Hello, Bachelorette!

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: Judy settles a disagreement regarding bachelorette parties and long engagements

How have things changed from when this bride’s mom got married? Check out my answers to this Valley bride’s statistics queries:

A Valley bride asks: “My mother and I disagree about two wedding-related topics. Can you help us settle the argument?

Mom says that bachelorette parties are no longer in vogue. I disagree — I’m looking forward to having one as a transition between being single and being married. I see the party as an opportunity for a last night with my close friends before I become legally part of a duo.”

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Dear Valley bride: You win on this one. A decade ago, about 50 percent of engaged women had a bachelorette party. Today the number is up to nearly 75 percent. I’m guessing that your mom’s concerned about your doing something foolish with your girlfriends (something that you might regret later). Assure her that you’re a grownup and know how to behave!

“Mom also says that bridal couples are smarter by waiting until they’re older to get married. (My mom was married at nineteen.)”

I agree with your mother on this one — and statistics prove her correct. The average age for women getting married today is 27, and 28 for men. I believe you really need to know yourself as a person — being clear about what your goals, ethics, and morals are — before you make a commitment to another person. By the way, we’re also seeing longer engagements today, with the largest percentages of couples waiting between 10 and 19 months. There’s no doubt in my mind that these numbers are seriously impacted by the recession. It’ll be interesting to see if the numbers drop again when the economy turns around…

Married readers, young and mature — how old were you (and what year was it) when you got married? Did you celebrate a bachelor/bachelorette party? Share your stories in the comments box below.

To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at judy@hvmag.com.

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