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If We Had Known Then, What We Know Now

Studies show that in 2018 over 50% of brides were over the age of 30. And although statistics concerning how many couples are choosing elopement over a traditional wedding are hard to come by, the industry has made very clear the number is climbing. So, our first question was why? And are second was is this good or bad?

Well, the jury is still out and there are tons of ways you can interpret the data. But for our purposes today we decided to focus on the positives we see.

Older couples equal more maturity and a willingness to weed through the, pardon us, “ B.S.” of the business of weddings. We believe couples are leaning more and more towards elopement due to the rising cost of average weddings in the U.S., currently a whopping $25,764.

So, today’s blog is written for what we are going to call the “mature bride” of 2018, who is hopefully seeking wisdom and perspective as she tries to decide if it’s even possible to plan a wedding within her means. With this in mind, we chose to speak from the perspective of brides who have either gotten married later in life or have been married more than once.

The question we were dying to ask brides that were married a second time was “if they had known then what they know now, would they do it differently?” Guess what? The wisdom poured forth and we did our best to summarize it for you.

Know what you want.

Know what you are hoping to get out of your wedding day and really the marriage you are trying to cultivate beyond it. What are you trying to build as a couple? Take the time to figure this out so that your wedding plans reflect your “relational mission statement.” Don’t be swayed or bullied by deadlines, traditions, or popular fads. Decide as a couple what you are going to be about and then hold tight to those convictions.

Don’t second guess yourself.

This one is speaking directly to the purchases made for your wedding. Don’t let the marketing ads, magazines, and gimmicks fool you into to choosing anything for your wedding that doesn’t reflect who you truly are. For example, what you think looks great on your body, and what you feel comfortable in, may not be what magazines or ads suggest. You don’t have to listen! You need to be confident in who you are walking down the aisle, and only you will know the dress that’s going to allow that.

The same goes for wedding traditions. Don’t be afraid to replace tradition with special sentiments that are meaningful to you and your partner.

Spend less money.

Very rarely does anyone suggest spending more money. The advice coming from most brides post wedding is almost always that you spend less. However, when sorting through this advice we have found what brides are more often suggesting is that you choose to spend the majority of your money on things that last. Your pictures, the videographer, your honeymoon, these are the things that will make your grateful in 20 years. Flowers are beautiful, and you should have them, but remember they will wilt in a few days, and your pictures will last your lifetime.

You won’t please everyone, in fact you can’t.

This one covers the gamut encompassing wedding party issues, family dramas, and religious and cultural traditions. And it also reinforces the reason for our first point: You must know what you and your partner want and then hold to those convictions. There will almost always be someone that is not pleased with your choices. So, bottom line: you do you, and be confident.

But we must add just for the record, in no way are we saying you shouldn’t consider others and consider compromises. In fact those are things we strongly encourage and believe you will also be grateful for in 20 years. What we are saying is that you shouldn’t let someone’s opinions rock your core beliefs or highjack your day.

Enjoy the Day

This day will fly by! We aren’t kidding, and we aren’t alone in this belief. Just about any couple will tell you their wedding and reception was a whirlwind. With that in mind, remember this when planning the schedule. Make sure you build in time to connect with your guests, have some of the food you paid for, talk to your friends, take selfies with guests, and dance (or whatever it is you do for fun. Don’t rush through it!

Whether you are a young bride or an older bride, whether you elope of choose a traditional ceremony there is one thing that’s clear, committing yourself to someone for better or worse is a huge deal! And it should be treated as such. This day will be over sooner than your think so make sure you plan it wisely and don’t forget to plan beyond it. The event, as well as the marriage, will require work and a great deal of selflessness and patience, but you can do it. And we believe you should, because the benefit will truly out way the cost.

Gorgeous photographs by: On The Times Photography

Planner: Lisa Moore

Make up & Hair: Scott LeMaster Salon

Flowers: @Carly_dahlin

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