Love often comes when you least expect it, and it's never too late to marry. Or marry again.
Bill and I wanted a simple, appropriate family-only wedding, filled with warmth to celebrate late love. I think we pulled off a good example of a low-cost, delightful occasion, whether it's your first or not:
I married Bill in my older son's apartment in Manhattan. My younger son, who is an artist and professor -- but also a marriage officiant who can perform services -- married us. He included words from my late husband's prayerbook, an especially moving consecration.
On Friday night, my younger son prepared a "rehearsal dinner" at his uptown apartment. He cooked filet of beef and then my family roasted and toasted us. The background song playing at that party was "Wedding Bell Blues" (with the relevant line "Will you marry me, Bill?").
The following day there were 18 of us -- family only, except for two lifelong friends. All siblings came, from Maine to California. All of our children were there. At 5pm my two granddaughters became flower girl and ring bearer -- the flowers from the grocery down the block. The girls sang us a little song about love. My brother-in-law played the violin and we walked from the bedroom, down the hall to stand in front of the little library nook off the main room. We had written our own vows. We laughed and shed tears as well.
Although the service was non-denominational, the girls painted a cloth which served as a chuppah over our heads. Bill stepped on a glass to end the short ceremony with "mazel tovs."
After some sparkling wine toasts we all walked through the Chelsea Market, 10 minutes away, to an urban waterfall (an open pipe) and we tossed gold coins in the well for good wishes. Then a five minute walk to a fine restaurant under the High Line, for a five-course wedding dinner at a round table, with lots of laughter and toasts and stories.
I first met Bill in April 2009, ironically, about a week after I wrote "Why I'm Alone," the viral post I wrote on HuffPost celebrating my singledom. It took me a few months to catch up with his affections, but when I did it was full-blast. He's a wonderful man.
We'd been happily living together before the wedding, and as a twice-married, 60-something woman, I just wasn't expecting or even desiring another marriage. But Bill wanted to marry me. And unexpected as that was, I got to like the idea.
There is one problem: What to do with my website, sololady.com? That's a problem I'm still dealing with.
Bill says I should place a note over the banner: "Closed for business. Married!"