Marriage After 40? Debunking the ageist stereotype

I write this post from Cape Cod.   My husband and I spend the first 2 weeks of Aug up here with his family and friends every year. (There are about 25 of us in total!)  It’s one of the highlights of my year.   In fact, my husband’s family has been coming here during the same 2 weeks in Aug for over 50 years.   Our anniversary is Aug 10, so we get to spend that time with friends and family each year.   It’s more special because got married here 7 years ago.

I don’t know if its coincidence, but over the last few weeks I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and posts about marriage Julie renewing her vows,  to research I’m currently doing at work on millennial women which while doing research online, I came across this old article.


Thirty years ago, the magazine declared that single women over 40 are more likely to be killed by terrorism than to get married—prompting a nationwide crisis whose anxiety still seems to linger based on more current articles I’m reading.  The reality we know that it’s not true, but unfortunately I think for many it still  feels true.

The fact is that, there are more never-married adults over 35 and 40 now (and “single again” adults) than at any time in our nation’s history, according to various reports I’ve been reading.

I remember when this article came out.  It makes me angry to be part of ageist “trend” and it does not reflect my experience.   You see,  I was 48 when I got married for the first time.  Contrary to the Newsweek article I didn’t settle.  I’m so glad I waited for the right guy.

Was I worried when I was in my early 40’s and single?   Yes, I have to admit I was a bit.   It really felt like I did everything I wanted to do in life. I had a great career.  Great friends.  I traveled.  So, time was kind of slipping by.   But then by chance, a mutual friend introduced me to my husband Craig  and the rest is history.  Note:  we dated for 10 years before getting married.   I changed my mindset once we started dating ….I didn’t put pressure on myself to get married.

So, in celebration of my anniversary next week, I thought I would share with you my wedding day.

I got married on the beach in East Sandwich on Cape Cod and had a lobster/clambake reception.   It was a small wedding.  We had about 75 attend.  I planned the entire wedding online (and this was before Pinterest and the popularity of IG) What I would have done for Pinterest back then!  LOL

Like my every day life, I kept it simple.  Frankly I didn’t have time to stress about all the details due to my work commitments.  I didn’t have seat assignments.  My flowers came from a guy who lived down the street from our cottage who use to be a florist.   He grows the best flowers in his backyard and you can buy a container (on the honor system) for $5!  Total flower bill for my wedding was $60!  We had flip flops for everyone so they didn’t need to wear their shoes down to the beach.  There was no photographer.  We let our guests take the pics and we set up an album in Shutterfly where everyone could share them.  I wasn’t sure how that would turn out, but we got great candid shots I probably won’t have from a more “formal” photographer.   My dress came from  White House Black Market.   (more on the dress in a minute)

The day was perfect!   It couldn’t have turned out any better.   It was an intimate, relaxing celebration with family and friends in a beautiful setting. Which when you think about it, that’s what a wedding should be all about.  Right?


The Dress

I bought my dress a month before the wedding.   Not sure why I waited until the last minute.  I guess it was because I had no idea what I wanted.   I wanted to feel special, to look and feel my best but most importantly, I wanted to feel like myself, which is relaxed and comfortable.    For me, spending loads of money on a princess-for-a-day dress that’s going to end up in mothballs seemed unnecessary.  I rather spend the money on the food and drink!

So, on a whim, I decided to go to the mall to see if I could find a dress.   First store I walked into was White House Black Market.   I walked in saw the dress, tried it on and just knew that this was the perfect dress for me and the day.   So that was it…I didn’t shop any other stores to see if there was anything “better”.  I bought it and didn’t second guess my choice.   It was what we now call an “alternative” wedding dress.  (and it was on sale for under $100!)

Interestingly more retailers are offering what they call the alternative wedding dresses   featuring designers and price points from low to high end.  White biker jacket anyone?

So what’s my takeaway message ?

Marriage is not a fact of life, its a choice.  If you want to get married, I’m a firm believer that you will.  My advice for anyone at any age would be to make your wedding day fun. Make it just yours and make it a reflection of you and your fiancée. That’s where the real joy comes in.



  1. Sabrina says:

    This was such a great post!! As a 27 year-old who has never been in a serious relationship, it’s easy for me to find myself wallowing in the possibility of never finding a partner. This is despite the fact that I am currently living a very full life. I love that you said that you didn’t settle. Marriage is a big deal and it’s so important that we hold out for a person that’s right for us rather than allowing society to intimidate us into a relationship by making us feel as though our marriage clock is ticking. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Karen says:

    Very well said and love your insight on marriage; whatever the age when the time is right you will know it:) Your wedding day was beautiful and one I will always remember, loved being a part of it!
    Thank-you KK

    • cindy says:

      Thanks Catherine, I feel the same about you. PS my husband said that any man that you decide to marry will have hit the jackpot!

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