(This blog was featured on The Huffington Post Fifty on March 6, 2015.)
If you’re over 50 and planning your wedding, here’s a nugget of advice: For a unique musician, consider a little one-eyed Greek playing a goat bladder. That worked for us.
Studley and I met after being divorced from marriages that had lasted more than 22 years. We weren’t proud of those failures, but we were willing to take another chance on love and life. Based upon our successful experience, here are some advantages of midlife marriage:
1. There is no pressure to have the “perfect wedding.” We’ve all attended lavish ceremonies that ended before the thank you notes were sent. At our age, we’re celebrating the fact that someone else wants to say “I do” and we prefer something non-traditional. With an open bar.
2. There aren’t any in-law issues. Three of our four parents had passed away and my sweet mother suffered from dementia. She didn’t remember his name … or mine.
3. Make your own arrangements and pay the expenses. One of my favorite movies isMama Mia but the quaint little Greek church shown in the movie isn’t available for weddings. Besides, I would have fallen off the narrow path leading to the church. So we used frequent flyer miles and a timeshare to get married at the quaint Anezina Village Hotel on the Greek island of Paros.
4. Skip the wedding planner. Our simple accommodations were owned by a jolly Greek woman named Maria and her adult son Stavros. She adopted us when we arrived and planned an authentic, Ancient Greek wedding complete with borrowed togas, head wreaths of laurel vines, and a Greek Orthodox priest who couldn’t speak English. The ceremony took place outside a chapel on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Priceless.
5. Skip the buffet line. Our hostess cooked an amazing meal to celebrate the wedding and invited all the other guests who were staying at the resort. Music was provided by a shy man pounding on a drum and the little one-eyed Greek who played a goat bladder. A few cases of wine completed the festivities, and we all danced until dawn.
6. Look beyond the body. At midlife, we have some wrinkles, age spots, receding hairlines, and flabby guts despite hundreds of sit-ups. But true love comes from within, in that deep, dark recess of the heart and mind that says “Take another chance. This time it will work.”
Someday we’ll return to Paros and hike to the chapel overlooking the sea. We’ll celebrate another festive anniversary, with or without the goat bladder music.