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Wedding gown styles for mature women

Updated April 17, 2017

Regardless of age, every woman shares the desire to look timelessly and effortlessly beautiful on her wedding day. Wedding gown designer Vera Wang once said, "I adore the challenge of creating truly modern clothes, where a woman's personality and sense of self are revealed." Find a wedding dress style that complements, not overpowers, your beauty on your special day.

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The concept of the white wedding gown was developed to represent purity and chastity. But some mature brides walk down the aisle for the second or third time, and many older brides incorporate their children into their ceremonies, so it is common for older brides to branch out from the traditional white gown. Bobbi Hicks, a Florida wedding planner interviewed by Style Goes Strong, said that many mature brides wear off-white or ivory-coloured gowns, depending on their skin tone; and some second-time brides choose a coloured dress, such as green, blue or red.

Lose the Veil, Train and Poof

The veil was also conceptualised to symbolise purity, so many older brides eliminate it from their wedding day outfit, along with other embellishments. Hicks noted that older brides avoid wearing mermaid dresses, poof skirts and lacy long sleeves. Instead, they choose straight skirt styles and shorten the train, or eliminate it completely. New Jersey bridal consultant JoAnn Gregoli told Style Goes Strong that a tailored dress is appropriate for mature brides, but not ball gown styles.

Spice Up the Top

Modern wedding gowns are strapless with a sweetheart neckline and corset-topped, while gowns with partial or full sleeves are reminiscent of past decades. Choosing a gown with sleeves adds maturity and modesty to an older bride's look. Off-the-shoulder and 3/4-length sleeves flatter most ages and figures, while cap sleeves and spaghetti straps are more revealing. The T-shirt sleeve is another option for mature brides who don't want to reveal their biceps and triceps. Older brides can also add detachable sleeves and jackets to gowns that are strapless or spaghetti-strapped.

Choose a Suit

RoseLynn Micari-Fiumara, fashion expert for the online wedding planning resource guide MyWedding.com, recommends that older brides visit a bridal salon with a full evening wear department, where pants suits and skirt-top combinations that were traditionally associated with the mother of the bride are becoming more popular for the bride herself. Many designers also produce "destination gowns," which come in two-piece options and have several of the other characteristics mature brides look for, such as tailored necklines, colour options and varied skirt lengths. Gregoli also recommends the classic white suit to her clients.

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About the Author

Samantha Laros is a reporter for the "Daily Globe" newspaper in Shelby, Ohio, where she covers education, breaking news and features. Laros earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University.

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