One of the joys of my job is being part of some very romantic stories. I always ask my brides where they met their sweeties, and a lot of the answers involve college, online dating services, friends, etc. Once in a while, I find a real princess story, and quite a few of those gems happen with, what we call in the industry, encore brides. A lot of these women are older and have grown families, but that’s part of what makes their stories so compelling.
Case in point…I will call her Marilyn. Marilyn’s fiancé is someone she had a very serious crush on in high school. Unfortunately, she was the shy type back then and never did anything about it. They still ran in the same friend circles peripherally in college, so they actually did have one date during that time. However, nothing came of it. After college, they went their separate ways, got married to different people, had children, and those children grew up and had children of their own. Eventually, both marriages came to an end: his wife died, and she divorced her husband.
Thirty years or so go by for Marilyn and her sweetie. One day while she was surfing Facebook, the thought of him invaded her mind, and she did a search for him. There were a lot of profiles with his name, but she managed to find and confirm his. She took a deep breath and friended him. Much to her surprise, his confirmation came back almost immediately, and he messaged her. They began a conversation that led quickly to dating, his admitting that he had a crush on her too way back when, and ended six months later with a marriage proposal.
Since he eloped with his first wife, they are doing the big white wedding this time for him. She chose a dress with a bohemian style yet elegant flare (they are both “aging hippies,” in her words) and will wear a floral headband in her long hair. All their children and grandchildren will be bridesmaids and groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers in tones beginning with lilac for the youngest grandbabies and graduating up to dark purple for the eldest of their children. This is one family photo I can’t wait to see.
The best part of this story is them realizing that they had to go through all those years of life lessons to be ready for the happiness they would have with one another. Neither regrets their first marriage, but both are grateful that they’ve found one another again.
My takeaway? It’s never too late to begin again. It’s never too late for a happily ever after.