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Vinnies stalwart marries

When you announce you’re getting married you get all sorts of excited and even envious reactions: unsolicited ideas from various Weddings R Us people when you Google anything bridal-related, engagement ring scrutiny, helpful advice and party plans from cooing girlfriends – and joyous, even tearful ooh aahs. Right? asks Vinnes worker, Julie Fewster, in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Not so much for me. I’m getting married for the first time aged 62 (spinster no kids) to a farmer who is 71 (widower four kids) and the range of reactions has been priceless.

The blokes at the bottom pub on Friday night: “What are you doing that for at your age, you silly old bugger? You won’t be able to do anything with her without those drugs.” Enigmatic smiles and a lot of hand-holding tells its own story there. Same blokes: “You’re not wearing your funeral suit, are ya?”

As a tall, handsome silver fox he scrubs up well. “How did you get him?” Highest bidder on e-Bay, I say.

“Didn’t think you’d go for a ring that is so engagement-y.” No one offered an engagement party or wedding shower/drinks thing. The spectre of the grabby new wife thing threw a shadow and who likes to see their parent pash? Tentative talk of a hen’s night was pooh-poohed. My betrothed said it would have to be an old boilers’ night. In the end it was a soiree with loads of champagne and kind words, with him the only rooster in the hen house.

“Who walks a 62-year-old down the aisle?” My 22-year-old nephew (sniff).

Strangers expressed more joy than the people closest to us: the manicurist (“When will I get a ring on my fingers?”); the hairdresser (“There’s hope for me yet”); the coffee shop girl (“Which website did you use?”).

Love – however long in the tooth – really does conquer all.


‘You silly old bugger’: The hitch with getting married late in life (Sydney Morning Herald)


The happy couple: Julie Fewster and Paul Fleming (Supplied).