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Wedding Dresses for Older Brides - 2 Golden rules

Updated: Mar 13

Luxury wedding dress for older brides with sleeves in silver silk satin  by London bridal gown designer Angelina Colarusso

The Most common Mistakes Mature Brides Make and How To Avoid Them

Some of the most stunning wedding gowns we’ve made over the years have been for our older brides. But the challenge I’ve found in working with these all too often more unassuming elegant ladies, is their tendency to think they somehow need to though it’s the younger bride’s prerogative to shine.

So much so that in my experience, they invariably arrive for their consultations with an almost apologetic air…as though I wouldn’t enjoy dressing them because they’re not in their twenties!

This is of course not the case and I can tell you now, that because of this, it never ceases to make me smile when I see their faces light up in absolute amazement at how great they can still look in the right gown…especially when on curvier ladies, their waistlines have just reappeared via some well engineered corsetry!

It’s true at any age, but even more so I think for older brides that finding the perfect wedding dress is so much about knowing who you are, and being true to that…and no, tempting though it may be, definitely not hiding from it.

That said, it is, undoubtedly easier to dress as a younger bride, and of course you can generally get away with a lot more, because rightly or wrongly, even in this day and age, people do tend to have more “opinion” about older brides and how they dress for their big day…if we’re being honest.

So yes, all things considered, there may be added pressure and challenges, but in my experience, nothing that needs to spoil your fun…or prevent you looking knock out in your wedding dress. No matter what age.

So how do you set about looking for the perfect wedding dress if you’re an older bride?

Pink tafetta bridal gown for older bride by London wedding dress designer Angelina Colarusso.

It’s no surprise that as with so many things, the right mind set is the best place to start. Getting clear on how you want to look and feel…what’s right for ‘you’.  And trying to stay true to that.

Then, there’s getting the balance right, which takes us to…

Golden Rule Number 1

"Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water!"

I have found one of the most common mistakes older brides make is that for all the reasons above, it is hugely tempting to want to tone it down and go with what feels, at the time, like the most comfortable option.

Totally understandable, especially as what I most often hear from older brides is “I don’t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb”. I get it, and I know not everyone feels comfortable being centre stage, so I agree it’s important to get the balance right, but honestly, this is not the time to play safe or blend in.

It’s your wedding day and you are the bride, not a guest, so take care in your quest for quiet elegance, that you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Because regardless of whether it’s your first or umpteenth wedding, you have as much right as any younger model to shine the way you want to shine on your wedding day. Regardless of your age, shape or size.  No apologies.

And if your style is understated elegance, great. But make sure it’s memorable and distinctive. Go for gold in terms of fabric quality, perfect fit, the best accessories you can afford and a colour that lights up your face and heart.

If on the other hand you have a big personality and want a dress to match, absolutely go for it, but just beware in your exuberance that you don’t topple too far over that edge.

Maybe take a pic of yourself and allow a few days if you can, for your enthusiasm to settle before deciding. And maybe just take a moment to question if there’s any fantasy you may have around the dress too. If it’s coming from your teen self, just check it’s still right for you now. Other than that, don’t let anything cramp that indomitable style and have fun!

In the words of Gwen Stefani…

“You’re not getting older, you’re getting more entitled to be your fabulous self. "

I really couldn’t agree more.

Silver silk tafetta luxury wedding dress by London couture wedding dress designer Angelina Colarusso

Golden Rule Number 2

"To Thine Own Self Be True"

So the trick then is to find a way to not only look and feel your best, but also to stand out a little, or a lot depending on your personality. Either way, you will, want to be remembered…and preferably for the right reasons!

Every bride is different, so each will want to be uniquely herself on her wedding day, and that’s exactly as it should be because another mistake I notice all too often, especially with older brides, is that because of pressure or sometimes well intentioned opinion, brides can lose themselves, and before they know it, they are getting married someone else’s way, not theirs.

My top tip here…be careful who you take shopping with you!

It really needs to be someone who’s opinion and taste you trust, and who you feel understands you.

That may sound obvious but you would be amazed how many times I’ve seen a bride coaxed into styles or details by a well meaning friend who’s just on a different page.  You’re better off doing your search on your own than with someone who’s either too overpowering or who won’t be able to tell you the truth if you need to hear it.

And don’t rule out a professional of course. Your designer if you’re going couture or a personal shopper for off the peg maybe.

Either way, trust your instincts. Both in terms of who you ask and the dress/outfit itself. If it ‘feels’ comfortable and right it probably is.  And if you find yourself trying to talk yourself into it, it probably isn’t.

Sorry, but keep looking. It will be worth it. Those pics will be with you for years to come.

If you’re really not sure where to start, or are just a bit confused and want to clear your mind, try making a mood board. Pinterest is great for this but even just tearing pics out of a mag is fine. Anything that helps you see a little more clearly what are essentially the types of looks and silhouettes you like most. This can be really helpful for colour, detail and fabrics too.

Don’t worry if you find yourself going off on different tangents as this is a very normal part of the process and to be expected. I you stick with it, you will find a pattern emerging. I promise! Especially if you clear as you go, and take breaks, stepping away for a few days ideally but even just a few hours at a time. You’ll be amazed at how a clear picture will start to emerge by doing this.

bespoke wedding dress with lace sleeves by london bridal gown designer Angelina Colarusso

Another really good place to start, is just remembering the styles, colours and details you feel most flattered by and that feel like ‘you’. Perhaps something you already own that you love to wear and always receives compliments for...especially from your partner maybe?

These are all clues to what works best for you and are great as a starting point for you on your search in terms of inspiration.

A word of warning...I know it’s tempting if you lack confidence or doubt your sense of style but it’s really important to remember that whilst it’s great to take inspiration from someone you admire, take care not to try to be anything but yourself…or change your style too much for your wedding.

I’ve learned over the years to keep watch of this with my brides because I’ve seen way too many others do this, and it’s such big mistake. That goes for hair and make up too!

Your partner is marrying you because they love ‘you’ and not someone else, so take care you don’t turn up as anyone other than you!

Try to just remember that, if you find yourself getting overwhelmed at any point.

Because the real secret in the end is just knowing that being true to who you are, at your very best is all you really need to do.

That’s plenty. Whatever age you are.

Please like and share if you enjoyed.

Thanks for reading.

Angelina x

To view our Mature Brides Collections please click here.



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