with Lynne and Leslie

5 To Do’s for the bride at 35 (or older)

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Wedding Week Continues with advice from guest blogger Jocelyn Warren, who we grew up with in Baltimore. Jocelyn knows what she is talking about: she is the owner of A Paradigm Shift, LLC, an event planning firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, AND also got married recently in her early 40’s. Enjoy!!

5 To Do’s for the bride at 35 (or older)

by Jocelyn Warren

Jocelyn on her wedding day!!

At the age of 38, I met the man of my dreams. He was handsome, strong, a great father, and a wonderful person. He asked me to marry him 3 years later (officially—he actually told me we were going to get married 2 weeks after we met). So at 41 I found myself a bride-to-be. So along with his proposal came a barrage of advice from others. Out of it all, this is what I wish someone had told me!

  1. Do what you want

We did. We had the wedding we wanted. I wore a princess ball gown. He wore a chocolate tuxedo. We had our three tiered wedding cake, over 100 guests from all phases of our lives, the traditional dances, but we made it our own. We are known for the games we play when we entertain and love of sports so both were part of our wedding day and celebration. We had it our way. We put aside the expectations of others and incorporated our personalities from our engagement pictures to the music we used to enter the reception. Click here to see our entrance at 1:00 – 1:45 min of this video clip.

  1. Do wear what you want

Once we decided to have a traditional wedding, I decided on a traditional gown. This was not my first marriage and I was over 40, so people tried to tell me all kinds of things about what older brides should wear. In the end, I wore a strapless DaVinci ballgown. I compromised with my 70 year old mother who thinks brides should not have bare shoulders. I wore a beautiful organza shrug. Do not wear a matronly gown if you don’t want to! Wear what you are comfortable in and what looks good on you. It will show in the pictures!

  1. Do invite who you want

I did not do this and I regret it. We invited about 197 people and 137 RSVP’d and 123 showed up. Yes. I am still annoyed that people RSVP’d and did not show up but that’s a blog/rant for another day. But I wish we had really sat down and ONLY invited the people we absolutely without a doubt could not imagine our day without. That is who you want in your pictures, who you want in your energy and space. Ask yourself, would I buy this person dinner for $XX (whatever your per plate cost is). If the answer is “No,” nix them from the guest list.

4. Do trust your gut

Brides over 35 are wise. They have managed to navigate lots of life’s pitfalls and come out in love. Amazing! So all the instincts you have in other aspects of your life, put them to use in regard to your wedding. If you don’t get a good feeling about a location, a vendor, a contract. Trust your gut. Don’t do it or at least ask more questions. Run your ideas by others and get input, but if you can’t put your finger on why you don’t want to do something, don’t dismiss it. You will be thankful later! Trust me.

  1. Do hire a planner

Most of us do not plan weddings routinely. If we are fortunate, you only plan one! Many brides at 35 are working professionals and don’t have time to conjure theme options, know how to “brand” a wedding, research venue options, develop timelines, coordinate vendor arrivals, or even know what is reasonable to have in a florist contract. Wedding planners do all that and more. Hire one. They are often much less expensive than you think and the money you save in the resources they have, will often pay for their cost in the end. If you simply cannot hire a planner sign up for email lists and blogs of planners so that you can, a least, get some of their words of wisdom.


If you have questions or need more help with your wedding planning, call me at 919.701.9556, see our webpage, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Pinterest.


Jocelyn Warren, a Baltimore native, is the Owner and Event Designer for A Paradigm Shift Event, LLC located in Raleigh, NC. A Paradigm Shift Event, is a full service, boutique wedding and special event planning company committed to fundamentally changing the event experience.


Phone:  919.701.9556

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AParadigmShiftEvent

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/aparadigmshift

Twitter: https://twitter.com/A_Paradigm_SE


3 Responses to “5 To Do’s for the bride at 35 (or older)”

  1. maria_blake@comcast.net' Maria says:

    This is great! Hilarious, and so true LOL I’ve said similar things to many friends. It’s your day, do what makes you happy! Friends, co-workers even some family members will come & go … the bride & groom are in it for the long haul … let them express themselves, and do what means something to them. It’s not about you (the guests)… 🙂 I’ve been married over 22 years – I can’t even imagine planning a wedding now. Thank goodness for wedding planners, blogs & great advice. Thanks for sharing!

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