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Wedding bells for boomers

Boomer brides and grooms are going for more minimal ceremonies than their younger counterparts with special roles being given to adult children.
For The Oklahoman
Modified: August 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm •  Published: August 20, 2012

Nine months after her wedding, Candy Reece describes her marriage as blessed. In fact, she sprinkles words like “treasure,” “precious” or “wonderful” in practically every sentence as she gushes about her new husband.

This baby boomer bride says she and her husband, Bob, never thought happiness would be possible again after losing spouses to long illnesses. They had grown up in the same church and lived several houses away, but had never met.

“To even find joy again, we’re just ecstatic. Every day is just great,” Reece said.

After their first date, Bob asked for Candy’s cell phone number to keep in contact with her while she was on a two-week mission trip to China.

“He had done five texts in his whole life, so he had to learn to text. But 106 texts later, I come home from China, and we go out. I bet on that second date, we both knew.”

Wedding and party planner Judy Lehmbeck says she sees mature brides like 61-year-old Reece looking for smaller ceremonies than their younger counterparts.

“Usually these people have been through it once. They want something simple, quick, that unites them and there’s not all the bells and whistles that you would do when you were getting married the first time,” Lehmbeck said.

“If it’s a little bit older couple and they have children, they will incorporate the children into the service. Even people with older children will have them stand around them, forming an union between the two families,” Lehmbeck said.

For Reece’s important day, she opted for a morning chapel wedding with close friends and family, followed by an evening reception bash with 350 guests.

“There’s not a long white gown with all the flowers and candles that you would do for someone getting married for the first time or a younger bride,” Lehmbeck said. “It’s very simple. The dress is much simpler, probably just a church-type dress or something pretty that is not white and flowy and walks down the aisle with a veil.”

But ultimately, each wedding is as individual as the bride. Engaged couples, no matter their stage in life, are seeking ways to showcase their personalities.

Reece says she and her husband share a devotional every morning, and she gave the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young to her reception guests. Candy Reece also gave out a bounty of Reese’s candy.

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