Whether widowed or divorced, these days women who are headed down the aisle for a second (or even a third) time don’t feel restrained by outdated etiquette and rituals of the past.
Just a few short years ago, second marriages were kept quiet. Brides wore street clothes such as a business suit or a simple dress rather than a gown. Guests, if any, were limited to close family members for the sake of having legal witnesses, or children from the couple’s previous marriages. The ceremony was often completed within minutes and held at the courthouse or in a minister’s office rather than in a church or an elegant venue. Flowers, music, special readings or verses, and receptions were out of the question, and wedding announcements – if they were sent at all – were sent after the couple was wed.
These days, most brides and grooms will have been married before. If you’ve fallen in love again and decided to give it another go, why hide or act like you’re ashamed to be committing yourself to someone?
Contrary to popular belief, the color white does not symbolize the bride’s virginity. Instead, it symbolizes joy. So if you feel joyful to have found love again and you desire to wear white, don’t let naysayers stand in your way.
Some repeat brides take advantage of the opportunity to really shake things up. If you followed each traditional to a T the first time around (or even if you didn’t), your new life with your new love might be the perfect chance to toss all conventions to the wind and do what you really, truly want to do. Express your love in the most unique ways you can think of. Break the rules and enjoy yourselves!
Do you look fabulous in red? Wear that scarlet evening gown you’ve got your eye on. Are you in better shape now than you’ve ever been in your life? Show off your fabulous arms and svelte figure in an elegant evening gown – or even (gasp!) a backless gown.
If a traditional gown is what you’ve got your heart set on, don’t let anyone talk you out of this choice, either.
Another concern for encore brides is whether to wear a veil. Traditionally, a long veil behind the bride and a blusher veil over her face have been symbols of virginity. While some guests might drop their jaws if you walk down the aisle with your face hidden by a blusher veil, remember this is your wedding, not theirs. If that fairy-tale wedding gown you’ve got your eye on doesn’t look complete without a veil, then by all means, wear it.
Alternatives to a veil include a tiara, beaded or jeweled combs, a fabulous up ‘do, or wearing your hair loose and woven with Swarovski crystals attached to strategic strands.