Planning a second wedding can sometimes feel even more stressful than your first, because everyone will have an opinion on what is or isn’t appropriate. “Don’t wear white” or “Your second wedding should be more informal” are common myths you might have heard. However, the great thing about a second wedding is you’re bringing a little more wisdom and experience to the planning, allowing you to ward off unwelcome advice.
That said, there may be some lingering confusion—especially about how to choose your dress for a second wedding. In truth, much like your first wedding, you can wear whatever you want, but to help make your selection process a little bit easier, we’ve rounded up a few of our best tips and favorite ideas.
First, let’s talk about some of the myths that seem to surround finding a dress for your second wedding.
Saying you’re not allowed or supposed to wear white is something we hear often, but it certainly isn’t true. This myth is perpetuated from the traditional notion that wearing white on your wedding day symbolizes purity and innocence. However, if you associate white with weddings and wearing it will make you feel as special as you should on your big day, then go for it. Plus, just because it’s your second wedding doesn’t mean it’s your partner’s.
If you’d like, you can also play with the style and shade of your white dress to help differentiate it from your first. White wedding dresses can be as formal or laidback as you desire and come in a range of colors from bright white to soft ivories. The choice is yours.
Oftentimes the same people who suggest it’s inappropriate for you to wear white will suggest you stick to a neutral color, such a beige or off-white. Once again, this simply isn’t true. Much like with your first wedding, you are free to wear any color you desire, and a second-time wedding dress might be the perfect chance to try something new—especially if you felt pressured to choose something more conventional for your first ceremony.
So what are the best colors for a second wedding? It’s all about what you feel good in. While popular choices often include light pinks, soft blues, Champagne, or other neutrals and metallics, you can easily wear something deep or dark, such as black or navy. Some brides, even first-timers, select multicolor patterns like lace overlays or florals.
Selecting a casual second wedding dress is common amongst brides for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you had a fancy, princess-style wedding the first time and want something more modern this time to differentiate between the two? Maybe your budget is a little tighter for this celebration? It could be that you aren’t overly concerned with what you’re wearing, or perhaps you’re having a laidback daytime ceremony, so a more formal gown would be out of place.
Whatever the reason, wearing a more informal wedding dress for your second ceremony is perfectly acceptable, but it’s definitely not mandatory. The formality of your dress should match the rest of your wedding. If you’re planning the ballroom fairytale celebration of your dreams for your second wedding, go ahead and wear a floor-length gown.
Unfortunately, a popular wedding myth is the idea that more mature brides have different rules about what they can wear for their big day. But we all know age is just a number—a second wedding dress for someone in their 20s or 30s doesn’t have to be different from those in their 40s, 50s, 60s, or above.
That said, if you don’t want all the glitz and glam of a traditional first wedding—why many mature couples choose to tone things down the second time—you can skip the traditional white dress. However, if you still want a large and formal celebration, don’t let age be a factor in your decision.
Now that we’ve cleared the air on the “rules” of a second wedding dress—i.e., there are none—we can talk about some of our favorite non-traditional ideas for a dress for a second wedding.
Just as we discussed above, white or off-white are definitely not your only color options when you’re selecting a dress. We love the idea of a colored lace overlay on a nude slip for a sexy, yet refined look or a white dress with colored embellishments or appliques. You could even opt for a bold colored dress, such as a gold slip dress or a green column gown. Or if you’d like to keep things toned down, blush pink or sky blue attire. For this option, it’s really about whatever you feel most comfortable in.
Short wedding dresses are often overlooked when selecting a garment, but they’re actually very versatile and effortlessly stylish. These dresses are available in miniskirt, knee-length, and midi or tea-length hems, each offering their own unique styling options. In terms of design, a short wedding dress can be matched to nearly any theme of celebration, as they’re available in everything from sleek modern cuts to vintage finds. Learn all about the dos and don’t of short wedding dresses here.
If you really want to break the mold of wedding convention and make a bold statement or simply can’t be bothered with bustling dresses and gowns, you may consider a wedding jumpsuit. We love how simple, elegant, and stylish these garments are, but we guarantee you’ll love how easy they are to move in and how comfortable you’ll be throughout the event. You’ll have no problem finding a bridal jumpsuit that matches your style and wedding theme, whether you’re going for sleek, embellished, or bohemian.
While planning your second wedding can feel just as stressful as the first time, don’t let your dress be a concern. When it comes down to it, there are no rules, and you are “allowed” to wear whatever you want. Remember: It’s your big day. More than anything, your outfit should make you feel beautiful and special—whatever that means for you.