Jan recently wrote a chapter for the book Weddings Know How: Planning Your Wedding – the essential guide to planning a wedding! Jan’s chapter includes great advice for mature or second-time-around brides and you can read it here…
In the 21st century, for a whole slew of reasons, more and more women are marrying for the first time, or remarrying, when they are over 45, which is one of the reasons SoSensational – as a shopping site for grown up women – decided to acknowledge this fact by having (almost uniquely in the UK) shopping pages for mature brides.
And if you are one of those women getting married (or remarried) at an age where a big frothy frock is not the most appropriate garment, you still want something that will make you feel gorgeous, glamorous and special.
To some degree, your choice will depend on the style of celebration. If the ceremony is followed by lunch, it requires something chic, knee-length and a little more formal – a template immaculately set by the Duchess of Cornwall for her marriage to the Prince of Wales. If the marriage ceremony is followed by a reception with dancing you may want something more “party”, while a beach wedding in Marbella or the Caribbean will have you searching for something long and flowing yet still sophisticated and grown up.
And then there are the additional factors, such as needing shoulders and tops of arms covered for a religious ceremony. And – if the bride is over 50 – there may be figure issues, such as the need for a bit of camouflage for a thicker waistline or to hide a tummy.
This is such a special day, the colour of the dress or outfit should reflect traditional bridal colours. Not necessarily white – though your dress or outfit could be white if the wedding is in summer (or being held somewhere reliably warm) and if white really suits you. But there are also pale, flattering shades which will look bridal without looking too ingénue, such as nude, blush, cream, ivory, silver or gold, or perhaps a subtle pastel like eau de nil or peach or a pale neutral like silver grey or cafe au lait.
The good news for second-time-around brides is that there are lots of gorgeous dresses and two-pieces out there this season in styles and colours which perfectly lend themselves to the requirements of a second-time-around bride.
Planet has beautifully styled, on-the-knee dresses which would work for a second-time or older bride marrying this spring or summer, notably their one-shoulder dress in a shimmering silver with clever draping. Kaliko also has a well-styled, on-the-knee dress with guipure lace bodice and bracelet-length sleeves which would perfectly suit such an occasion, while LK Bennett has its Charis dress in crepe and lace, in a very soft blush pink which would also suit an older bride.
Gina Bacconi and Ispirato – brands which traditionally offer mothers of the bride outfits – both have dresses and two-pieces in pale neutrals and pastels which would work well for a daytime chupah. And the recently relaunched Fenn, Wright & Manson has a perfect broderie shift dress with boat neck and bracelet sleeve, as well as an ensemble of broderie pencil skirt, cowl neck top and one-button white blazer, either of which would suit a second-time or mature bride.
MaxMara has an exceptionally pretty and gorgeously grown up frock in cream with bracelet length sleeves and appliqué flowers over the bodice as well as a ravishing, draped frock in silk chiffon which is utterly perfect for such an occasion. If you wish to splurge, Matches has a sculpted lace, over-the-knee dress with bracelet sleeves and scoop neck by L’Wren Scott as well as an elegant Osman dress in pale lemon, with long, split sleeves, which he has been doing long before Tom Ford decided to.
Some prints also fit the bill for a second-time bride, such as the long-sleeve shift, with white background and placement print from By Malene Birger, Stella McCartney’s fitted, print frock with short sleeves, and a retro dress with half-sleeves and full skirt by Suzannah at My-Wardrobe.
When it comes to head-covering, it will depend on the type of dress or outfit you have chosen. If you are wearing a suit or a dress with sleeves, a hat is the most appropriate. When choosing your hat, keep in mind that you want your face to be seen in photographs and you don’t want your hat knocked off every time someone leans in to plant a kiss. Fascinators or jewelled combs are an option for a more delicate or evening-appropriate dress.
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