30-Something Brides Get Real on Why They Waited To Tie the Knot

First comes love and financial success, then comes marriage

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More women than ever are waiting to get married. And while everyone's different, there are plenty of good reasons why getting hitched in your 30s might be becoming the new normal—just ask the six women ahead, who are very happy they held off on tying the knot.

I Pursued My Dreams

"I waited to get married for a few reasons. I had gone through a tough failed engagement at the age of 31 that made me reevaluate what I wanted my future to look like. From there, I quickly took the reins on my career, moving up to a senior-level position at one of the world's leading PR firms. My parents had taught me to be strong and business-minded and to never stop pursuing my dreams for a man. So, I continued pursuing my dreams and happened to meet the perfect guy along the way. Aside from meeting the man of my dreams, I am glad I waited until my 30s because I feel that I am teaching my daughters a valuable lesson. I was able to accomplish my own dreams, live without any regrets, and provide my family with a financially comfortable life because I worked on establishing myself in my career first." —Lori, married at 38

We Both Became More Secure

"My now-husband and I actually met in our mid-20s. But soon after, I got 'the call.' He liked spending time with me, but he wasn't ready for a relationship. So it ended there. But because we worked in the same career field, we continued to see one another at industry events. This went on for seven years until we gave it another try, and got married a year later. I'm so glad I waited because, when we first started dating, we were both trying to play the part of what we thought the other was looking for. We were 27 and 29, and although we felt mature, we still had a lot of growing up to do—personally, professionally, spiritually. By the time we gave it a second shot, in our mid-30s, we were completely ourselves—secure in our own skin, established in our careers, and with a clear view of what is most important to us." —Jaime, married at 36

I Used My 20s To Figure Out What I Really Wanted

"I had opportunities of getting married younger, but knew those men were not Mr. Right but just Mr. Right For Now. I also felt that being in a long relationship young would end in divorce because so many of us change in our 20s and want different things. That decade is really for going out, figuring out who you are and what you want, and dating all the Mr. Wrongs so you can figure out who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Your 30's are for marriage and family. At least, that's what worked for me." —Karina, married at 30

I Wanted To Put Myself First

"I waited to get married in my 30s because I wanted to live my life for me. I wanted to make sure I was able to accomplish all the things in life that I wanted to do. A lot of times when men and women marry young or in their 20s, they often put off their goals and dreams to start a family. I wanted to be fulfilled—I wanted to put myself first. Some may say that's selfish, but for me, that's knowing myself is what makes me happy. And I am so glad I waited. I am more mature, financially accomplished, and spiritually more stable. I know myself and love myself, which I had to do before I could appreciate a husband." —Melanie, married at 33

I Wanted To Be Independent in My 20s

"I waited because I liked having my independence in my 20s. I absolutely love being married now and I do not regret waiting. The quality of my life is much better now than it would have been in my 20s, because my husband and I are financially stable and bought the starter home of our dreams." —Jennifer, married at 32

I Learned What it Meant To Be in a Partnership

"I was working on my career, doing a lot of traveling and humanitarian aid work, and found most men my age insipid. I am glad I waited to get married, despite disappointing my parents and long time boyfriend, because I had a much better idea of who I was, what I wanted, and what I could live with. The character flaws in myself and that I saw in my partner were softened. I had enough life experience to know what was worth fighting about and what I could let go. That is by no means to say I was perfect. I get better at being married the longer I am married. However, I do really believe I was more realistic and willing to be part of a partnership in my 30s than I understood I needed to be in my 20s." —Alice, married at 30

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