Latest wedding trend: Saying 'I Do' after 40

July 6, 2011 2:18:47 PM PDT
The latest wedding trend is not the hottest designer gown, but it is taking a walk down the aisle with age. First marriages at 40 and over. Could you be a late blooming bride?

Not married by 40 no longer means you are a spinster. In fact, it means you are part of a growing trend of those who say over 40 is the best time to say I do. The latest Census numbers show that the percentage of never-been-married 45- to 55-year-olds has doubled since 1990, and the percentage of those who are currently married dropped by 9 percent.

Kim Baker had to crack a lot of eggs to find mister right in her 40 plus years.

"Yes, I was planning to stay single; my whole focus was my business and developing my brand," Baker said.

Kim, a celebrity makeup artist, was fine with staying single. Same thing with Christine Dennison, who navigated her own shark-infested waters of the dating pool. As the owner of Mad Dog Expeditions, an exotic travel company, she too was focused on building her business.

"It wasn't on the radar," Dennison said. "I thought if it happened that would be great."

Life coach Caryl Lucas has been researching the 40-plus bride, who she calls LBBs. That's short for late blooming brides.

"I never like to use the word older anymore, I like to use the word wiser," Lucas said.

Because they are usually established in their own careers, they tend not to marry for money. but seek what's priceless.

"She is the bride for the first time who is looking for travel," Lucas said. "She's marrying you because she enjoys your company and she loves living life with you versus living life with stocks, bonds and financial security."

At 42, Dennison's wedding day was one of the happiest of her life. She says she married the right man at the right time.

"Marriage does take a bit of work," she said. "It is a lot of compromise, so if you can establish your own life before then, I think you will be a much happier bride or a much happier partner."

Baker agrees. She was already a single mother. Dating turned up nothing serious. Until?

"I was in the gym one day, and I saw this amazingly beautiful Senegalese man, and I was like wow," Baker said.

After the sparks flew, they too found wedded bliss. Experts say the older bride often doesn't marry the man she would have in her 20s. In fact, he could be quite the opposite. Kim's husband Joe Niouky is 25 years old and much younger than her. Still, this older bride knew what she wanted and had a life to share.

"That's what made it more appealing," Baker said. "My husband has his own career. He is a professional soccer player. I'm very focused on my makeup and beauty business."

"People are tired of marrying illusions and they want real people that can be comfortable with themselves," Lucas said. "And they allow you to be comfortable and genuine and true and authentic to who you really are."