The Rise of Senior Marriages: Tips to Consider Before Getting Married

Senior marriages bring unique joys and challenges as love knows no age boundaries. Navigating financial considerations, health considerations, and blending families are among the hurdles they may face.

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The Rise of Senior Marriages: Tips to Consider Before Getting Married
13 Min Read July 6th, 2023

Is love in the air? Absolutely! Love has a remarkable ability to bloom regardless of age. In fact, a growing number of older adults are embracing the joy of marriage like never before. However, this delightful journey comes with its own set of unique challenges that need careful consideration before the big day arrives.

Marriage after age 50 is increasingly common, as statistics reveal a notable shift in relationship dynamics. In the United States, marriages among individuals aged 50 and older have surged by 50% since 1990. This trend is not confined to the US alone; countries like the United Kingdom and Canada also witness a similar phenomenon.

The decision to marry later in life stems from various personal circumstances. Some individuals may have experienced divorce or the loss of a spouse, finding themselves ready to embrace a new chapter of companionship and love. Others may have never ventured into matrimony before, choosing now as the moment to take the leap. Some patiently await the arrival of the right person, refusing to settle until they find their perfect match.

Amidst the tapestry of life's journey, these "grey" marriages exemplify the enduring spirit of love and the pursuit of happiness. By defying societal expectations and timelines, individuals embark on a renewed voyage of love and commitment.

To those who have found love later in life, cherish this remarkable adventure that awaits. Every step taken together is a testament to the resilience and beauty of the human heart. However, getting married at an older age can bring many challenges that should be considered.

Challenges of Marriage at an Older Age

Marriage at an older age can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with some challenges. Here are some of the challenges that couples may face:

  • Health problems. As people age, they are more likely to have health problems. This can strain a marriage, as couples may need to care for each other or change their lifestyle.
  • Retirement planning. Couples may have different ideas about how they want to spend their retirement. This can lead to conflict, as they may need to compromise on their plans.
  • Blending families. If one or both partners have children from previous relationships, they may need to blend their families. This can be problematic, as they may need to adjust to family dynamics, especially if some of the adult children do not support the marriage.
  • Communication. Communication is important in any marriage but crucial in marriages between older adults. This is because they may have different life experiences and expectations, which can lead to misunderstandings.

Logistics - Planning a Wedding at an Older Age

Getting married, even at older ages, usually means some planning must take place. Couples need to decide whether they will have a ceremony, a reception, paperwork, and more. Some of these things are simple, and others can bring lots of planning and cost. For older adults, this can be complicated and costly.

There are a number of factors that couples need to consider when planning a wedding at an older age. These include:

  • Health. Are you or your loved one physically able to participate in all aspects of the wedding planning process? Will help from family or friends be required?
  • Finances. How much can be spent on the wedding? 
  • Family and friends. Will loved ones be able to travel to the wedding? Will they need to make accommodations for guests with disabilities?
  • Their wishes. What kind of wedding is desired? Perhaps a traditional ceremony and reception or something more informal?

With careful planning, couples can have a beautiful and meaningful wedding at any age. However, it is important to be realistic about their expectations and to factor in the additional challenges that may come with planning a wedding at an older age.

Here are some additional tips for couples who are planning a wedding at an older age:

  • Start planning early. This will give you more time to save money and find the perfect venue and vendors.
  • Be flexible. Things sometimes go differently than planned, so be prepared to make changes.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are a number of people who can help you with the planning process, including family, friends, and wedding planners.

Finances and Legalities

Getting married is more than just two people in love. Make sure you cover everything in advance. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Wills: Couples should review their wills to make sure they are up-to-date and reflect their current wishes. If one spouse has children from a previous relationship, the will should specify how those children will be taken care of in the event of the spouse's death.
  • Assets: Couples should consider separating their assets for inheritance purposes. This can help to avoid conflict between the spouses' children if one spouse dies before the other. A lawyer can help to ensure that your wishes are clearly expressed and that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
  • Beneficiaries: Couples should update the beneficiaries on their life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial accounts. This ensures that their assets will go to the people they want them to go to in the event of their death. Do so in accordance with the wishes outlined and as recommended by an attorney. 
  • Burial wishes: Couples should discuss their burial wishes and make sure they are updated and documented. This includes specifying where and with whom they want to be buried, what kind of funeral they want, and who they want to be responsible for their arrangements. For example, some people still wish to be buried with a previously deceased spouse. For someone who was previously married, they may have already made funeral and burial plans with the previous spouse, which will need to be changed.
  • Licenses: Couples should check with their local government to see what licenses or permits they need to obtain in order to get married. This may include a marriage license, a blood test, or a waiting period.

In addition to these legal and financial considerations, couples should also consider the following:

  • Health proxies/medical power of attorney: Couples should designate a health proxy for each of them. This is the person who will make medical decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so themselves. This may update a previous one that listed a former or deceased spouse. 
  • Powers of attorney: Couples should give each other a power of attorney. This document gives one spouse the authority to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of the other spouse if they become incapacitated.
  • Living wills: Couples should consider creating a living will. This is a document that specifies their wishes for end-of-life care, such as whether they want to be resuscitated or placed on life support.

Don't Forget Long-Term Care

Even if you separate your marital assets, you are still legally responsible for your spouse's future long-term care. In the eyes of the state, your assets are marital assets.

If you do not already have Long-Term Care Insurance, consider getting it as soon as possible. Some people may not have enough savings to justify having an LTC policy, and others, especially if they are older, may not qualify for a policy.

Here are some additional points to consider:

Seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to review options. 

By considering these legal and financial issues, couples can ensure that their wishes are met in the event of the disability or death of one of the spouses. Planning helps avoid conflict and ensure their assets are distributed according to their wishes.

The Wedding Itself

Will you have a ceremony and reception, and who will be invited? Here are items to think about now:

Inviting Friends and Family to an Older Adult's Wedding

You will have to decide who to invite to the wedding. This can be a difficult decision, as many friends and family members may want to be there. There may also be some people you will not want to be there or may refuse to come if invited.

Some factors that couples may want to consider when making the guest list include:

  1. The size of the wedding. If the wedding is small, you may not be able to invite everyone you want.
  2. The budget. The cost of the wedding may also be a factor in determining who to invite.
  3. The couple's relationship with their friends and family. You may want to invite people who are close to you and who you know will be supportive of the marriage. 

Potential Problems from Friends and Family

When older adults get married, there may be some challenges from friends and family. Some people may not approve of the marriage or be concerned about the couple's financial security.

Close family members, supportive of the new union, can help. If the couple is facing opposition from their friends or family, you may want to talk to them about the concerns. They may also consider setting some boundaries with their friends and family so that they can focus on their new marriage.

Here are some tips for dealing with friends and family who are opposed to an older adult's marriage:

  1. Listen to their concerns. It is important to listen to your friends and family's concerns, even if you disagree.
  2. Explain your reasons for getting married. Let your friends and family know why you are getting married and what you hope to get out of the marriage.
  3. Set some boundaries. If your friends and family do not support your marriage, you may need to set some boundaries with them. This may mean limiting contact with them or not discussing your wedding with them.

Start with the Ceremony

There are many possibilities when it comes to ceremony options for weddings of older adults. Some couples prefer a traditional ceremony, while others choose something more informal. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • A traditional ceremony in a church or synagogue. This is a popular option for couples who want a formal and religious ceremony.
  • A civil ceremony at a government office. This more secular option is often less expensive than a traditional ceremony.
  • A private ceremony at home or in a park. This more intimate option is perfect for couples who want a small and personal ceremony.
  • A destination wedding. This is a great option for couples who want to get married in a beautiful location.

Fun Stuff - the Reception

A wedding is a party. Whether you have a small or large wedding, you will want to share a good time with friends and family following the ceremony.

Think Carefully About the Venue

You should also think carefully about the venue you will choose when you are getting married at an older age. For instance, you should check how accessible the venue is—especially if you or your guests are wheelchair users or if anyone has difficulties with mobility. 

Look around for a venue close to home so you can cut your travel time. However, a destination wedding is not completely off the cards. 

Hire the Right Bartender

There is one statement that both older and younger couples can agree on: food and drink are two of the most important aspects of a wedding. To ensure that your wedding can cater to all your guests (including those who do not drink), you should look at hiring a bartender that offers both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. 

Bartending services for weddings often provide professionals who are TIPS-certified and well-trained, ensuring that your guests will be safe while letting their inhibitions go. 

Hiring a bartender can ensure that your wedding is classic and that your event caters to young and old guests. Even if the reception is small and located in a common area of a condo building, a professional bartender will be helpful so that you will not have to worry about serving your guests yourself.

Bring Your Care Along

If you struggle with health issues, rather than leaving the caregiver who often helps you at home, you should consider having them help at the wedding and reception. This will ensure that you have support throughout the day and that you can have medical help on hand if an emergency occurs. For instance, you might hire non-emergency medical professionals and services who can attend the wedding with you and who can transport you easily between venues. By including this care, you can ensure that you can enjoy your wedding without worrying about its impact on your health and mobility. 

Furthermore, if you are currently in a hospital or long-term care facility, this does not mean that your planned wedding is out of the question, and it is sometimes possible to arrange for the service to occur within the hospital or facility.

Consider Your Outfit

Choosing the right outfit is also important as you want to make sure that it flatters you and that you feel good in it. Therefore, you should look for brands that specialize in clothing for seniors. You might even consider opting for non-wedding-specific attire, as this may fit you better and you may feel more relaxed than other traditional options. 

Share Memories

Preserving the memories of your special day is paramount, and high-quality wedding albums available online provide an excellent way to share those cherished moments with family and friends. By creating and accessing these online albums, everyone can relive the joy and excitement of your wedding day, regardless of where they are.

Senior Weddings and Honeymoon Options

There are many honeymoon options available for older adults. Some couples may want to travel to a warm climate, while others may prefer to relax at a beach resort. There are also many cruises and tour packages designed specifically for older adults.

Here are a few honeymoon ideas for older adults:

  • A cruise - Cruises are a great way to see the world without worrying about transportation or accommodation. Many different cruises are available, so couples can find one that fits their budget and interests. A cruise could be the best option, especially for a couple that wants to reduce travel stress and mobility issues. 
  • A tour package -Tour packages offer a great way to see a specific destination without planning all the details yourself. Many different tour packages are available, so couples can find one that fits their interests and budget.
  • A beach vacation - A beach vacation is a great way to relax and enjoy the sun and sand. There are many beautiful beaches worldwide, so couples can find one that fits their needs.
  • A road trip - A road trip is a great way to see the country. Whether you travel the Old Route 66, drive along the coast, or up and down the Mississippi, you can find many routes to see wonderful scenery, try local restaurants, and visit historic sites. 

No matter what type of honeymoon you choose, couples should ensure that it is something they will enjoy. After all, the honeymoon is a time to relax and celebrate their new marriage.

Senior Marriage: Is It Worth It?

Despite these challenges, marriage at an older age can be a rewarding experience. Couples who marry later in life often have a deeper appreciation for each other and are more likely to be happy in their marriages. Some couples may have more financial security and may be able to travel and enjoy their retirement together.

If you are considering marrying after the age of 50, it is important to be aware of these challenges that you may face. However, it is also important to remember that marriage can be a rewarding experience at any age.

Here are some additional tips for couples who are considering marrying after age 50:

  • Be honest with each other about your expectations. Talk about what you want out of the marriage and what you are willing to give.
  • Be patient with each other. It takes time to adjust to a new marriage, especially if you are both older adults.
  • Seek help if you need it. If you are struggling with the challenges of marriage, there are resources available to help you. You can talk to a therapist, counselor, or other professional.


When it comes to senior couples considering marriage, the topic of sexual intimacy and potential health issues is important. While age-related health conditions can pose challenges, open communication and understanding can help address any concerns.

Couples must discuss their expectations honestly, seek medical advice if needed, and explore alternative ways to maintain intimacy and connection, ensuring a fulfilling and satisfying relationship.

Discussing a Potential Marriage with Adult Children

If you are an older adult who is considering getting married, it is important to talk to your adult children about your plans. This can be a difficult conversation, but it is important to be open and honest with your children.

Here are some tips for discussing a potential marriage with your adult children:

  • Start by telling your children that you are thinking about getting married. This will give them time to process the information and ask questions.
  • Explain why you are getting married. What are your reasons for getting married? What do you hope to gain from the marriage?
  • Listen to your children's concerns. Your children may have concerns about the marriage, such as financial security or health care. It is important to listen to and address their concerns as best you can.
  • Be respectful of your children's feelings. Even if your children are supportive of your marriage, they may still have some mixed feelings. It is important to respect their feelings and reassure them that you love them.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your discussion with your adult children about your potential marriage is a positive and productive one.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Be prepared for your children to have different reactions. Some children may be excited for you, while others may be surprised or even upset. It is important to be prepared for any reaction and to be understanding of your children's feelings.
  • Be patient. It may take some time for your children to adjust to the idea of you getting married. Be patient with them and give them time to process the information.
  • Remember that your children are adults. They may not always agree with your decisions, but they deserve to be treated with respect.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your discussion with your adult children about your potential marriage is a positive and productive one.

If you're feeling love in the air, perhaps getting married wouldn't be such a bad idea.

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About the Author

Maggie Hammond is a proud mama to two little people and has one too many furry friends. She's passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors, and animal welfare.

LTC News Contributor Maggie Hammond

Maggie Hammond

Contributor since June 8th, 2023

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