If you’re preparing to marry again, you’re in good company. Research suggests that remarriage has been rising steadily over the past decades, and about four out of ten weddings these days involve at least one person tying the knot again.
This means that more and more brides are looking for their second wedding dress. A lot of wedding gown advice remains the same whether it’s your first, second or nth wedding, although there will be a few extra considerations.
A few decades ago, society may have frowned on the idea of a second time bride wearing white or, indeed, wearing a gown at all. However, these days not many people would bat an eye if you choose a white gown for your second wedding.
Attitudes to veils are harder to shift, however, with many etiquette experts feeling that a face-covering veil is a no-no for brides who have been married before. This could be because, in Western society at least, the veil over the face has a strongly symbolic meaning tied to notions of purity and of a woman passing from her family of origin into her new husband’s home.
The veil, not the gown, is the western culture’s symbol of first-time marriage and this is perhaps why wearing it is so entrenched in our societal psyche that it does not belong in a second wedding. There are signs that this could be changing, however, and a number of second time brides still want a veil to be part of their wedding ensemble.
Whether or not you decide to go with a face-covering veil depends on how comfortable you feel about flouting tradition. One possibility is to use a veil style that doesn’t cover your face, such as a birdcage veil.
Dress for Your Figure
Coming into your second marriage, you’ll be older and wiser, and perhaps more secure in your choices and more comfortable in your own skin. Although this confidence may carry through as you wear your gown in front of all those eyes, it’s still important to dress according to your figure to ensure that you look your best.
You’ll have to think about what kind of gown silhouette is flattering to your body. The classic A-line shape is suitable for every body type and every size, making it a great choice for a wedding gown. It’s fitted at the bodice, and your choice of neckline can maximize or minimize your bust, depending on what style option you choose. The A-shaped skirt creates the impression of a slimmed down waist while covering up the hips and rear end.
Fit and flare styles such as trumpet and mermaid silhouettes skim close to the body to below waist level and billow out at the thigh (trumpet) or at around knee level (mermaid). These styles are most flattering for women who have well-defined waists or slender figures, but are best avoided if you have an apple-shaped physique or are otherwise carrying your extra weight around the stomach area.
The column or sheath style of gown runs in a straight line from neck to hemline. If you are slender, petite, or have a well-defined hourglass physique, this silhouette can be very flattering. If, however, there are areas of your body which you’d rather not draw attention to, the sheath dress is not your best option.
Dress According to Your Personality
Closely related to dressing for your figure, it’s important to choose a dress that suits your personality and style aesthetic. If, for example, you’re diffident and naturally modest, you may feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in a gown that reveals a lot of skin, no matter how stunning the gown itself may be. Such a gown would be the perfect choice for a woman who has the innate confidence and poise necessary to pull it off. You might be better suited to a demure wedding gown that’s equally beautiful but which won’t make you cringe at the thought of all eyes being on you.
You need to pick a gown that reflects your personality and that makes you feel good about yourself.
Consider Your Wedding Venue and Theme
A number of other variables may set boundaries on the kind of gown you can wear. One of these is your choice of venue. A gown with a floor-sweeping train, for example, may not be suitable for an outdoor or destination wedding. Likewise, what works for a winter wedding may not be comfortable in the summer. The warmer months are a great time to try out a shorter dress, for example.
You will also need to consider the level of formality of your wedding. If it’s a highly formal affair, your gown will need to be appropriate to your guests’ dress code. An informal or semi-formal wedding will allow you to experiment with more unconventional styles.
Dress According to Your Age
Women should, broadly speaking, be able to wear what they want. However, what was suitable for a first-time 20-year-old bride may not be fully appropriate for a 50-year-old planning her second wedding. If you’re past the first flush of youth, you’ll need to take an objective look at yourself and realize that you may no longer be able to replicate what looked beautiful at your first wedding.
It may be that you need to cover up more, or highlight a different part of your body. Mature brides need not consign themselves to dull pastel suits, though. There are still lots of gorgeous gowns available for the well-seasoned bride.
Finding Your Dream Dress
Getting married again means that your circumstances are likely to be very different from what they were at your first wedding. These changes may be good ones, such as your level of maturity, financial security. Every wedding is cause for celebration and it’s still an occasion to have a wonderful party as you enter this new season of your life.
As you make your choice of outfit for your wedding, make New York Dress part of your search. We have an extensive collection of bridal and evening gowns representing every conceivable style. All our clothes are produced by high-end designers, meaning you will get top quality. Browse through our collection as you think about your next wedding gown.