Older Couple Weddings: Our Top Planning Advice

By Chad and Vanessa, ‘The Outlovers’: Your Small Wedding and Elopement Photography, Planning Assistance and Ceremony Officiation Team.

16 June 2022

We have helped to plan and photograph several older couple weddings and, honestly, we LOVE them. Sure, the average age to get married in the US sits around 27-28, but let’s not just forget the other demographic!

For many older couples planning their weddings, they feel invisible. The wedding industry behemoth basically ignores the fact they even exist! Go to any wedding blog or planning resource and all you see is one young couple after another. These couples can’t see a single person who looks like they do.

And that’s not fair or right!

It’s a beautiful thing when a couple finds love later in life. Maybe you’ve been married before and this is a second (or third!) chance at happiness. Maybe you never found love earlier in life and thought your chance was long past. Whatever the reason, we find that older couple weddings tend to be incredibly meaningful and romantic.

We are absolute suckers for love and we firmly believe that ALL love deserves to be seen, and valued. Whether you’re 20 or 80, whether you’ve been married before or not: your union is worthy of CELEBRATION.

Here we share all the reasons why we love older couple weddings, as well as our top advice for those currently in the planning stages.

Why we LOVE older couple weddings

Older Couples Aren’t Afraid To Be Different

Younger couples can find it hard to say no to the traditions that are expected of them: wearing a quintessential white wedding dress, the bride’s father walking her down the aisle, having a first dance while everyone looks on etc. When, in reality, some of those things might feel awful to you and are not what you really want!

We’ve found that in older couple weddings, the duo’s personalities really shine through. By this stage in their lives, older couples know who they are and they aren’t afraid to throw out the wedding rule book. They have no problem saying heck no to wedding traditions that don’t sit well with them and, as a result, their days tend to be more unique rather than ‘cookie-cutter’.

So……

DON’T be afraid to break the mold of what a wedding ‘should’ look like. You’re old enough to know your own mind and don’t need to do what everyone else does ‘just because’.

DO create an experience that screams ‘you’. Start with a totally blank slate and only include things that bring you joy. Want to rock a colored dress? We salute you! Prefer to walk down the aisle side by side? You can do that! No interest in a first dance? We hear ya!

OLDER COUPLE WEDDING TOP TIP

You know you want a fun, unique wedding day but aren’t really sure how to spend your time? This blog on 80 Epic Ideas might inspire you.

Older Couple Weddings Are Often Small And Intimate

Couples getting married earlier in life often have snowballing guest lists and the wedding becomes an out of control beast; a nightmare to plan and execute. There are so many people the couple wants to invite, and on top of that there’s a million other people they’re expected to invite, whether it be extended family they rarely ever see or their Dad’s business partner who just has to be there.

By the time you’re a little older, you tend to have a much smaller and much tighter friendship group. And the idea of ‘obligatory’ invites just doesn’t hold the same weight now that you’re a grown-ass man/woman!

We’ve found that older couple weddings tend to be on a much smaller scale and have a cozy, intimate feel to them, with only the people the couple really wants to be there.

So……

DON’T feel obliged to a ton of people – or anyone! – if you don’t want to. You’re not 20, your Dad’s not paying for your wedding, and no one else has a say in who’s invited. 

DO think carefully about whose presence would actually add to your day, whose company you really cherish. You might even want to consider an elopement! You could keep your ceremony a very private affair, with just the two of you or with your absolute nearest and dearest. Then, if you want to, you could hold a bigger celebration at a later date with a wider circle of friends invited.

OLDER COUPLE WEDDING TOP TIP

If you decide to go down the elopement path, be aware that with a small or non-existent guest list, you have a huge amount of freedom when it comes to choosing your ‘venue’. You could head somewhere stunning and get married in the great outdoors, for example. Imagine sharing your vows with 14 000’ peaks or endless desert canyons as your backdrop!

We’ve written whole guides on How To Elope In Colorado and How To Elope In Moab if that sounds tempting to you!

Older Couple Weddings Have Clear Cut Priorities

Planning a wedding can be super stressful. You are bombarded with information and images of all the things you ‘have’ to have for your wedding to be a success: the invites, the decor, the flowers, the food, the entertainment etc.

It’s HARD to feel like everyone in attendance is judging your choices and comparing your day to the ten other weddings they’ve been to that year.

However, once you’re a little older, you no longer feel the need to impress others and find it easier to assess things objectively, rather than succumb to the pressure of expectation. You’re wise enough to know that none of the material items of your wedding day are going to have any impact on the long-term success of your marriage. 

You can make choices with a clear head!

So…..

DON’T waste your time, money and effort on things that don’t matter to you. If fancy florals are of no interest, just let them go! Who cares?!

DO take time to discuss with your partner what will help to make your day feel special and go all out on those things. You’ve decided that you do want a yummy cake? Go for it! 

OLDER COUPLE WEDDING TOP TIP

We’ve found that those getting married later in life often aren’t inclined to spend as much money on wedding ‘stuff’ as their younger counterparts. They’d much rather spend that money on experiences instead. Choosing to elope comes in a LOT cheaper than the average $34k wedding and can allow you to have the adventure of a lifetime! You can check out the realistic costs of eloping here.

Minimal Drama At Older Couple Weddings!

Ooooft, we’ve all heard the horror stories of displeased parents and best-friend-fallouts in the throes of wedding planning. Mom losing her mind because you don’t like the table linens she’s so graciously paying for… Your sibling labeling you selfish because you don’t want their precious little ones at your child-free wedding… So-and-so having a meltdown because she’s not your Maid Of Honor even though you’ve known her since pre-school…

It’s heartbreaking to see the stress-levels so many couples suffer in the lead up to their big day! We’re pretty sure it doesn’t need to be that way.

Older couple weddings tend to be a lot more stress-free: drama has usually left your side by this stage of life, so the lead up to your wedding day – and the day itself – can be relaxed, calm and ENJOYABLE.

DON’T feel obliged to cater to everyone else’s wants and wishes as you plan your wedding day. This is the one day you get to 100% do what YOU want. If they don’t like it, tough luck. 

DO set clear boundaries with those you choose to involve in your wedding planning. Give them very specific job roles and remind them that the ultimate decision making lies with you. It’s great when people want to help you but that help must come without conditions or expectations.

OLDER COUPLE WEDDING TOP TIP

If you’re planning a much smaller wedding, more on the scale of an elopement, you can still include your loved ones in meaningful ways. We share our best ideas on how to do so in this blog

Emotional Vows At Older Couple Weddings

Sometimes, in big traditional weddings, the exchange of vows ends up being a bit of an afterthought. The couple is so caught up in planning the ‘event’ that the ceremony content is left until the last minute, and the vows maybe aren’t written until the night before!

In stark contrast, in many of the older couple weddings we’ve been a part of, the ceremony has been at the very heart of the day and the vows have been so incredibly heartfelt, often with the couple – and us! – reduced to tears.

We’ve found that older couples have an incredible ability to be introspective, to sit with their feelings and really take time putting pen to paper as they share their truest emotions and promises for the future.

DON’T feel like you have to stick with traditional vows if the old love, honor and obey doesn’t sit quite right with you at this stage in your life. As an older couple planning your wedding, you’ve probably learnt through experience that relationships are all about balance and give and take.

DO take the time to write personal vows that really speak from the heart and are reflective of your beliefs on love, marriage and the future together.

OLDER COUPLE WEDDING TOP TIP

If you would like to write your vows but are feeling a bit intimidated, you can find some great advice for getting started in this blog.

Older Couple Weddings Create Authentic, Honest Photos

Younger couples often have a lot of anxiety around having their wedding photos taken: they feel like they have to look ‘perfect’ and – let’s be real – they care deeply about how their photos will be received on social media. If their favorite pic doesn’t get a 1000 likes they start doubting their own self-worth! So, the pressure is on to capture the perfect pose and wow the audience.

Older couples on the flip side are, from our experience, much more comfortable in their own skin and are no longer so worried about how they are perceived. They’re not doing it for the ‘Gram! Their goal in photos is less to look ‘perfect’ and more to capture the true joy and emotion of the day.

This shift in mindset creates some of the truest photos we’ve ever seen!

DON’T waste time looking at Pinterest-perfect weddings and aspiring to get ‘that shot’.

DO allow yourself to be present and grounded in the moment on your wedding day and to let your honest selves come through in your photos. THOSE are the photos that will bring all the memories and emotions flooding back when you look at them.

OLDER COUPLE WEDDING TOP TIP

We are ‘The Outlovers’: Vanessa and Chad, a husband and wife duo here to help plan, photograph and officiate your intimate wedding. We love working with older couples and strive to create a space to be your truest, most honest selves. You can go check out our packages here, or drop us a message if you’d like more info.

We would love to create an epic elopement experience for you! We provide planning assistance, photography and officiation for adventure-seeking couples across the US and worldwide. Get in touch to start brainstorming with us!

Chad & Vanessa, ‘The Outlovers’

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