Choosing Dresses for a Second Wedding or Marriage
Consider the following when shopping for a wedding dress for your second wedding:
Before Queen Victoria set the trend with a white wedding gown way back in 1840, most brides wore their best dress, in any color, on their wedding day. In the years following Victoria’s and Albert’s royal wedding, white came to symbolize purity—a tradition that prompted heated debate over whether encore brides could wear white for a second wedding.
In today’s fashion world, the answer is a resounding “yes”! Now regarded as a symbol of joy instead of virginity; white is a perfect color for dresses for a second wedding. Pastels, champagne and ivory are also popular color choices for your second wedding dress.
Second wedding dress selection guidelines can easily apply to all brides: Your gown’s formality should match the tone or theme of your wedding celebration. With so many available design and fabric options, you should have no difficulty finding a gown that matches your personal style and taste.
Your second wedding dress should reflect your personality, lifestyle and fashion sense. Consider selecting a cocktail-length dress or beautiful couture suit that you can wear again or a long dress that can be shortened for later use. Take your cue from the size, time and day, and formality of your wedding ceremony and reception. And, although none of us love to admit that we’re not 20 anymore, do try to select a dress that is age appropriate. Let’s face it, if you’re over 30, you probably have a few more little somethings you won’t want to show off to the world!
There’s nothing worse than seeing a woman who appears to be desperately hanging on to her youth. No, I don’t mean you have to wear a frumpy old suit from the Leave It To Beaver age! (Though, some of the suits from that era are coming back in style) Just choose a dress that is right for your age group or even for an older bride.
It helps to know what flatters your figure when you’re shopping for that perfect second wedding dress. Whether you’re pear-shaped or petite, top-heavy or tall, choose the right cut for your body type to highlight your best features and downplay those that concern you. Bring along a friend, your mom or even your teenage daughter to get a second opinion, and be sure to wear the appropriate undergarments so you’ll know exactly how your dress will look on your big day.
Now, there aren’t too many etiquette attire rules for second-time brides, but one rule that still holds true is to forgo a blusher veil that covers the face, a traditional style reserved for the very young, first-time brides and one of the few real fashion “don’ts.” (Note: Etiquette expert Peggy Post says it’s acceptable for encore brides to wear a veil that cascades down the back if your wedding is formal.) Try substituting a hat, hair ornament/clip or fresh flowers. Splurge and have a professional stylist come to your home to create a glamorous updo! Be sure to schedule this appointment several months before the big day so you can try out different styles and hair ornaments. You don’t want any last-minute surprises, and you may decide to cut or even grow your hair.
Trains can be fine for formal weddings, but keep them simple, again matching the style of the wedding.
With so many available choices in headpieces and wedding veils for second wedding attire, search the Internet for beautiful designs, and print out photos of the ones you like. Buy a few bridal magazines, and cut out some of your top choices. Then visit local bridal shops, and ask experienced consultants for expert guidance.
One advantage second-time brides have over their first time planning a wedding is experience. You’ve been there (or your groom and his family has been there!) and done that. Learn from your mistakes and from what worked previously. It’s okay to incorporate some of what went right the first time around.
Wedding Dresses for Older Brides:
- 13 Gorgeous Wedding Dresses for Older Brides
- Wedding Dresses for Second Time & Older Brides
- The Perfect Fit: Halter Top Wedding Gowns For Older Brides
- Ivory Colored Wedding Dress for Older Second Time Bride
More Second Wedding Articles:
- Gorgeous Second Marriage Wedding Dresses on Pinterest
- Fancy a Vintage Second Wedding Dress?
- Beach Wedding Gowns For The Second Time Around
- Wedding Dress Second Time Around
- Beautiful Second Wedding Dress For Plus Size Bride
- Ann Taylor’s Wedding Collection is Perfect for Second Wedding Dresses.
- Second Wedding Dress Heaven In The Rosa Clara Collection
- Second Wedding Dress Shopping? Check out J.Crew’s Collection
Useful Advice for Second Wedding Dress Shopping
- Try on lots of different dress shapes, styles and even colors. Most brides have an image in their mind of the perfect wedding dress and are often surprised to find that dresses they normally wouldn’t select are flattering. You never know about a style until you try it on!
- Pay with credit card, always. Second time brides are normally experienced enough to know things can go wrong so this shouldn’t be a surprised. Always use a credit card for your wedding dress. A card will normally have some buyer protecttion if a problem occurs.
- Wear appropriate, best-fitting undergarments—preferably nude, off-white or white. If possible, wear a thong and strapless bra for a seamless look.
- Shop for clothing during non-peak hours (weekdays) to avoid crowds and reduce stress. Call conventional bridal shops before you stop by to ask if an appointment is required.
- Budget-conscious second time brides: Check out local consignment shops and wedding warehouses. You can also bid on informal, affordable second wedding dresses at eBay from the privacy of your home!
- Consider buying a reception dress which is typically less formal.
- Bring along one trusted friend who you know will give her honest opinion about how you look in your dress.
- Looking to save some money? Consider used! Used wedding dresses (we recommend OnceWed) are a great way to enjoy trendy styles without the stratospheric prices that they often come with.
Older Brides. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Sexy
These days, being a second-time bride is no big deal. But for some reason if you’re an older second-tie bride some people think you should be wheeled into your ceremony and clothed in a white sheet. No sexy wedding gown for you. Well not here at Team Wedding. We think you should feel as sexy in your wedding gown the second time around. Don’t stick to safe and boring wedding dresses.
Our guess is that most brides will eschew the typical princess-style wedding gown, since they probably took that route the first time around. Second-time brides can wear whatever they like. The color white is a symbol of joy, rather than of virginity, so no need to eschew items in the non-hue. Here are some idea starters if you’re an older second time bride and you’re looking for some wedding dress inspiration that will wow everybody.
- Second Wedding Dresses for An Older (& Still Sexy) Bride
- 13 Gorgeous Wedding Dresses for Older Brides
- Older Bride Wedding Dresses We Loved from Bridal Fashion Week
Second Wedding Dress Do’s & Don’ts
- DO Brush up on the wedding dress shopping lingo: It may have been a while since your first wedding dress shopping experience. Make sure to read up and remind yourself of the “Wedding Dress Vocabulary”. It will make working with a consultant way easier.
- DON’T Bring a Huge Entourage: This is your second wedding and you don’t need any additional drama. Don’t bring along too many friends when shopping for your second wedding dress.
- DO Take Advantage of Consultants at dress stores: These people talk, experience and sell wedding dresses all day. They also see lots of second time brides with the same issues you’re probably worried about. They know what they’re doing. Listen and learn.
- DO Take Pictures: Take pictures of yourself in the wedding dresses to make sure they look the way you want. Don’t just take stand up photos either, you’re going to have to pose in the dress so move around. Read more.
- DON’T Limit Yourself to One Style: A different silhouette or material may flatter you better so don’t box yourself with one style and potentially miss your dream dress. Try on styles you’re unsure about, you never know. Also, don’t forget that sometimes there are special considerations for second wedding so talk to your consultant to ensure the style you’re choosing suits your event.
- DON’T Wear The Wrong Underwear: This is one most second time brides don’t even think about until it is embarrassingly too late. Simple rule is to make sure you wear nice underwear.
- DON’T Forget About The Extras: Remember when you bought your first wedding dress and everything costs extra. Times haven’t changed. All the extras are added on until you see the final total and faint. Wedding gowns are just one cost and the extras add up. Don’t forget.
- DO You still have a budget : Seems like a no-brainer but as a second time bride you may be in a better financial place so you want to splurge. Have your budget in mind and don’t go over. It is way easier to maket this mistake as a second time bride.
- DO Have Fun: Just because this is your second wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have as much, if not more fun than the first time around. Enjoy it.
Where To Buy A Second Wedding Dress
It has been a while since you were wedding dress shopping. You’ve done your research, you’ve browsed hundreds of wedding dresses online and browsed through a big stack of bridal magazines. Now it’s time to buy your wedding dress. Has much changed? Do I still buy a wedding dress at the same place? Is it different now that I am a second time bride? The awesome news is that you have lots of options for shopping for a wedding dress as a second time bride.
Independently Bridal Salons: Bridal salons will have a full range of bridal dresses. You can expect to see all of the wedding dresses out in the open which is nice. Price ranges and wedding dress designers vary from moderately priced to high-end. Couture salons are smaller and offer a very hands on and personal experience. Independent stores will have a lot of experience with second time brides and will know the nuances and special needs of your second marriage dress.
Department Stores: Stores like Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, J.Crew and Bloomingdales all offer wedding dresses for sale. Some go over the top while others simply provide offer the dresses themselves. Because of their national footprint, these stores have less choice but great prices. Second time brides looking to get a great dress at a reasonable price can buy off the rack and be very happy. This is the best option if you really know what you want.
Discount Dress Outlets: For second time or older brides with a smaller budget, discount wedding dress outlets are great places. You can shop off the rack and take the dress home immediately. Styles may be a mix of discontinued national brands and private-label merchandise sold at reduced prices. Also look out for big sales by major name dress designer.
National Bridal Stores: These are the David’s Bridals of the world. These stores will make, import and sell their own private-label gowns. That means cheaper prices. More recently, these chains are creating custom partnerships with top wedding dress designers like Vera Wang so don’t just assume it is all private labeled. The other perk of these bridal chains is that they have everything you need, from dresses to shoes to accessories and so on. They also know the industry, etiquette and unique circumstances of second time brides, so can provide valuable advice.
Direct from Wedding Dress Designers: For those second time brides with big budgets going all out, this is the option for you. You can work with wedding dress designers directly. You will need to go to bridal cities like New York or Milan, but top designers of wedding dresses can be found in most major cities. If you’re considering going the custom route, you’ll need to find a designer whose vision aligns with yours and whom you trust.
Preowned Wedding Dresses: Nearly Newlywed, Preowned wedding dresses , Rent the Runway and a host of newer entrants now let you find and buy wedding dresses online or rent one for the weekend.. It is a great idea for those on a budget or for those brides who want to go for a top designer wedding dress they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Times have changed and it is the sharing economy, so why not do the same with your wedding dress. It may be a little hard to find the selection you’d find at a bridal salon or to try a bunch of dresses on but it is still a great option.
Specialty Online Stores: Tis’ the age of the internet and it is no different when it comes to wedding dresses. We already mentioned the online stores that will rent you a wedding dress or let you find preowned wedding dresses for sale, but what about buying a new dress online. Well, that’s easy too in this day and age. Most of the top department stores and top wedding dress designers all have their own online stores. There are also specialty online stores like The Dessy Group and Dido Bridal. A quick Google search will uncover a treasure trove of online stores. We recommend sticking to the known names, these are big sums of money we’re talking about so be careful.
Read more second wedding dress ideas here. See lots of gorgeous dresses in our inspirational second wedding dress picture gallery. Also see our favorite wedding dresses on our wedding dress designers list.