I wanted to look at the remarriage rates for this section of society, and the reasons why I, as a wedding planner, love working with these second, third or even fourth time around couples.
Firstly, we are seeing a higher divorce rate in the over 50s than any other age group. Partly because fewer younger couples are getting married. Also partly that those who do tie the knot are keeping together well beyond the seven-year itch of the past.
No longer ‘staying together for the kids’, the 50-plus generation are less willing to ‘put up and shut up’ in an unhappy marriage. A recent survey revealed that 8 out of 10 children from divorced parents confirmed they prefer their parents to be happy apart rather than staying together in an unhappy household.
So once we have taken the plunge and got the divorce, how do we feel? There is no denying that humans are generally happier together, in a partnership of some kind.
An Office for National Statistics (ONS) study measuring well-being in older people reported that 20% of those aged 52 and over who lived on their own reported being frequently lonely and an additional 39% reported being lonely some of the time.
This indicates that marital status has a significant bearing on our feelings of loneliness. Those in relationships feeling less lonely than those separated, divorced or widowed.
Loneliness amongst those having already had a relationship is significantly higher than those who have always been single or never married. This may be a reason why older people are now more actively looking for love than in the past. Changes in social behaviour now see less over 50s remaining single following a marriage breakup or death of a spouse.
With less social stigma to divorce and re-marriage, older couples are becoming more confident in searching for happiness again. Assisted by TV, magazines, blogs, social media and lifestyle gurus, our “silver surfers” are now more internet savvy. They hone their skills to research, shop and internet date.
Now living and working longer, more socially savvy and financially independent, our older couples know exactly what they want. With the means to self-finance they make decisions quickly and easily based around their desires rather than financial constraints.
Not time rich, and with no long engagements, our second timers don’t beat about the bush. Credit to experiences of the past here, as knowing exactly what they don’t want is the great benefit of hindsight. It’s something that I sometimes wish could be sprinkled on all couples.
As we learn from life’s experiences and mellow with age, we find our priorities change. Discerning older couples are still looking to celebrate their weddings in style.
They like quality service and attention to detail but with less fuss and drama. Gone are the woes of the first timers trapped by the ‘wedding train’ and latest ‘must haves’. Making an ordeal out of choosing which of the 150 shades of ivory best matches their shoes.
Older couples seem more relaxed in general and happier to trust in others. They leave the finer details of the big day to professional wedding planners. This then leaves them to focus on the wedding day itself, and the love they hold for each other.
With expanding families, new generations and a gentler pace in life, our older couples tend to lean towards more family focused weddings, with just a handful of true friends to share their special moment in an elopement style wedding.
Elopement is no longer about young runaways eloping in secret, but more related to any smaller, more intimate destination weddings, often away from a home setting. So instead of thinking 100 – think 10. See my recent blog ‘10 Reasons to Elope’
Finding the right sized venue is key to achieving that relaxed and intimate style. Larger hotels may offer small elopement packages but frequently offer little privacy or scope to add your own touches.
If you like the idea of eloping and can see yourselves immersed in an intimate romantic experience filled with heady excitement, anticipation and love, there will be nothing more guaranteed to burst your bubble than the sight of bathrobe-clad hotel guests heading for the pool just as you say, “I do”.
Make sure your venue offers full exclusivity for your wedding, no matter how small.
Cote How offers a selection of intimate wedding options with guaranteed exclusivity in the heart of the Lake District, the most romantic landscape in the UK. All our weddings are bespoke giving you the flexibility to design a wedding that is right for you. The enjoyment of seeing love bloom and being a part of your special occasion makes our jobs more a pleasure than work!
Caroline Langham is proprietor and wedding planner at Cote How Lake District Weddings, Rydal, Cumbria, LA22 9LW. Call Caroline today for an informal chat on 015394 32765 or visit her website for further details or book a face-to-face appointment here.
I WILL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. AMANDA MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE HER ONLY CLIENT AND HOLDS YOUR HAND TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH