Have enough courage
to trust love one more time
and always one more time
- Maya Angelou
Love is lovelier the second
time around - Sammy Cahn
There is a wealth of maxims, quotes, and songs
about second-chance love. But how do you, as a
mature age couple, negotiate the whole process of
wedding planning when most of the marketing,
information, and focus out in wedding land is on
the younger couple wanting the fairy-tale wedding
experience? And how do you deal with advice aimed
at the older couple that is pretty old-fashioned
and focused on telling you what you shouldn't do,
with a bit of advice about estate planning thrown
A very large proportion of the couples whose
marriages I solemnise* are mature people who are
taking a second chance at love. So, whether you
are 18 or 80, with you're marrying your first love
or your last love, I will give you the same
Ignore what you read.
It's your wedding.
There are so many ways to make your ceremony
Let's work through them, together.
I definitely will never even
think "age-appropriate " when
discussing your wedding. ! I'm also not a fan
of "second marriage" or. "remarriage" (unless
you are re-marrying one another after
divorcing) or You're getting married. No
need for qualifiers.
1. Forget about the
time-honoured "rules" of etiquette for older
For some reason, advice about being
age-appropriate is always aimed at the bride.
You've been dressing yourself for years. You know
what suits you. You don't need to be told what
colours to wear, and what colours not to wear. You
don't need to be told that there are rules for the
2. Forget about the
"rules" for a traditional wedding
I have spent my whole career as a marriage
celebrant explaining to couples that many of the
"rules" for traditional weddings are
- Inherited from Queen Victoria (who was 20
and the Monarch) and/or from church weddings
- perpetuate a view of the bride as
subordinate to the groom
- assume that the celebrant does all the
It doesn't have to be that way. And that's one
of the advantages of being a mature age couple.
You have the confidence to tear up the rule book
when it doesn't fit well with who you are and
how your relationship works. So ditch any notion
of one or other of you being given away. Walk
down the aisle together. Or just be there,
greeting your guests, and when the time comes,
make your way to the front where I'll be waiting
3. Include who you want
to in your ceremony
There are no rules any more about having a
matchy-matchy wedding party, or having one at all.
Forget about gender and age. Have the people who
mean most to you stand up with you or participate
in the ceremony in various ways. Want to include
all of your 18 grandchildren? Of course you can.
4. Acknowledge your ex
if you feel comfortable with that
Of course you can include your ex. Where you are
sharing parenting, and your new partner is also
involved, acknowledging that adds something
immeasurably warm to the ceremony. Where your
previous partner has died we can make mention of
them if you wish.
5. Size and theme your
wedding to suit yourselves
Don't feel obligated to have a big wedding if you
really just want to elope or have a micro-wedding.
And don't feel that you should have a small,
low-key affair. If you want to have a large,
lavish wedding go for it. If you're not into
partying into the wee hours, don't. Schedule your
wedding for earlier in the day. Everyone enjoys a
lavish breakfast or a nice lunch. Catering sorted!
Do you share a interest, or support a cause. You
can highlight those in various ways in your
ceremony and celebration.
6. Avoid flash backs
One of the things I'll discuss with you will be
what your previous wedding ceremonies were like.
And we'll work to make sure that this one is new
and fresh to avoid flashbacks on the day.
7. Acknowledge what you
value in your mature-age relationship
There is scientific evidence that what older
couples value in a relationship differs from what
younger couples are looking for in a relationship.
With age comes wisdom. And the top-five elements
of successful romantic relationship for older
adults are honesty, communication, companionship,
respect, and a positive attitude. I'll talk to you
about what you value, and we'll make sure that
those values are expressed and celebrated in your
8. Negotiate and write
your own vows
You both will have to say the legal in because it
is those important words that create your
marriage. I will encourage you to write your own
personal promises, but will beg you to avoid
recycling someone else's promises. You've
negotiated your relationship. It makes sense to
negotiated the promises you're going to live by as
a married couple. I'll coach you in using my
super-easy fail-safe method.
And Don't forget that
- The legal requirements are the same for
every couple getting married in Australia,
regardless of age or whether you have been
- Other than the statement the Marriage Act
requires your celebrant to make, and the legal
vows that you must each say, everything else
- Except for the fact that you must have two
adult witnesses. If you want to elope in
secret, and have a Just We Two
experience, your witnesses can be strangers
- You can be married anywhere you choose, any
day of the week, and any time of the day
- There is no requirement that you stand. I've
married many couples sitting round a table,
some over a meal