The Other Side of 50

Seniors find love, marriage after 50

By From page OSF3 | November 08, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Love is beautiful at any age. Just ask Cynthia Mosby, 52, and Jay Santiago, 58, of Fairfield.

They are happily engaged after dating for two years and are planning a small, intimate wedding.

Mosby and Santiago are getting married because they are in love and because neither one wants to be alone.

“At my first wedding,” Mosby said, “you have all these beautiful dreams. Now, we have trust and understanding.”

Between them, Mosby and Santiago have 13 children and two grandchildren.

“It’s amazing that the children are all so accepting,” Mosby said. “They are really close even though they don’t see each other that often. It’s a beautiful relationship.”

When asked what advice Mosby would give to an older bride, she said the biggest thing is to not be jealous of your new partner and his relationship with his children and their mother.

“Don’t make a rivalry,” she said. “This time around there’s no chaos; that’s beautiful.”

“Love is a Many Splendored Thing” was playing when Jim and Sylvilla Slavin, both 70, walked down the aisle in March.

Seventh-grade boyfriend and girlfriend, Jim and Sylvilla fell out of touch and lived separate lives. Sylvilla was married for 52 years and was widowed in 2011. Jim, a divorcee, was married for 33 years.

At their 50th high school reunion in Fresno, Jim and Sylvilla saw each other across the room.

“We were both in love instantly,” they said.

“She was the best-looking gal in school as long as I could remember,” Jim said of Sylvilla.

“He came in the door of the reunion and my heart jumped,” said Sylvilla. “It was love at first sight.”

The Slavins became man and wife seven months later, much to the delight of their combined seven children and 14 grandchildren.

“He told me he wanted to take care of me,” Sylvilla said, “and we couldn’t do it unless we were married. He was wanting something that I was wanting and it all fell into place. God directed us every step of the way.”

Sylvilla liked the fact that for her second wedding, she didn’t have to stick to the traditions imposed on her when she was a young bride the first time around.

“I didn’t want to wear a white dress again,” she said. Instead she chose a beautiful blue formal with bugle beads and, for a fun twist, cowboy boots.

Lupe Ochoa of Gigi’s Bridal Shop in Fairfield said that this year they are seeing a trend in mature brides choosing all-lace bridal gowns, mostly with cap sleeves and a semi-A-line design.

Sara Stokes of Gesinee’s Bridal in Concord finds mature brides veering toward traditional ball gowns and fit and flare, but choosing gold or ivory over the traditional white.

Whatever your style, older brides and grooms are finding their sense of fun, and are enjoying planning a wedding on their own terms.

“If you really love the person, it will be OK,” Jim Slavin said.

Reach Domini Williams at 427-6981 or [email protected]

Domini Williams


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