Second Marriage Wedding Dresses

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Ivory. Not ebony, but ivory.

Ivory seems to be the predominant color chosen by brides who are getting married the second time. There is no rule in any etiquette book that dictates what color your second marriage wedding dress should be, but ivory seems to be the favorite. Type “second marriage wedding dresses” on eBay for example and 99% of the dresses are ivory-colored. We spotted one white dress, but that was it. The rest were ivory. We wonder though why women would like to sell their second marriage wedding dress unless they’ve fallen on hard times (“I married a pauper, not a prince”)? We think it’s the one piece of wardrobe that shouldn’t go back to the market and should instead be bequeathed to a daughter.

Things to Consider

The first question that pops up: is white acceptable for a second-time bride? Most definitely. Like we said, there is no hard and fast rule about what color to wear if you’re marching down the aisle a second time. White no longer symbolizes virginity – that was eons ago. It actually signifies joy, so if you liked the dress in the shop window and it’s all white – we say, go for it! You’ll be wearing it and it will be YOU, so don’t let others influence you otherwise.

What you ought to remember, however, is that if you’re going to have a very formal celebration, your bridal dress must match that formality to a perfect T. Don’t come in a long, white gypsy skirt looking ready to dance the salsa. A bridal dress that carries a quiet kind of elegance with plenty of class should be perfect for that formal wedding, regardless of color.

It would be a pity not to be able to wear the dress again especially if you paid dearly for it. You may wish to think about wearing a cocktail length formal dress or a classic suit which you can wear over and over again; you need not buy yards of silk paper to wrap your second marriage wedding dress and leave it in the attic for a decade.

What’s your body type? This deserves closer scrutiny. Just as you want your second marriage wedding dress to bring out the best in you, you’d also want it to be flattering to your figure. If you’re tall and slim, you can practically get away with any cut or style. But if your body came from a less than perfect mold, then you’ll have to mull over this issue with greater attention to detail. For example, are you petite and pear-shaped? There are styles specifically made to cater to these body types to downplay height and roundness. If you’re in doubt, bring your close friends for a second opinion. And when you go for a fitting, make sure you have the right undergarments on so that you get an accurate picture of how your dress will look like.

Some second time brides have asked whether or not it was appropriate to wear a blusher – this is the veil covering the entire face. The general consensus is that the blusher is reserved for first time brides, although a wedding consultant says that if the occasion is formal, it is acceptable to don a veil that will flow along the back; otherwise, second time brides may want to consider a hat or a special hair ornament that will highlight their facial features.

Trains are also acceptable. Again use your discretion. One rule is K.I.S (keep it simple) and match it to the formality of the occasion.

Millions get married every year and there’s a wedding dress designer born every minute so dress styles are abundant. You have the internet, wedding boutiques, wedding planning outfits and independent consultants that can offer suggestions if you have the slightest doubt.

Tips for Choosing Your Second Marriage Wedding Dress

  • Timing – as soon as you’ve decided the date of your wedding, start planning for your wedding dress or gown. If your gown will be designed and sewn by a special designer, you need to allow six months before your actual wedding date to accommodate as many adjustments and fittings as possible.
  • No rushing – don’t get too ambitious and line up several wedding boutiques all in one day. By the time you try on your third wedding dress, fatigue will set in. The selection can be confusing. What you need to do is take as much time as you need, and try on gowns and dresses only if you’re feeling relaxed and calm. Making the wrong choice simply because you were too tired is poor planning.
  • Sales contract – before you sign that contract and make a deposit, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of sale. You need to specify delivery date, color, number of fittings, cost of alterations, etc. This applies regardless of whether you’re purchasing your bridal dress from a special boutique, a designer house or a wedding warehouse. We’ve heard of horror stories of brides who were taken advantage of because they did not bother to read the sales contract carefully.
  • Professional opinion - if you are purchasing your bridal dress from a real professional, they will be frank and honest about how the dress looks on you. A bridal dress may look stunning when it’s on the rack, but when you put it on, it could end up looking hideous. Much depends on your figure and how the dress was sewn.
  • Legal technicality – a wedding expert mentioned that an honest seller will not try to hide any information from you regarding the name of the dress manufacturer or designer. They will usually volunteer this information with sufficient proof. If not, then raise your antenna. The law states that sample wedding gowns must carry proper labels as to fiber content, country of origin, care instructions and name of distributor. The manufacturer’s registration number must also appear on the label.

And if it’s Casual…

Well, there shouldn’t be any need to fuss over your second marriage wedding dress because if you’re getting married on the beach, in the jungle, or on a glacier, then a gown with a long train has no place, does it?

And if you were to ask us, “but should my bikini be white or ivory?”, we’ll probably give you a good whacking!

You’ve got aunts, colleagues, friends and your tennis gang. Someone’s bound to know the many questions you’ll have about second marriage wedding dresses. If it’s casual, it’s almost a moot point, so scoot!

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