Lately, I've been seeing news of (very) young people tying the knot on my Facebook feed. And while I certainly don't condemn them for taking their oaths early (when you know, you know, I suppose), I can't help but feel a little puzzled. What's the hurry? Even if you do believe you've found your soul mate, it's not as though there's a shortage of marriage certifications and we're stuck in a perpetual Black Friday of Weddings where you have to rush to get yours first.
There are obviously circumstances where it simply makes sense (like the girl I knew in college who married her military boyfriend when she was 19), but for the most part, I think it's best to wait until both people are in a stable and settling stage in their lives. Some are ahead of schedule; others don't discover that kind of security until they've hit their 30s. I talked to a few older women about the benefits of getting hitched in this particular decade, and here are the good things they had to say:
- In your 30s, you've dated a lot, so you know exactly what you want from a partner and exactly what you don't. When you meet someone, you know right away if you're compatible.
- Your wedding will probably have more of your friends than your parents' friends.
- You have done a lot of growing (and sowing your wild oats) already, so you don't feel like you missed out.
- You can have a relaxing spa weekend bachelorette (where everyone goes to bed after a late dinner and wine!) because your friends are either pregnant or have kids, so no one wants to go clubbing.
- Humans live a lot longer now, so when you get married later, the rest of your life is still a freakishly long time to be with someone.
- You've had time to figure out who you are as a grown-ass adult and choose a partner who makes sense with who you have become. This person also wants the same goals.
- After partying and socializing in your 20s, you definitely appreciate quiet, married nights in.
- You are more successful and further along in your career, so you can actually pay for all of if not part of your wedding — instead of relying on Mom and Dad.
- You are sexually confident and know how to ask for what you want.
- You've seen all of the mistakes your friends made (teal bridesmaids dresses? Seriously?) so you won't make them, too.
- If you throw a destination wedding, your 30-something-year-old friends can actually afford to go.
- You already have a lot of kitchen and home goods, so you can register for more fun things.
- You have had more time to travel.
- When you marry in your 30s, you feel very independent, and you have a great bond with your partner because you don't necessarily rely on each other for social circles.
- You know who you are, and you don't have to pretend to like bands you don't or do things you don't want to. You're both comfortable in who you are.
- Overall, it's best to wait until you've fully discovered yourself.