Am I too old to have a wedding?

As I get nearer to my fortieth birthday, the chances of me pleasing my ever patient parents with a wedding day to remember, slips further and further into the ether. It’s probably not going to happen.

Not that I have anything against marriage or weddings for that matter.

It’s just that for the first 30 years of my life I couldn’t imagine getting married to anyone and now that I have got my head around the idea, I think I’m too old to do it as I would have liked to have done it in the first place. Silly, probably, but that’s how I feel. I think I have bought into the romantic idea of marriage – beautiful bride in a flowing white gown, dashing groom in a swank suit, the ugly bridesmaids dresses, cute child as ring bearer, the drunken speeches, and even the tossing of the bouquet for all the single ladies who want a ring on it. The works.

That traditional version of events makes it near enough impossible for me to imagine doing it any other way because frankly I feel too old now. In my opinion if you haven’t gotten married before your children, then don’t bother. It can’t happen like that unless it’s your second or third marriage.

I think there is too much focus on the wedding event.

Granted it is an important day and one that we will remember forever so it has to be somewhat perfect. From the dress to the food, and even the guests…perfect. A lot of money is spent on wedding planners, venue planners, cake tasters, dress makers, and anyone else who is smart enough to make a healthy profit from other’s people’s angst for perfection. You can even have your pick from a whole load of wedding magazines giving you information about… weddings.

Weddings are clearly big business but where are the magazines on marriage?

You know, the ones to tell you how to act after the event, when real life kicks in. A quick guide on what you need to know, the tax implications, what happens when the kids grow up? Basically what it really means to be married.
You may have noticed that I switch effortlessly between the terms ‘wedding’ and ‘marriage’ as if they are interchangeable. I do this to see if you the reader knows the difference between these two related terms.

The difference between a wedding and marriage

Picture 12A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. A Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship. A marriage is also a legally binding contract and it is here that the cynic in me comes into play. I have nothing against being with someone for the rest of my life, sharing the good and bad times, raising children together and living a full life. However, the term contract frightens the shit out of me. Usually when you see that word, it’s no longer about just you, somewhere lurking in the shadows with notepad in hand, is a lawyer waiting to pounce when things go wrong.

Back in the day, if you wanted to spend your life with someone, you both jumped the broom and that was it. What was yours was now hers. You tried to make it work and if things didn’t work out you snapped the broom in half and found someone else (I am guessing at this bit!) Then marriage became ’an institution’ that said wait a minute, ‘all these people getting married and we ain’t getting paid, we need a contract!’

And so the marriage contract was born.

A piece of paper that declares you are legally married. Legally married because you can actually be non legally married if you choose to pay the ‘wrong’ venue. And the fact that it is a contract meant that you had to pay for the privilege in some way. Government happy, church happy, solicitor happy, everybody happy right? Right!..that is until the divorce.

It all becomes clearer when you look at what happens when you want to end the marriage. That’s when you remember that you are in a legal contract and you need to pay someone who understands the contract to help you escape. Enter the overpaid lawyer…


Divorce is the final termination of a marriage, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between two persons. In short even if the two of you agree it’s over, it ain’t over until the law says it is.

My take on the institution of marriage

Most of us mistake the wedding for a marriage. In reality a wedding lasts about 12 hours, a marriage hopefully a lifetime. A wedding is two people in front of a group of spectators; a marriage is just the two of you after the spectators have gone home, having taken bets on how long it will last. A wedding on average costs twenty grand. A failed marriage can cost you a hell of a lot more. Too many marriages fail within the first two years, once the honeymoon period fizzles out and the real work of being married kicks in. Why? Because people buy into the romantic side, the wedding, and not the actual marriage itself. By the time marriage starts failing, it’s too late to start thinking about what the legal contract really means.

So am I being cynical? Perhaps.

If you do plan on getting married, at least check out the contract and the real not just romantic implications. Like buying a car or signing up for cable TV, read the small print and understand what is expected of you. Don’t walk down that aisle in ignorance because it will not be bliss.


One Response to “Am I too old to have a wedding?”

  1. patrick ebi amanama Says:

    when an handshake goes beyond the elbow,lord,something is coming up,there’s really nothing wrong in anyone wanting to get married,infact,the lord jesus christ himself started his ministry on a wedding day,and they said that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and to the topic of the day,bro,age is not barrier to anyone’s wanting on getting married,the implications n challenges notwitstanding,life is good.unlike the western world where the law favors the women on the case of divorce,in my world,where the man is made to part with some of his properties in case of divorce,the typical african husband wld never leave or pack away from his house for the woman.
    marriage is for the matured minds,age is no barrier.

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