I was reading a blog post the other day about choosing a wedding dress for second weddings and there were three things that really stuck out for me. Firstly, ‘second-time brides can wear colors other than white’. They can?! Well thank you for granting those second time brides permission. Secondly ‘Beware length. A bridal gown for a second time bride can be short, but should not be shorter than knee-length’ The average age of a woman who remarries is 32. I’m…well I’m old than 32 and I’m quite proud of my legs thank you very much. The third, ‘A second time bride wanting some embellishment on her gown should seek out light embellishments, such as subtle embroidery or beading’. Who wrote this?! The whole article made me think about second weddings and ‘older brides’.
The benefits of second weddings
I have only been married once and have no plans to separate so am not planning for my second wedding just yet, but from people I know and have spoken too there are some benefits to that second marriage and second weddings. Firstly you know what you want and are more confident to ask for it and are more confident to say no. If great Auntie Hazel thinks you should be having roses but you want peonies, peonies it is. In many second marriages you are more likely to be contributing more to the overall budget of your wedding if not all of it so you may no longer feel the need to compromise. If you’re anything like me, the biggest thing about second weddings is that Pinterest wasn’t around when I married the first time! Oh the possibilities.
Speeches second time around
When you get married the day is yours and you can do whatever you want however you want to do it. Traditions can be fun but they are not wedding law and can be played with or just plain ignored. If you don’t want speeches, then you don’t have them, but if you do, for some second weddings there may not be the traditional people around you. We lost my Granddad many years ago so when my mom remarried she couldn’t have a father of the bride speech, there was the groom and the bestman but then she asked me to give a daughter of the bride speech which I was thrilled to do. As a public speaker, they couldn’t shut me up! Look for loved ones around you but it doesn’t have to be family, you may have a friend who has been with you through thick or thin.
Honeymoons after second weddings
Getting married a second time you may have young children and a honeymoon may not be possible if you don’t have anyone to look after them. It is important that you look after yourself. Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful and you need to make sure that you give yourself a break and take some time off but you also need to celebrate the fact that you have just started a new chapter in your fairytale. If you do have children and are taking them with you why not look for somewhere with a kids club and babysitting service. At least you may get a few hours to yourselves.
Choosing a wedding dress second time around
My parents separated after almost 24 years of marriage. My Dad, who channels Hugh Heffner will never get married again but my Mom did. When it came to getting her dress we planned a day trip to Leeds for a full day of wedding dress shopping. She had three very clear ideas in her head for her second wedding dress. no trains, it had to have sleeves and she wouldn’t be wearing anything in her hair. For many women who are older when they marry, like my Mom they don’t want the big ball gown or the slinky sexy backless dress. She wanted something plain and simple but elegant. There are many high street stores that have some stunning dresses and outfits that are perfect.
Wedding dresses on the high street
So what does the high street have to offer?
Coast is the go to shop for many people when it comes to weddings from the high street. My love affair started with Coast years ago. Living in Doncaster horse racing is very big and I can go to lady’s day in September and spot their entire collection. I love this Finale Crepe Maxi Dress.
House of Fraser is another great store for stunning dresses, they have many different brands all under one roof which is one of the things I love about House of Fraser. Biba is one of my favorite brands and I have a few of their dresses. Check out this Deep V Full Skirted Maxi Dress. And remember, you don’t have to wear white haha!
Phase Eight have some gorgeous gowns, my favorite is the Josefina Wedding Dress. It’s a bit pricier than the others but it is amazing.
Monsoon also have a great range of wedding dresses at reasonable prices. I love this Nevena Bridal Dress from their range and they also have a great selection of accessories to match.
New to the wedding dress market, both H&M and Asos have recently released wedding dress collections.
I love the Asos website, easy to navigate and they have everything you need. Wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, jewelry, hair pieces, shoes and underwear. The dresses are totally on trend with jumpsuits and capes although I do feel that they are perhaps aimed at the younger end of the market, I’m not sure I could pull of their entire collection nice legs or not! My favorite is this Chi Chi London Bridal Tulle Maxi Dress.
H&Ms 2016 Conscious Exclusive collection will feature structured dresses such as the one below as well as more playful and boho inspired dresses. Perfect for summer.
Coloured Wedding Dresses
Getting married the second time is the perfect opportunity to play with colour. We saw in the Spring 2017 collections that colour in the form of pinks, greens, greys are all the rage as well as bolder black. You may choose not to have bridesmaids second time around so why not bring colour in to your day with your own dress.
Our first stop when shopping for my Mom was the high street and although the service in the high street stores we visited was attentive and the staff really looked after us it just wasn’t right for us. The changing rooms aren’t private and big with all round mirrors like bridal shops and my mom didn’t feel comfortable trying on the same dresses as young girls…listen to me, I sound like my mother! I’m only in my thirties!…my mom didn’t feel comfortable trying on the same dresses as women almost the same age as me. I know that it shouldn’t matter but it does. I have seen the way that the teenage customers look at me when I walk into Topshop but hey, if it’s good enough for Kate Moss its good enough for me. She is older than me after all.
So we didn’t do the high street thing and the best thing she could have ever done was to ask around. She has a lot of friends who re married in their 40’s and 50’s and she asked where other people had shopped. We found the most awesome bridal store from recommendations and the staff were amazing. In the end she wore everything she said she wouldn’t and she looked stunning.
Are you due to get married for the second time? Why not drop me a line and let me know what advice you would give to other brides second time around.