Encore brides probably have a few questions about etiquette. It’s your second go-round at the altar, so can you still wear white? Should you wear a veil? Is a floor-length gown too much?
Ultimately, it’s still your day. Wear what makes you feel confident. For some extra input, we tapped Mila Chepurova of Musette Bridal to assist with tips on what’s appropriate for you. She’s seen everything from city hall visits in full-length ball gowns to minimalistic dresses for bigger parties.
“If the marriage is a second one for both the bride and the groom, the sky’s the limit. Together or alone, the bride and groom can wear whatever they want,” she says. But if it’s your second and his first, let the groom have a wedding where he feels like it’s new and exciting for both.
What are your thoughts on the formality of a second wedding?
Mila Chepurova: This is a decision the couple makes together. We also take into consideration the type of wedding they’re having—a large scale wedding or smaller, more intimate gathering—and the age of the bride. We want to respect her wishes, so we ask questions while helping her select a gown, such as how she would feel about wearing white for a second wedding. Would it feel awkward or is she okay with that? Will her family and community think it’s odd for her to wear a short dress? Often, brides who are celebrating their second marriage, and have children, will bring their children—typically the older, more mature ones—to help them in the decision-making process.
How does the groom’s former wedded status fit in?
MC: Generally speaking, if it’s the second marriage for the bride, but the first marriage for the groom, we find that the bride respects the wishes of the groom. If he wants her to wear a long, white gown with a veil, the bride is usually respectful of that, and will follow his wishes. She doesn’t want him to feel uncomfortable, making it apparent that he’s going to be her second husband. This is a new life for them and a fresh start, so brides getting married for the second time will opt for the long beautiful gown, and full-blown wedding.
If a bride feels uncomfortable wearing a veil for her second wedding, what are some other options?
MC: Decorative combs, a birdcage hat, and flowers are all excellent.
What are your thoughts on the bride wearing white?
MC: We tend to see more ivory on second-time brides—whether it’s a long or short dress. It just makes things easier, and there’s no delineation between a first and second time.
How does age factor into gown selection?
MC: With older brides—aged 50 and up—we find that they select their dress or gown depending first on the how their groom feels about the dress, and second on the bride’s figure. She will want to look beautiful, so we help her select a gown that flatters her figure best. The goal is to make her feel spectacular, and for her groom happy and proud. If she’s uncomfortable wearing a long gown again, that’s a decision that the bride and groom determine before she starts looking at dresses. Older women are more likely to wear a suit, a simple white or ivory dress, or even a colored dress.
Should brides avoid anything specific in terms of second-wedding style?
MC: There are no hard set rules for brides getting married for the second time. We just encourage the bride to look and feel like a first-time bride since it’s a new life with her groom. Weddings are a celebration of that. It’s imperative that the groom, especially if it’s his first marriage, feels like it’s a first wedding for both of them. She needs to feel and look special, like a new bride to him and for her. After all, she is queen for a day.
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