Maturity Rules

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: What are the guidelines for an older couple tying the knot?

When an older couple decides to get married, they face many of the same challenges as their youthful counterparts, in addition to issues that are specific to a more mature couple. If handled well, the nuptials of an older bride and groom can be as wonderful as that of the younger set.

A Valley bride asks: “I’m turning 60 — right before my wedding this fall. It’s my first marriage (and a ‘repeat performance’ for my husband-to-be). Everything I see is geared toward younger brides. How do people in my age bracket have classy — but simple and intimate — weddings?”

Dear Valley bride: The good news is that, as an older couple, you don’t have to deal with someone else picking up the tab. That allows you to freely express your own creativity, your own tastes, and your unique personalities. Begin by choosing a time of day that lends itself to a “grown-up” affair, such as in the evening, because it denotes a more elegant event. Chances are, you’ve already established a home. Save yourself the clutter by including the request “no gifts, please” in your invitations. Forgo the extravagant bridal party; just one attendant is most appropriate. (Make sure she follows your style of attire — the same holds true for the groom and his groomsman.) Traditionally, an older bride is advised against wearing white; why not consider something softer, such as Champagne? Your dress should also maintain a figure-flattering style (avoid strapless). When choosing accessories, opt for elegant pearls, rather than blingy rhinestones.

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Your ceremony should certainly be very personal, and include rituals in-sync with who you are. Cutesy or preachy themes are inappropriate — you’re better off emphasizing partnership and sharing. In keeping with that theme, many older bridal couples write their own vows, and some even toss in a mix of new rituals.

As for the reception: Make it a modest party at home, a favorite restaurant with a private room for you and your guests, or at a reception venue suited for accommodating smaller groups. Hold off on throwing the garter or your bouquet.

When it comes to music, choose something sophisticated; a small band, quartet, or soloist that performs adult-themed pieces works well. Go easy on the floral centerpieces. As an alternative, consider giving each of your female guests a small corsage or wristlet.

Regardless, your wedding can be just as wonderful as any other. The key is to be true to yourselves and to consider your guests. Your maturity has earned you the right to have a fabulous experience!

To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at

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