Let’s talk about the bride and her gown for a moment here. Whether mature, widowed, or divorced, these days, women who head down the aisle for a second (or even a third) often ask, what color wedding dress should I wear? It’s a valid question that deserves some exploration.
We’ve come a long way baby! Years ago, second marriages were usually quiet and understated and attended primarily by family and very close friends of the family. Society dictated that it was not socially acceptable to wear white wedding gowns on a second or third trip down the aisle.
Women often wore business suits or a really nice “street dress” for the ceremony. Anything that looked remotely like a wedding dress for mature or second-time brides was considered off limits generally because after all, a white dress symbolized “purity.” So, let talk about that.
The Symbolism of the White Dress
Contrary to what many people think, the color white does not symbolize the bride’s virginity. The trend emerged when Queen Victoria married her Prince Albert in 1840 in a white wedding gown.
The color white was a bit of an odd choice in those days when colored dresses were more the fashion. Before that, only one other English royal had married in white and that was back in the 1400s.
Indeed this tradition of women marrying in white stems from Victoria but because wedding gowns could be expensive many women of modest means were married in their “Sunday or Best Dress,” and usually that was not a white dress.
A white wedding dress has little to nothing to do with purity. If you want to wear one, think of your own reason for wearing one. It would mean the fresh start of a new life together, or joy, or whatever you want it to symbolize!
To sum it up, “wear whatever color you want” – it’s your wedding and you really should not have to justify it to anyone! There are no wedding dress police that will come and arrest you for wearing white.
Most second time brides take the opportunity to please themselves. If that means breaking tradition, so be it. They tend to be a little older and wiser and usually more financially secure than they were the first time around.
This wedding is all about them, and the expectations of others are less important. Go for it because it is, ALL ABOUT YOU!
In today’s world, couples, particularly older ones, will have been married before and tend to ignore most of the “old rules.”
There comes a point in life for most of us when we choose to satisfy ourselves and are not caught up in the belief that we must please everyone else before we please ourselves.
If you are lucky enough to fall in love again and you plan to spend the rest of your life with your new love, there is no reason in the world that you should not let the world know that and with apologies to none.
They say second marriages are sometimes the best marriages, so I say show your love and commitment on your wedding day and have a blast.
It IS your day so plan and execute it to suit you and your future spouse. The people who love you will respect you and your choices. For those who don’t, they probably do not matter a great deal in your life anyway.
Other Dress Colors
Does everyone rave about how fabulous you look in green because it matches your eyes, then, by all means, do wear green, or blue or even red if that suits you. Interestingly, many traditional Chinese brides wear red as the color denotes good luck and happiness in the Chinese culture.
The choices for your wedding dress colors are endless and only limited by your vision of what you want and what looks good on you.
Choose your most flattering color and dazzle your guests.
Let Your Body Shape Help Dictate Your Choice of Dress
If you are in great shape, show off your curves with a body-hugging elegant gown or, channel Michelle Obama, and show off your well-toned arms, for all the world to see.
If you are very small or quite heavy in the chest area, for example, choose a dress that is both flattering and one that you feel comfortable in. There are many wedding dresses online that will fit every body type.
The last thing you want to be seen doing on your wedding is pulling the top up every five minutes. So, whatever you’ve got, flaunt it, tastefully, of course!
To Veil or Not?
Traditionally, a blusher veil, worn over the face, and a long veil worn behind the bride have been symbols of virginity. But the dream wedding dress you have chosen may just need such a touch and would be incomplete without one. Yes, some guest may do a double take to see you come down the aisle “fully veiled,” but again, whose wedding is this anyway?
Hair Jewelry Instead
Rather than a veil, another option is to wear something in your hair like flowers, jewelry, Swarovski crystals, beaded combs, all done in a fabulous updo, or voluminous loose curls.I really do think wearing something in your hair rather than a veil for the older or second time bride is preferable.
Hear me out here. Family and friends know what a joyous occasion this is for you and your beloved and they would probably love to see your beautiful face as you walk down the aisle to get married. Don’t deprive them or yourself of that pleasure.
It is your big day. Plan it and execute it the way that pleases you and your future spouse. While it is sensible and wise to listen to the counsel of others at times, the final choices you make about your wedding belong to you and your intended! One goal is to look back on your wedding and say, like the great Mr. Sinatra, “I did it my way.”