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When you are lucky enough to find love in your sixties and beyond, sealing the deal with a late-life wedding can feel a bit self-indulgent and unnecessary. Let’s face it, you might already have done the deed a couple of times before, and in retrospect, already spent far too much money on nuptials. In later life there are ways to celebrate tying the knot, in a classy yet understated way, that won’t break the bank but will still make your day memorable.
Weddings are big business no matter what age you are, and once you start the merry go round of venue viewing the options are endless. Pricing can be based on days of the week, months of the year. You will be offered Gold, Silver and Bronze packages, venue hire only or fully inclusive options.
So how can you have a lovely simple ceremony, surrounded by your nearest and dearest, yet keep to a realistic budget?
- Make a shortlist of 4 or 5 venues that you’d like to visit and watch out on their websites for any special offer packages and book your viewings to coincide. Venues advertise special offers when they are hoping to fill gaps on the calendar. Often these months will be January to March, and November and December and there will be very good deals to be done. Don’t focus too much on the weather, yes you know it won’t be red hot, but you’ll have your love to keep you warm.
- Tailor your guest list to make the best use of the package offers. Often a special deal will be for 50 guests, but extra guests will be charged individually, sometimes at an inflated rate. Just be ruthless, if you haven’t seen your cousin Joe, his wife, and 2 sons for 10 years, and you are off their Christmas card list, do you really need to invite them to your wedding. Don’t feel duty bound, this is your day, please yourself.
- If you have been married before, back in the day, it’s likely you will have pushed the boat out, and gone for the 3 course wedding breakfast, complete with a big tiered wedding cake, all washed down with Champagne. But it’s just as acceptable to offer your guests a lovely simple buffet, or BBQ, some good house wine, and chilled fizz to toast your future happiness. Sometimes less is more.
- Custom made wedding cakes can cost hundreds of pounds, but you’ll get far more compliments by thinking outside the wedding cake tin and opting for Caterpiller cake from good old Marks and Spencer
- Before you get caught up buying brand new weddingy type decorations from your favourite store, take a look on eBay where there are absolute bargains to be found. Many brides who have spent thousands on their wedding, and colour co-ordinated items, just want to resell them as soon as possible. Alternatively, just keep things simple with flowers and fairy lights, which are guaranteed to pretty up the most basic of venues.
- And who says that you must have a dress that looks like, well, a wedding dress. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to feel uncomfortable with what you are wearing. At this stage in your life, anything goes, there is no need to conform. Be who you are. If you are more used to wearing trousers, then just ramp that look up a bit. Wide legged evening type trousers and a fitted jacket can look fabulous and let’s be honest, your man will love you in a bin bag regardless.
The main thing about planning a late life wedding is that it should reflect you as a couple. People love a story with a happy ending, and a mood board with when you met, and the important dates you’ve had together leading up to the big day is a lovely idea. Don’t be shy, who cares what anyone thinks, shout loud and proud about all the adventures that you’ve had, and your guests will bask in your happiness.