Is 39 Too Old To Get Married?

What does it really mean to be married today?

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

After reading an article about Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson marrying his longtime partner Lauren Hashian, at the age of 47, I began to wonder if getting married when you’re no longer in your 20s is considered “too old.”

Just before Christmas, in a simple ceremony on our semi-rural property, my partner and I said, “I do.” Our guest list was small — our immediate family and a couple of friends only. I wore a dusty pink wedding dress and our two eldest sons carried our wedding rings while my mother carried our youngest son down the aisle.

It was exactly what we wanted. Romantic, sweet but also very emotional. My partner’s mother was supposed to be there, but she recently passed away. It was heartbreaking to go through the ceremony without her, but there was immense love in the air from everyone present.

Our wedding wasn’t what I’d imagined it to be when I was in my 20s. But it didn’t fall short of any expectations. It was different from what I’d dreamed because I’m now a different person to that 20-something-year old girl with images of a flowing white dress.

I’m now 39. One thought that went through my mind before we tied the knot was: Am I too old to be getting married?

My hubby and I have three kids. We got engaged before our first son was born, but never felt the need to have an official wedding ceremony until recently.

When you’ve got kids, is there a difference between living together as de facto partners or as a married couple?

I never thought so. Sure, there was the factor of having different surnames. My kids have my partner’s surname, which was a choice I made when our first son was born.

Truth be told, one of the main reasons I wanted to get married was to have the same surname as my partner. I could have legally changed it without us getting married, but I wanted to have a ceremony to celebrate that choice with our family.

In a way, the ceremony was just as much for our family and friends as it was for us. But changing my surname was my choice.

Is it old-fashioned to want the same surname as your partner? Maybe because I’m an older bride I have this out-dated idea of being a family with the same surname. Or maybe it’s just something I’ve always wanted.

How does it feel to be a 39-year-old bride?

Do my family and friends treat me differently now that I’m married? I can honestly say the one thing I’ve noticed is my family seem happier when they talk to me about marriage. They remind me I’m a ‘Mrs’, and say it with such joy in their eyes that I feel nothing but love from them.

I’ve never been pressured to get married by my parents. But when my dad walked me down the grassy aisle, I saw a mixture of feelings. He was both nervous and happy and excited. But mostly I felt his love. He was truly happy for me.

I think he would have felt that way whether I was married at 19, 29 or 49. It was a dad feeling proud of his daughter.

So, while getting married isn’t a fresh start for my husband and me, it’s a new beginning for us. A new life together as husband and wife.

Marriage is more of a feeling rather than a physical thing in my view. After all, we’ve got a house, we’ve got kids. We’ve even got a business together. We’re not starting our lives fresh together. We’re already halfway through it.

Marriage is an ever-evolving concept today

Husband and wife. Husband and husband. Wife and wife. Marriage is an ever-evolving concept. What I’ve realised is I’m the one who was hung up on my age when I was getting married. No one else cared. Seriously. Everyone at our wedding was happy for us to be married. End of story.

Even if they were thinking, “finally!” no one was bitter about my partner and I holding off for so many years before we tied the knot.

Marriage is meant to be a happy ceremony. It’s a commitment that’s meant to last for life.

Just because my hubby and I weren’t legally married before having kids and a life together, doesn’t mean we weren’t committed to one another.

But now that we have a piece of paper that tells the world we’re married, life feels different to me.

So that’s the honest truth. Marriage is what you make it in your mind. In your actions. In your body and soul.

I feel my partner and I were already married before we got married, but now that we really are married, there’s been a shift in my thoughts. Perhaps it’s that legal document or the change of my surname.

Or it could be remembering the awkward, nervous look my partner gave me when he recited his vows. And the way his eyes lit when the celebrant told us, “You can kiss now!”

Whatever it is, I’m happy we’re married, and I honestly don’t care how old or young I am. Because in my head, I’m in this marriage forever, just as I always have been.

If you enjoyed reading this article, join my mailing list for more.

Lana Graham is Editor of Mama Write. She writes about parenting and psychology and lives in Sydney, Australia with her hubby and their three marvellous sons. You can find her sitting on her front verandah sipping black tea and listening to the kookaburras laugh each morning.

Aussie mama of 3 sons. Lover of tea. Planner geek with a cereal obsession. Say G’day: lana@lanagraham.com.au

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store