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First Time Brides Over 35: The Unique Experience of a First Marriage In Your Late 30s and 40s

Updated on January 30, 2017
The unique experience of first time brides over 35, 40.
The unique experience of first time brides over 35, 40.

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I got married at 37, happy to be a loving wife and have a loving husband, but some parts of the engagement and wedding were not what I expected.

If you are like me, being a first time bride over 35, or a first time bride over 40, you might have a different experience from brides who marry at ages 18 to their early 30s. Why? Let's go over it.


You Might Experience Some of the Following, Like I Did

  • Gratitude. I was grateful that I found a good man who wanted to make me his bride. I had met so many frogs that I thought there were no princes left. Although I felt young inside, I knew that nature had the clock ticking on me. And even though it is an antiquated thought and politically incorrect, I felt my fiancé saved me from "spinsterhood." That only reveals how I felt about my own life, and doesn't reflect on any other female.

    Most of my life I felt okay with being single, until I was about 34 or so, when I started to panic. And that happened to be the year I met my husband-to-be. I just felt blessed and put at ease. And if you are like me, you no longer worry about being left behind or lonely. And the day you are married you feel to yourself, "I have arrived!"

  • You might be the only one in your circle heading to the altar. All my married friends were in their mid-20s to late 20s when they tied the knot. You might still have other "modern" friends who have sworn off marriage and don't "get it" either. Either way, most people in your circle might not relate to your experience in any way. Not only that ...

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  • There is less excitement for your marriage than you thought there would be, except from immediate family. I announced my engagement to my friends, who gave me a quick congratulations, but very few inquired about my ring, where I would have my wedding, what kind of reception I was thinking about, or what style dress I wanted to wear.

    It's as if I was living in a separate universe. My friends were all embroiled in either raising their kids or spousal issues, and were far removed from giggly female wedding preoccupations. And yes, I was giggly. I went about my wedding planning and savored the fact that I was about to be "taken."

  • You might worry about what is proper for an "older bride" to wear. While you don't feel older, bridal websites and magazines might tell you that you are. You might feel slightly self-conscious about trying on poufy gowns. You read all kinds of advice about age-appropriate veils, because you see so many pictures of women under 25 wearing them, that you almost scare yourself out of the idea.

    Well, I wore a ballgown and a fluffy veil with a blusher and tiara. It is the only day in my life I would get to wear these and look this feminine, and I was all for it. I loved the idea of being unveiled to my husband as his wife for the first time. You should wear what you want at your wedding and revel in the day.

Famous First Time Brides In their Late 30s and 40s

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  • You wish you hadn't lost contact with some of your college friends. I had some great friends in my college years that I would have loved to share my news and reconnect with. But I knew them before the times of social media, and have forgotten some of their names. By the time you are in your late 30s and 40s, many people you've known have drifted away. Your circle is sometimes a little smaller, even though you are taking that bigger step.

  • You are at a point that you will decide for or against having children. Not everyone wants to have a kid. But in your late 30s and early 40s you can usually still do it if you please.

  • You couldn't wait to say, "my husband." I waited to find the right man, but by the time I got married, I was so full-on in love with the idea of being married that knowing I was a wife and verbally using the words "my husband" just tickled me to no end.


At any rate, celebrate your engagement, wedding, and marriage excitedly. While other people might be past this stage in their lives, you, your spouse, and any loved ones have a whole world ahead of you to enjoy together!

Here is to all the first time brides and grooms in their late 30s, 40s, and beyond!

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