Real Bride Sylvie: The Mature Wedding

Today I am beyond pumped to share an amazing guest blog from an amazing real bride – meet Sylvie! Tying the knot later in her life, Sylvie is here to dish all her best advice for others that might be getting married past their twenties! And hey, even if you are getting married in your twenties, Sylvie makes a lot of great points for every bride to keep in mind while planning their special days! With her real-life insight into the trials, tribulations and triumphs of wedding planning, this piece is truly inspired! Happy Friday everyone, enjoy!

Hi everyone! Sylvie here – I am so excited to be able to share my advice with all of you today! I just wanted to start off my piece by telling you a little bit about myself and my husband. Titled ” The Mature Wedding,” I’m sure you’re all wondering what I’m talking about! Well, you see, I was really trying to find a better heading, but had no appropriate words really come to mind that didn’t sound derogatory to me (Old, Lifer, Late in Life, Run down, Bout Time = yikes!). None of them were truly flattering if you know what I mean! So I chose to call my piece “The Mature Wedding,” with mature meaning our age not necessarily our mental state :) At 46 and 43 (ahem….I’m the 46 year old) this story is all about the road to our fairly grand wedding on November 2 of this year! “Fairly grand” to us meaning a quaint venue that held 150 people which we filled to capacity. My husband wanted a sit down meal, reception, ceremony, tuxedo, DJ, cake, hall decorator, and yet a small wedding party of two Best Men and two Maids of Honor.
And what I wanted to talk to you all about today is how, right at the start of our planning adventure, I started to realize that maybe, just maybe, this was not the way people expected it to be when it came to “mature” couples.It seemed that when we voiced our plans to “Joe General Public” or family, that we got the silent head nods, the surprised eyes, even the rolling ones at times. I wondered what that was all about because in our heads we were a newly engaged couple who were planning their special and magical day. Why were we being discouraged for having, for lack of a better concept………A FIRST WEDDING. Why weren’t we supposed to have the grandeur that seems to be associated with the “Young and Firstimers” even thought this was my husbands first (and last hee hee!) wedding?!?

{Photo via Pinterest}

Determined not to let the naysayers get us down, I brushed them off and  started to be my own “wedding coordinator” (which I am happy to say I have now turned into my career!). It’s still a little crazy to think that out of this beautiful adventure Act One Scene One was born but I felt we needed a service to help plan for all events and weddings for people of all shapes, sizes and ages! After all, from the dress shopping (I found a beautiful lace gown and I said “Yes” to the dress), to looking at venues, to organizing worksheets for comparison, etc, etc – the more I went the more the questions came…………and the more I found myself answering “Why wouldn’t I?”

How come I was wearing a long bridal gown? How come we had elaborate gowns for the maids of honor? Ring Bearer, two Flower girls…is that really necessary? Why such a large venue? You are actually getting a BIG cake?” “Why so many guests?” With a very lighthearted manner, I did not waiver from my repetitive answer of “Yes, why wouldn’t I?” And I know that a lot of brides get these questions – why the expense, why the decorations, why everything! But, what I found shocking was how almost everything was being challenged! And, that wasn’t the worst of it! I believe the strangest and probably the most awkward day I have had in this journey that sums up all that we faced as the more “mature” couple and was when I attended my area’s bridal show. An amazing event with vendors of every service, and complete with all the bells and whistles it was quite the thing to behold (and made me wish for unlimited funds!). It was truly beautiful with many hard working, pleasant people who cater to brides and grooms on a daily basis. But…………… with that said, the mentality of the shows may need a little polishing!!

When we entered the show, the brides to be were given a very bright, shiny, glittery PURPLE bag that could be seen like Barney himself from across the room (I felt very girly!). The vendors were obviously aware of the meaning of the purple bag but none the less, at most booths that my daughter (who is 21) and I approached to take a looksy at all the cool stuff, I got the same question “SOOOOOOO WHO’S OUR BRIDE?? – always asked while looking at my daughter, regardless of the fact that I was the one laden down with the magical bridal bag! As we walked they would call her over to fill a ballot, try to get her attention to go over, while I just strolled along going unnoticed. My daughter repeated (many more times than I have fingers to count on), “It’s my mom that’s getting married!” Well the responses to that – ooh boy they had quite the range! From stunned, dumbfounded to truly looking like they had a face full of foot.  While we did meet a few (a very few!) vendors who made the “proper” assumption (SHE HAS THE PURPLE BAG!!!),  I kept a smile on my face, held my composure and all in all had a good time, realizing that there was nothing about my own wedding that I was going to change.

And, while I am truly happy to be marrying (by the time your read this married!) to my best friend, I did want to share these stories to show that every one of us goes through some amount of tribulations before our trip down the aisle. And with that, here are my quick tips from the mature bride to all my fellow brides, regardless of age to help ease your stress and make your wedding amazing:

1. Be present at your own event. At some point we brides don’t exactly take things in stride – and that goes for most of us! So my tip is this: be organized, be on top of things, and like housework, if it’s maintained, you won’t have to have a major meltdown because there is so much to catch up on. Be present and in the moment so you enjoy the time because it’s not going to come around again. Relieve your worry and have faith in those you have assigned tasks to so you can allow yourself to be present at your own event!

2. Older but Wiser. There is life after the wedding day. So much emphasis is put on the day itself once engaged, that couples forget that life actually only starts AFTER that day. The trials and tribulations of married life are still to come – the ups and downs, the daily responsibilities. There is a part of me that likes to believe the age old saying “older and wiser” – your wedding day will be amazing, but don’t forget your journey to marital bliss is just beginning.

3. Turmoil. I would have thought that I DIDN’T have this in common with the the younger brides, but call it turmoil or difference of opinion, we still dealt with it. We dealt with every kind of personality as we planned our wedding and I came to realize that pleasing everyone would be impossible! It was challenging (to say the least) to which I think my only suggestion or insight would be to try and be understanding, empathetic and open to other suggestions and yet stay true to yourself. After all, it is your wedding day!!!

A final thought then fellow brides, is when it comes to wedded bliss there should be no lines, no judgement. Whatever you choose for your wedding is what you choose! And at the end of day we, just like you, simply wanted to be married to each other in whatever fashion we desired. When it comes to marrying the person you have chosen as your life partner, there should be no age limit on how elaborate or intimate a celebration should be whether you are in your early 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or even your 80’s.

Our motto for the wedding was this: “How beautiful is the day that is filled with Love. Today I Marry my Best Friend”, and isn’t that, truly, all that matters?

Sylvie Drozdowski (new bride and owner)
Act One Scene One
Wedding Coordinator/ Event Planner/ Life Saver

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