
Trust me I’ve looked. I thought there had to be an archaic charm book that I didn’t read. There had to be a list written by “Dear Abby” or someone similar. Something had to be behind all these reactions.
Yes, there are marriage laws. But there are no wedding rules.
The days of pretentious etiquette class are gone. The words of judgement are merely someone else’s projection based on their insecurities, not actual facts.
IT’S JUST YOU AND ME, AND WE JUST DISAGREE
Venturing into your wedding, you need to get on the same page with your fiancé and figure out what the two of you want. Most importantly, stick with it. The plan must be bulletproof!
Here are four key questions you need to agree on:
What kind of experience do you want for the wedding?
What do you NOT want?
Who's not invited and why?
That last one can be tricky because you will surely have "guilt syrup" poured all over you for whatever choices you both make.
But stick with your decisions. Remember, it's your day, not anyone else's.
I truly believe the engagement phase is God’s test to see if you two can survive the undeniable stress that comes with wedding planning. Trust me, it’s not the budget that will scare you, it will be the expectations of others that will BLOW YOUR MIND!
It's one day, but it's a memorable one, so make it count. Lead your own charge. Don't follow the court of popular demand.