Most of these couples have been living together for quite some time - often decades - but just never got married. Some come to us because of financial planning, or other retirement concerns which suddenly pop up as you are nearing retirement. Some are doing things as practical as going on holiday, and are concerned about health issues. SOME are simply romantic, and want a small private wedding (sometimes with adult children - and grandchildren in tow) to celebrate their decision.
We've had the ceremonies in our office, in their homes, backyards, and at restaurants - sometimes with family, sometimes with long-time friends, sometimes just the couple (and their witnesses) but the weddings have been lovely, simple, and very touching.
The words we say change a bit when you have been keeping house together for 30 years - we often talk about the couples life not changing, but simply becoming stronger. We can talk about the years they've spent together, and their plans for the future, or simply celebrate their partnership.
"...for N & N their relationship has not changed – it has endured thirty years. Today their relationship simply grows stronger, made more powerful by their pledge to each other to support and love one another through all of life’s joys and challenges. For marriage is not the beginning, but the maturing of love - it is love freely given and gladly returned and it is both ordinary and extraordinary because it is simply about everyday living.."
Here is a reading I like to use for couples who are 'getting married at 64'
Captain Corelli’s mandolin, Louis de Bernieres.
Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two