More intimate parties, fewer gifts and more family members are part of wedding parties older couples put together
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Tying the knot? Getting married as a mature adult is a quite a bit different than as a younger adult. Check out the trends for mature couples.
Lori Chaba, owner of Lori’s Travel Service in Greece, said that destination weddings have become popular among mature couples. She has booked 10 destinations weddings this year, mostly for Mexico, Jamaica, and Punta Cana. This may sound extravagant, but Chaba said that’s a common misconception. Since traditional weddings cost about $25,000 to $30,000, destination weddings run around $5,000 and include everything the couple needs, including a weeklong celebration and accommodations for the honeymoon.
Many mature couples enjoy making their wedding a weeklong party, since their attending family members may not see each other often. Getting together for just a few hours isn’t enough.
“You have fun working up to that date, you have the wedding and then you’re there for the honeymoon,” Chaba said. “We’re just like a bridal coordinator. We can help them with all the details, like getting married on a beach or indoors or a gazebo.”
Guests also enjoy the all-inclusive aspect of the destination wedding.
The only drawbacks are that guests may not be able to travel for the wedding because of finances, schedule or health. Only the couple’s closest friends and family will likely want to attend. Before booking a destination wedding, couples should make sure that their guests are able to go.
Pauleen Vacca, owner of Pauleen Anne Design in Rochester, said that smaller represents a big trend in mature weddings. Most go no larger than 100 guests, and most are smaller than 50.
“If they do have a wedding party, it’s immediate family or children,” Vacca said.
Many couples like to incorporate other family members with reading poems or assisting with a unity ceremony.
The family theme extends to the decor as well, with a more casual vibe such as wildflowers, garden themes and other casually elegant touches.
For mature couples, it’s worth it to spend more on quality food to keep the reception going long and strong. Many spend about $30,000, but invite fewer people.
“They’re getting a better quality event, but they still want something casual, nothing too showy,” Vacca said. “It’s abundance generous, but not showy.”
A recent client offered four food stations, each of which offered a full meal in itself, plus cake, chocolate fountain and pastries for dessert, Vacca said.
Also underscoring the family nature of the event, they don’t shine the spotlight solely on themselves.
“They’re so open to including more family,” Vacca said. “If their children or grandchildren are excited about it, they are willing to roll with it.”
Mature couples are often much more open to suggestions for their wedding and reception.
Vacca said that more older adults want live entertainment than DJs, likely because they perceive live music as classier and they’re more capable of affording it than younger couples. Their goal isn’t to get everyone on the dance floor necessarily, but to provide a good backdrop for conversation and mingling.
Most couples discourage gifts and would rather that guests contribute to a charity they support, according to Vacca.