Tossing Out The Rulebook

By Chelle Cordero

January 19, 2018 4 min read

The only rule about a mature bride's attire is that there are no rules. The only thing that dictates whether she should wear white, use a veil or incorporate any other bridal accoutrement is how she feels. This is her day.

Historically, bridal shops, designers and media have focused on youthful first-time brides. But today's women may decide to pursue careers, travel, enroll in post-graduate studies or even raise families by themselves. If they decide to legally join in marital partnerships, they can be several years older than traditionally depicted brides. All too often more mature brides have been pointed toward the mother-of-the-bride-style formal wear.

In recent years the growing demographic of brides in their 40s, 50s and 60s has been more widely acknowledged. Designers are doing more to cater to their needs, creating wedding attire that allows a woman to feel beautiful without feeling matronly.

Styles befitting the more mature bride include vintage styles that are both beautiful and sophisticated. A-line tea-length dresses can be flattering for all figure types. Cap sleeves, long sleeves, short sleeves, half sleeves or three-quarter sleeves are terrific for covering the arms without detracting from the beauty of a wedding gown. Brides over 50 often prefer long-sleeve bridal outfits. Flattering V-necks, lace illusion necklines and low backs can be both modest and silhouette-conscious.

Gold, silver and gray embroidery designs stitched into wedding dresses are another trend for mature brides, and such detail infuses gowns with luxurious vintage vibes. Short jackets and wraps worn over gowns can help to hide any loose or sagging skin, while also adding sophistication to the ensemble. Lace or beaded jackets pair nicely with low necklines and sleeveless gowns, and they can be taken off during the party and dancing. An empire-style gown, which gathers under the bustline, is great for emphasizing a feminine silhouette without tightly hugging the stomach area. The bride should buy for her body type and how the dress makes her feel, not for her age.

Older and/or second-time brides are not limited by any specific gown color: She is free to choose white, champagne, lovely blush pink, blue, gray or any other color that flatters her skin tone. If the bride wants to wear a vibrant favorite color, such as ruby red or royal blue, she is allowed. Veils, headpieces and jeweled hair ornaments are appropriate; even a simple sophisticated and matching hat goes well as part of her wedding attire. Long trains are not recommended as they can become cumbersome and distracting, but a floor brushing length works well. Ball gowns with simple trimmings, such as embroidery or ruffles, are perfect mature brides channeling their inner princesses (in a tasteful way).

Many older couples or couples in which one or both partners has previously been married will choose to have less formal weddings. If a couple chooses to go that route, the bride may feel comfortable wearing a tailored suit adorned with lace or embroidery. A bridal suit can consist of either a skirt or pants -- whichever the bride feels most comfortable and beautiful wearing. The same rule applies to color as wedding dresses or gowns: The bride can choose white or any color that complements her skin tone. Backyard ceremonies and parties are very popular with older couples, and relaxed outfits fit go well with these.

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