40-Plus Brides

Late 40s, first time marriage for both

We've been together 11 years (FH proposed the day after first date anniversary!) and are finally tying the knot.  So many questions!  We want to keep it simple.  Preliminary guest list is smsll-ish (75-80 guests).

Along the lines of keeping it simple, can we DIY pictures for invitations, or should we hire a photographer?

We are both Catholic and want to have a church wedding.  Have not contacted the church yet, so of course we haven't set an official date, but aiming for April or early May of next year.  For a Catholic wedding, does it make sense to have a full wedding if the majority of guests are non-Catholic or not practicing?  Can we have a ceremony without attendants?  Neither of us have friends close enough that we feel we want to ask them.  I do have three high school and college age nieces, though.

Speaking of nieces, I'm leaning toward wearing a church-apporopriate bridesmaid's or evening gown, as they are much taller +and younger), and children are not in the cards for us, so it seems to make more sense to have something if I ever have a future occasion to dress up.

Once we set the date, we'll start looking at venues for the reception.  Obviously we don't want something too big, which should hopefully keep the cost down somewhat.  If we have a Saturday afternoon ceremony with reception following, say an hour later, should we look for a dance floor?  Other than a few teenagers, most guests will be 30s and older, so we want a nice atmosphere but don't know if they will be inclined to dance.  If we don't have a dance floor, should we still consider hiring a DJ to provide atmospheric music, or create our own playlists and use Bluetooth speakers?  

Sorry for the long list of questions, but there's so much to think of!

Re: Late 40s, first time marriage for both

  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We've been together 11 years (FH proposed the day after first date anniversary!) and are finally tying the knot.  So many questions!  We want to keep it simple.  Preliminary guest list is smsll-ish (75-80 guests).

    Along the lines of keeping it simple, can we DIY pictures for invitations, or should we hire a photographer?

    We are both Catholic and want to have a church wedding.  Have not contacted the church yet, so of course we haven't set an official date, but aiming for April or early May of next year.  For a Catholic wedding, does it make sense to have a full wedding if the majority of guests are non-Catholic or not practicing?  Can we have a ceremony without attendants?  Neither of us have friends close enough that we feel we want to ask them.  I do have three high school and college age nieces, though.

    Speaking of nieces, I'm leaning toward wearing a church-apporopriate bridesmaid's or evening gown, as they are much taller +and younger), and children are not in the cards for us, so it seems to make more sense to have something if I ever have a future occasion to dress up.

    Once we set the date, we'll start looking at venues for the reception.  Obviously we don't want something too big, which should hopefully keep the cost down somewhat.  If we have a Saturday afternoon ceremony with reception following, say an hour later, should we look for a dance floor?  Other than a few teenagers, most guests will be 30s and older, so we want a nice atmosphere but don't know if they will be inclined to dance.  If we don't have a dance floor, should we still consider hiring a DJ to provide atmospheric music, or create our own playlists and use Bluetooth speakers?  

    Sorry for the long list of questions, but there's so much to think of!
    I rarely see pictures on invitations? Save the dates, sure, but generally not on invitations. If you truly meant invites, I'd say skip it altogether. Whether you want professional engagement photos or any engagement photos at all is entirely up to you and your priorities and your budget.

    You can have a full Mass if you two want a full Mass. The recommendations of the church are based on whether both bride and groom are Catholic, not whether the guests are. If you want to have just the short form for their sakes, though, you can. I'd lean towards re-evangelizing the non-practicing Catholics with a beautiful Mass.

    I'm unclear what you are asking with the nieces. Yes, it is possible to have no attendants at all, you'll just probably have to ask two guests to be witnesses to the license. If you want your nieces to be bridesmaids or groomsmaids, fine, but know they'll be honored and included by being guests.

    Music and dancing is up to you and budget again. When you say "an hour later" I hope you mean immediately after the end of the ceremony+travel time. Gaps are the worst, and rude to the guests, Catholic or not.

    Congratulations!
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • maine7mobmaine7mob Maine, USA member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments First Answer
    A full Nuptial Mass is lovely and really brings home the meaning of marriage. If you are both devout and you want that, go for it. My daughter had one with many non-Catholics attending. She just spread the word that it would be longer than a typical secular or other religious wedding. Had a brunch reception to avoid a gap. If you do an afternoon wedding (some churches do not do these, so be prepared), your reception will be closer to cocktail hour, so you can do those before dinner to avoid a gap. Definitely avoid a gap.

    You can get married with no attendants. It won't look strange at all.
  • If the full wedding mass will be meaningful to both you and your FI, then that's what you should have. 

    Most of the weddings I've attended were in the afternoon, including my own, and they all had dance floors. Some weddings definitely had more people actually dancing than others. It's really a matter of what kind of event you want to have and whether you think  your crowd will want to dance much (age and wanting to dance often correlate, but not always). If you decide not to have a dance floor, I think having a playlist and some speakers for the reception is enough (DJs can get expensive) but that's 100% your call.
    image
  • Thanks for the replies.  Glad to know attendants aren't required, even for a church wedding.  For those who didn't have attendants, how did you handle the exchanging of the rings?  Lay your bouquet on the armrest if the kneeler?

    Any gap in time would be due to photos after the ceremony and travel time to the reception venue.  We haven't started looking yet (thanks to coronavirus), but the ones I've bookmarked are anywhere from 10-40 minutes away.  Is that
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