Wedding Attire for Older Couples

Updated April 17, 2017

Affianced couples struggle with many considerations in planning their weddings. One such question mark concerns the socially acceptable attire for the bridal couple. While younger pairs or those planning their first marriage may opt for an extravagant gown in virginal white and a formal tuxedo, older couples may seek a more intimate, low-key celebration and choose tasteful non-traditional clothing. Keep in mind some basic guidelines and you will find elegant and appropriate fashions that will suit your individual taste.


Older grooms have it easy in comparison to their forty-plus brides. If the wedding is formal, a tuxedo flatters a man of any age, although beware, some bridal shops may assume that you are the father of the bride. A less traditional or destination wedding will allow the older groom to look distinguished in a well-tailored suit. Charcoal is a gentler colour against the drier, paler ageing complexion, and a deep brown shade is almost universally flattering to warm up a more ashen skin tone.


Marrying over the age of forty, whether for the first or second time, situates you in the unenviable category of the "older bride." You need not be inconvenienced by the marketing of bridal gowns toward twenty-something ingénues, however. Avoid strapless designs in favour of better coverage when selecting your gown. Mature brides will find silk and taffeta to be more flattering fabrics than shiny satin or sack-like chiffon. Unless your heart is set on virginal white, scan the evening wear section of several fine department stores for a gown that suits your style and colouring. Champagne is a stunning, candlelit shade for an older bride. Seek out a sleek silhouette if your figure permits, or a wrap-style to whittle your waist. Enjoy selecting a special dress for your big day, whether you favour a long gown or an above-the-knee sheath.


While an older gentleman may wear dapper gold cufflinks, the bride has bigger and sparklier worries. Forget the tiara unless you are a retiring beauty queen emceeing a pageant. Strive for elegance and favour lustrous pearls over glittery rhinestones which can look gaudy and harsh on an older bride. Limit your accessories to only two. For example, a pair of earrings and a bracelet, or a necklace and heirloom brooch. Flash is not your friend, and you do not want to look like a showgirl in the wedding photographs, so keep it simple.


Integral to the bridal couple's attire is the floral adornment. The groom's boutonnière should be modest and the bridal bouquet should be lovely but not extravagant. Fortunately the mature bride is often clear on her priorities and will inform the florist regarding the size of bouquet she is willing to carry. Especially for an older bride it is important to choose something sophisticated, such as a hand-tied arrangement of sculptural calla lilies or French tulips. Daisies and pale pink roses are perceived as more juvenile flowers and inappropriate for a mature bride.


Mature brides should consider abandoning the veil. Jewelled combs or hair pins are an elegant touch to a graceful chignon. A blush veil attached to a small formal hat is acceptable with a chic suit, but a veil worn over the face appears awkward and out of place on an older bride. If you must wear a veil, arrange the single layer of tulle to trail down your back rather than allowing it to obscure your face.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

I hold a B.S. in Elementary Education and Education Administration. Having completed seven years successful classroom teaching experience at the second grade level in public education, I am an expert in my field of primary education.