Choosing a wedding dress is just as exciting the second time around, if not more so. Some second-time brides are unsure what second marriage wedding dresses should look like, or if there are any rules to follow when picking an outfit for your second wedding.
Brides looking ahead to their second marriages tend to be more mature and know their own sense of style more than first-time brides. Second marriages tend to be less bound to tradition and more personal.
Second weddings are more likely to be less formal. Instead of wearing a wedding gown with a formal train inside a cathedral, a bride might wear a less formal Boho lace gown or maxi dress to her second wedding along the shore.
Many brides find their second marriages to be more of a celebration than their first weddings, even if those first nuptials were formal or more luxurious. Often, they enjoy their second weddings more than their first, which can only make shopping for a wedding gown for a second marriage more fun.
What Does a Bride Wear for Her Second Wedding?
The short answer to what a bride should wear to her second wedding is “whatever makes her feel most beautiful.”
Google “wedding dresses for second marriage,” and you might get everything from a formal gown to a midi dress or even a jumpsuit. Brides always have a range of options for their weddings, but they may not realize that until their second wedding.
First-time brides may want the formal “princess” gown for a fairytale first wedding. When they marry a second time, brides know more about what they want regarding wedding wear. As second-time brides look for a memorable look that represents who they are, they should consider these questions.
Do You Wear a Wedding Dress for Your Second Wedding?
If a bride wants to wear a wedding dress to her second wedding, she should. Gone are the days when only a first-time bride could wear a wedding dress.
Brides who are marrying for a second time may want to have the bridal look of a wedding dress. If their soon-to-be husband is marrying for the first time, wearing a more traditional wedding down may be necessary. Often, women who are marrying for a second time say wearing a wedding gown makes them feel more like a bride.
A wedding dress is a beautiful choice for a second marriage, but brides aren’t limited to wearing wedding dresses at their second wedding.
Can Brides Wear White for a Second Marriage?
Any bride can wear white. Many think the tradition of wearing white symbolizes purity, but we think all love is pure. The style of wearing a white wedding gown skyrocketed in popularity after Queen Victoria wore a white wedding dress when she married Prince Albert in 1840.
If a woman only feels like a beautiful bride in white, or her husband-to-be has the vision of seeing her in a white wedding gown walking down the aisle, then white is a must for a second wedding.
We think wearing white is lovely, but don’t limit wedding dress choices to only white. Brides can wear blush, champagne, pale blues, and silvers and still have a traditional wedding look.
The choices don’t stop there, though. A bride can wear any color she wants at her second wedding. Even a little black dress can be a wedding dress for a second marriage. Any color the bride loves can be the color of her wedding dress for a second marriage.
Can a Second-Time Bride Wear a Veil?
The same etiquette rules that kept brides who were remarrying from wearing white also have dictated that veils can’t be worn during a second wedding. However, today, brides pay more attention to whether they want to wear a veil than whether they can.
Today, the formality of the second wedding can influence whether a veil is worn, as can the season of the year and whether the wedding will be outdoors, making a veil liable to be windswept.
The biggest influence today on whether a bride wears a veil is her own personal style. If a bride feels most beautiful in a veil, she should wear one to her second wedding.
Second Marriage Wedding Gown Shopping Tips
Brides looking for wedding dresses for a second marriage have such a wide range of options that they may need help in narrowing their choices. These factors can help brides in choosing memorable wedding looks for their second marriage.
Consider Formality, Season, and Setting
While brides should choose wedding dresses that make them feel beautiful, they should also consider whether the dress they choose is appropriate for the event, the weather, and the location.
Wearing a long-sleeved dress with a high neckline could be hot and uncomfortable for a summer wedding. Likewise, a heavy, sequined gown and high heels would make for an awkward walk down the aisle at a beach wedding.
A second wedding day should be enjoyed. Brides who consider the formality of their second weddings, the season, and the setting where their remarriage will take place will choose a wedding dress that will be comfortable and appropriate as well as beautiful.
Account for Age
Not every bride wants to dress like a fairytale princess for her second wedding or should.
Mature brides walking down the aisle a second time may be in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Mature wedding dresses are suited to the sense of style and elegance these brides have. The ballgown style of some wedding dresses isn’t necessarily what a woman in her 40s, 50s, or 60s wants to wear.
Mature wedding dresses bring out a mature woman’s best features. Sleek and elegant lines and flowing fabric replace ruffles, bows and other details on wedding dresses more appropriate for a younger bride.
Brides of all ages are beautiful, and mature wedding dresses make the most of a woman’s figure and sense of style. Dressing with an eye toward age can also give a more youthful look than wearing a gown designed for a woman in her 20s.
Who says a wedding dress has to be a wedding gown? Brides have remarried wearing mini, midi, and maxi dresses from online retailers and their favorite department stores and boutiques. Gowns designed for bridesmaids can become bridal gowns for less formal second weddings.
Vintage gowns or even family heirloom gowns could become a wedding dress for a second wedding.
Wedding wear for a second marriage doesn’t even have to be a dress. Jumpsuits and pantsuits can be elegant choices for brides remarrying.
Wear Any Color!
Brides can wear whatever color they’d like to their second wedding. Remarriage doesn’t mean a bride can’t wear white, but she can also wear any color she’d like.
Pastels are popular choices, but brides have also been stunning in brights and bold colors, such as wine, emerald, and red. Black is an elegant color choice for a second wedding.
Where to Shop for a Second Wedding Dress
Bridal salons give brides and their friends and family the celebrity treatment for a second marriage, but the wedding dresses they sell may be more formal than what you want for a second wedding. The good news is that there are plenty of shopping options for wedding dresses for second marriages.
Favorite clothing retailers have wedding options. White House Black Market has wedding dresses as well as gowns for bridesmaids and wedding guests. BHLDN, a branch of Anthropologie, specializes in weddings and formal wear that’s perfect for semi-formal, casual, and smaller weddings.
Vintage and recycled wedding dresses can be found online as well as in local consignment shops and boutiques.
David’s Bridal is an excellent source of traditional wedding dresses and less formal gowns for bridesmaids and wedding guests.
Love Shack Fancy has wedding separates as well as unique and fanciful wedding dresses for second marriages.
There’s the tradition of wearing something borrowed and something blue. Don’t discount borrowing a wedding dress from a friend or family member for your second marriage. The cost would be $0, and a borrowed gown could add sentimental value to a second wedding.
A second marriage is a joyous time, and choosing a wedding dress for a second marriage should reflect that. Brides have more choices than ever. These gowns are also perfect for renewing your vows!
No longer do second marriages mean a bride can’t wear a white dress, but their choices don’t end there. Any style and color that’s appropriate for the season and wedding style will work for a second wedding.
What should a bride choose as a wedding dress for a second marriage? Whatever allows her to enjoy her remarriage and makes her feel like a beautiful bride!
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