Planning a second wedding is quite different than preparing for your first marriage. You may feel pressure about choosing the perfect gown for your second wedding. Should I wear white? Can it be as formal as a first wedding dress? Can I select a less formal gown? These questions lay heavily on a second-time bride, but the answers can easily be uncovered for a stress-free, beautiful wedding day.

Choosing your second wedding dress should not be a point of contention. Plan the style of your dress around the tone and theme of your wedding day. Match the formality and design of your gown, including color and fabric choices, on your own personal taste, not on some perceived historic significance.

Can I Wear White?

Before 1840, women wore their best dress on their wedding day, regardless of style or color. Then Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It was February 10th of 1840 and Victoria wowed the ceremony attendants with a heavy silk satin, white gown which was trimmed in Honiton lace. She donned a white lace veil, a diamond necklace and earrings, and the sapphire brooch which was given to her by the groom. Her prodigious train was carried by twelve bridesmaids.

Following Queen Victoria’s wedding, white wedding gowns became trendy. Beyond that, the color white came to symbolize innocence and virginity. Which begs the question, can I wear white at my second wedding?

The answer is a resounding “yes”! In today’s society, white no longer symbolizes virginity, but rather joy, perfection, and tradition. So you can wear white; however, don’t be afraid to explore different colors for your gown, each which has its own significance.

Ivory: This traditional gown color used to symbolize tainted innocence, but now is often chosen simply because it looks better than white with the bride’s skin tone.

Red: Some brides want to stand out, and the color red is a perfect choice to make a statement. It stands for love, passion, and excitement.

Pink: Soft pinks can turn any bride into a princess. This pastel color represents innocence, femininity, or a flirtatious attitude.

Blue: We know that brides usually wear something blue, but choosing a blue dress is a surprising and original decision. This cool color is associated with the ocean, and therefore conveys peacefulness, life, and purity. It can also symbolize security and lifelong loyalty.

Yellow: Yellow is the color of happiness and sunshine. Wearing yellow conveys a childlike spirit, cheerfulness, and a carefree personality.

Green: The color of nature, green represents freshness, youth, and a free spirit.

Black: Black may seem like an odd choice for a bride, because it’s associated with death and funerals. However, black signifies elegance, sophistication, mystery, power, and mostly sheer style.

What style of dress should I choose?

Some brides choose to go all out on their second wedding, particularly if there were problems in their first marriage or this is the groom’s first wedding. These brides want the celebration to signify a new beginning as they start over. Other brides want to acknowledge that this is their second ceremony with a gown that is less formal and not as frilly. Either choice is acceptable, and you should determine which option is best for your situation and desires.

Some brides, particularly older second brides, choose to wear evening gown-type dresses rather than traditional wedding gowns. They wish to forgo the beads and lace for something a little more sophisticated. Perhaps they feel that a traditional wedding gown represents youth, whereas they are proud of their age and their wisdom and wish to represent that aspect of their lives. Along the same vein, some brides prefer floor-length evening sheath dresses. These garments are one step closer to a traditional wedding gown, with flowing skirt and tight bodice.

Wedding gowns come in many styles, and some women decide to stick with a traditional gown that offers a simple design. A gown with full skirts, but lacking the beads and lace that are typically featured on the bodice is a popular choice for a second wedding ceremony.

Other women prefer to downplay the gown entirely and dress in stylish church suits for a formal and distinguished appearance on their wedding day.

What Other Considerations Are There?

There’s more than style and color to a wedding dress. Take your time and evaluate all of your options before making a decision on the perfect gown for you. Choose a dress with a silhouette or shape that compliments your body style. You may opt for an A-line dress, a sheath, or a full-skirted gown for your second wedding, just so it complements your body’s shape.

Don’t forget about comfort when selecting a dress for your second wedding. You’ll be wearing this dress for hours and must be able to sit, stand, and dance easily. Don’t force yourself into a dress that is too small and find that you are unable to take deep breaths while you’re saying your vows or getting down on the dance floor.

The length of your dress is another consideration to make while selecting the perfect gown. A dress with a long train is typically worn by first time brides, while floor-length gowns are preferred by brides at their second wedding. Some women select a cocktail-length dress or an elegant couture suit that can be worn again while others prefer a long dress that can be shortened to wear casually at a later time. Dresses that are shorter than knee-length are typically frowned upon as they tend to inappropriate for older brides and may appear too informal for the ceremony.

Do I Wear A Veil?

While there are few etiquette rules pertaining to attire for an encore bride, there is one pertaining to whether a second bride should wear a veil. Peggy Post, etiquette expert, states that women can wear a cascading veil that hangs down your back for a formal wedding; however traditionally, a second-time bride should not wear a blusher veil. This short lace veil is “a traditional style reserved for the very young, first-time brides,” according to I Do Take Two, a site dedicated to second weddings.

The site suggests to instead choose a classy hat, elegant hair clip, or even fresh flowers as an alternative to the blusher veil. Do something different with your hair, but practice before the day of the wedding so that you aren’t left with any surprises and added stress.

Selecting Your Dress

Picking the perfect gown for your second wedding can be a stress-free and exciting experience. Take your time and try on different styles, lengths, and colors to find out what you feel most comfortable in and what complements your shape.

Thankfully, many of the fashion rules about appropriate attire for second time brides have been eliminated in the past few years, and women are free to choose dresses that fit their personality and their situation. Second-time brides have a wide selection of dresses to consider and should go with their instinct about what they look best in, what is comfortable, and what suits the tone of their wedding celebration.

Author's Bio: 

Jenny Larson has a degree in journalism and has over 10 years experience in writing. Her specialty lies in the plus size market, as she is a curvy woman herself. She writes candidly on many subjects that plus size women face on a daily basis, such as how to choose the perfect clothing for any occasion that compliments a specific body type. Her passion is fashion, clothing, hair and makeup and she writes from an insider’s view on these subjects.