Finding a wedding gown is a hard enough task in its own right but finding a wedding ensemble when it’s not your first wedding can be even more daunting. Like shopping for your first gown, there are bound to be a lot of internal and external pressures from different sources pushing and pulling you in a million directions.
Whether you’re getting married to someone else or renewing your vows to the same person, a lot of complicated emotions go into second (third, fourth, etc.) weddings. First and foremost, it is important to recognize that this wedding is a completely separate event, and you are a different version of yourself. It can be a mental shift, or you may find that you are physically different than you were when you first got married (and you should be!). Change is hard to come to terms with, especially when it comes to ourselves and our bodies, but it is good and completely normal!
Think about who you are now, what you like on your body, what you don’t like. Think about your favorite cocktail dress (or cocktail attire in general), what does that look like? Does it have sleeves? What is the neckline like? Start there. Look to blogs (oh, hi there!) and other resources, like Pinterest, to search for some of those keywords, you may be surprised when the wedding look of your dreams pops right up on your screen.
If you can’t quite put your finger on what you’re looking for, let’s break it down together. Here are the things to consider when selecting your ensemble for your upcoming wedding:
A bridal look is something that sets you apart from your guests. You can do that with embellishments (like beading or lace), you can do that with color, you can do that with drama (big tulle skirts or a dramatic train). We always say, if it would be offensive to wear it to someone else’s wedding, it’s a bridal look. Take a killer white suit, you definitely shouldn’t wear it to someone else’s wedding, therefore=bridal look. Black beaded mermaid gown with a sweeping train–too ornate to wear to someone else’s wedding=bridal look.
Is your wedding going to be formal or is it more of a cocktail party? It is normal for second weddings to be a little more casual, but if that’s not you…go big, baby! This day is about you and your fiance(é), if you want a big black-tie wedding, no one should stand in your way. Once you and your partner have figured out the dress code for the event, a good jumping-off place is the hemline. If you’ve decided on a more casual event a midi hem is a great option. It’s low maintenance but still sophisticated. Pantsuits are also a fun option for a more laid-back affair. If a formal wedding is more your cup of tea, go floor-length. And yes, you can totally still have a train for a second wedding! The great thing about trains is that they can be bustled, so you can have all the drama for photos and tuck it up when you need to break it down on the dancefloor.
When picking the silhouette for your wedding look, think about what you feel best in. Do you like something fitted? If so, go for a body-con look like a mermaid silhouette or a column. If you want something with a little more movement, go with an A-line silhouette. Another great thing to remember is that you can have any gown hemmed shorter, if a floor-length hem feels too formal.
Tradition says that a bride shouldn’t wear white for a second wedding, but it’s a brave new world and we say, you do you! If wearing white makes you feel like a bride, then go for it! If that’s a little too on the nose for you, consider another neutral like champagne, gray, or even metallic. Second weddings are a great opportunity to play with color, so if you’re feeling bold go for a yellow, red, or even darker shades like burgundy or black. If you do decide to go with a less traditional color, make sure that the ensemble itself is elevated in some other way, be it a bigger silhouette, or some over-the-top embellishments. This will help separate your look from the rest of your wedding guests. Another fun idea for a second wedding is to turn the tables and ask your guests to wear white and you and your fiance(é) wear something bold and colorful.
If you are thinking of a colorful gown for your wedding, knowing where to look can be hard, especially when you drive by the bridal boutiques and see traditional white gowns in the windows. The good news is that most bridal boutiques carry gowns in different colors. If you find a gown you love you can always ask your stylist if it comes in any different colors, you might be surprised at some of the options the design houses have to offer!