Lets take a look at some numbers for a moment. If 50% of marriages end in divorce, and roughly 25% of the population is getting married for the second time, that means that for every two weddings at least one-half of the couple is having their second wedding. Make sense? If not – think of it this way: If you attended two weddings this year, statistically one of the people in one of those weddings should be enjoying their second trip down the proverbial aisle. Depending upon the age of the participants, it will be more or less.
In the old days, the second wedding was a toned-down affair, small ceremony ( or none at all) and casual location for the reception. Many times there are children involved and back then no one wanted to make a big deal of the second wedding particularly if the first ended in divorce.
Second time brides and grooms are generally a little older and wiser and as a result make different ( no one said better) choices as how to spend their money. The first wedding is uncharted territory; priorities are different and the budget is probably being managed by one or both sets of parents.
Women who are about to become a bride for the second time used to wear a less formal, more toned-down look. Not true anymore. Although the choices are different, they are many times less than toned-down. You are definitely older and more than likely paying for this gown yourself. Kim Kardashian will take the plunge for the second time later this year and her second wedding will out-do her first by a long shot. A $2 million wedding outshines Vegas given any odds.
If the bride is considerably older she will probably want to take that into consideration when trying on gowns. Strapless, corset style dresses might just be a little too youthful for an older bride and lets face it – after 40 you are no longer considered the sexy ingenue. I suggest that brides 40 and over to ask for a consultant that is closer to your age so she will be able to better understand your needs both emotionally and physically.
Color of the gown is not really important. The concept of only a virgin-bride wearing white is outdated and unrealistic. It is almost medieval! At any age, good taste should prevail. Recent celebrity bride Reese Witherspoon opted for a pale pink gown by famed bridal designer Monique Lhullier, which was the epitome of good taste for her casual affair. The late Elizabeth Taylor, undoubtedly the queen of matrimony ( she was married 8 times) had the good sense to wear a canary yellow Valentino gown for her last marriage. Yes, it was a lace ball-gown, yes it cost over $25,000 and yes it had a sweep train but, it was also a highly publicized affair at Michael Jackson’s ranch and it was Elizabeth Taylor. Take everything into consideration when shopping for your gown. Designers are taking all of theses statistics into consideration and it shows in the style of their gowns. If you shop for a gown during a trunk show you will most likely meet the designer and be able to discuss changes and color options.
Even if your first attempt at marital bliss ended eons ago, there are some things that are considered faux pas such as hosting a large wedding shower for yourself for a second or third wedding or wearing full bride regalia over the age of 50. You also don’t need daddy to walk you down the aisle for the fourth time, and half a dozen bridesmaids are not necessarily in order. Walk yourself down the aisle and have one attendant to sign the marriage license. Your daughter or son (if they are of age) or a close friend or family member will suffice.
There is no need to be shy about having a large second wedding, always ask for advice from trusted professionals and don’t be afraid to have a grand affair. The best way to avoid criticism from others is not to ask for their opinions. “What do you think of this?” can lead you down a path you may not want to go.
My best advice is go to www.bridalshowexpo.com and get tickets to one of our shows There you can meet with our seasoned professionals and help answer questions for your first or second trip to the altar.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago