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Elegant Wedding Dress Ideas For Older Brides

inspirational wedding dress necklines for mature brides

This post is repurposed purposely to inspire mature brides to think outside the box about wedding dress design and to make it easier to understand how to make style changes that work to their advantage.


The task of finding elegant wedding dress ideas for older brides that are well made and considerate towards the female form of the mature bride or second time bride is quite a challenge considering how fashion forwardness continues to ignore the foundational structural requirements of traditional bridal couture.


You might think I am biased writing as a wedding dress designer with over 40 years of experience and yes, I guess that I am.  In the sense that the needs of a woman when it comes to special occasion dressing are unchanged over time.  A fact that I too discovered when it was my turn to ‘uncover my style’ back in 2008 – only just the other day! I assumed too that the search would be relatively straight forward – speaking as a woman who has been around long enough to know what I want and what I don’t.  But the challenge itself of finding the right combination of style, colour, details, cut and price all within a single dress and without compromise was only the beginning.


I think the bridal industry (in favour of fashion) have pushed aside a crucial audience despite research figures revealing the year on growth of first time weddings among women above the age of 40.


So I set myself the challenge of handpicking a selection of awesome elegant wedding dress ideas for older brides that I hope will inspire you to make a statement and take your wedding day dressing from zero to hero.  Each design I have chosen can be modified to suit your distinct taste in silhouettes best  suited to your body shape combined with details that flatter your best assets and, I would be happy to assist you with further advice if you wish to get in touch – CLICK THIS LINK

Elegant Inspirational ideas for older brides

Before we begin the voyage, all you will need to pack is a little imagination and be totally open minded so that we can begin to explore. One thing we need to avoid on this journey, are the specific rules about appropriate wedding dresses for older brides. Its such an aging statement. So let’s get one thing clear and that is, it’s your wedding day! So you can choose a dress that you feel completely beautiful in, without worrying what other people think.

How To Decide On Your Wedding Dress Style

Your choice of venue will play a big role in the tone and style of your wedding and an even bigger part in the style of dress that you will eventually choose.  Instead of going with the standard classic codes of ‘appropriate’ dresses for older brides, check out our next post on TIMELESS WEDDING STYLE where you can start your journey of discovering fashion forward ideas that will elevate your wedding day look beyond the basics with personality and style.

Elegant wedding dress ideas for older brides

E.g  For a dessert or vineyard wedding – texture is great way of styling out the bareness of the sand or landscape.  Go for details such as ruffles, pleating, beadwork or 3d floral appliques.  To persoanlize your chosen style further to compliment your skin tone, experiment with shades of nudes, coffee, soft blush for a little added drama and to make you stand out from the crowd.

Clean Lines, Modern Fabrics, Understated Wow

Keeping it simple, is always, in my opinion, the best option. there is so much scope for personality and individual style injection, especially when, if you think about, you can wear pretty much whatever you like.

elegant fit and flare wedding dresses for older brides

One shouldered bridal gown inspiration with draped shoulder cape and chiffon flower embellishment – Dress by Marchessa | Photo by unknown

Intimate Outdoor Summer Wedding

Real bride – Shannon went effortlessly simple with her sheer champagne tulle  gown with full length sleeve, proving that simple clean lines with a contemporary twist can look impressive, timeless and elegant.

Sheer wedding dress with applique petals | Dress  Oui Madam Atelier collection | Photography – www.theveronicataylor.com

Boho Wedding Dress Inspiration for mature brides

We’ve absolutely adore the bohemian bridal inspirations and believe that brides of all ages can look timeless and effortless. However, we appreciate that some mature brides may want to play the look down a little or require a little more structure and cover up in some areas for added confidence, so here are a few designer suggestions to make your dream wedding dress a reality.

elegant- wedding-dress-ideas-for-older-brides-rose-gold tulle-a-line-wedding-dress-with-ruffles

Tier and ruffled beaded tulle dress with high neck full length sleeves | Wedding dress by Valentino | Photo via Vogue.com

Boho Style Sweetheart Neckline

elegant-wedding-dress-ideas-for-older-brides-sweetheart-neckline-with sleeves

Beaded illusion cap sleeved wedding dress with sweetheart neckline layered lace skirt detail | Dress by Maggie Sottero

Low Backed Wedding Dress

This utterly stunning backless wedding dress is proof that you can still rock a  low backed wedding dress without worrying that you might be showing your guests more than you’d like.   If necessary, you could consider adding an illusion or sheer panels for extra cover up without detracting from the simplicity of the dress.

simple-elegant-low -back-long-sleeve-wedding-dress- elegant-wedding-dress-ideas-for-older-brides

Long Sleeved Backless silk wedding dress with detachable train detailing by | Dress by www.cortana.es

Not sure if older brides can wear white or Ivory wedding dresses?

Then explore options such as layering ivory over a soft more muted tone as a great way to inject some colour and soften the whiteness of your wedding dress.

elegant wedding dress ideas for older brides, blush-tulle-ballgown-wedding-dress-

2-piece wedding dress Sienna beaded lace bodice and blush tulle ballgown skirt Non-white bridal gown | Dress by Oui Madam

Bridal Trouser Suits look

Chic and stunning with a small bouquet, an elegant updo and a pair of Jimmy Choos – Oh, and some seriously stylish pearls too!

elegant-bridal-trouser-suit, elegant-wedding dress ideas for older brides

Trouser Suit by | Naheem Khan | Photo via Vogue.com

Elegant bridal trouser suit for second-time-weddings-alterantive-modern-bridalwearides

2-pce alternative bridal trouser suit  | www.ouimadam.com | Photography by www.mariekent.com

Bridal Cover Up Ideas For Older Brides

Perhaps you don’t want to feel overly exposed during the ceremony, then take a look at adding a stunning elegant cape, or adding a sheer overlay to your dress.

Sheer Wedding Gown Inspiration for older brides

is the perfect way to update your look.  Think 3D floral embellishment and multi layers of tulle for a romantic beach or dessert inspired summer or evening wedding ceremony abroad.  Avoid the heavier structured laces which have a tendency to look traditional and a little M-O-B. Explore laces with geometric designs for a totally modern and softer bohemian feel.

sheer-wedding-dress-with-long-sleeves, wedding dress inspiration for older brides

Sheer Wedding Dress by | Source unknown

Cape and Dress by Zuhair Murad | Photo via Vogue

Cap Sleeve Wedding Dress Inspiration

Simple, sleek and uncluttered for a classic timeless look.  Note how light the shoulders are with the sheer capped sleeves – perfect for covering the arms without looking too formal.

Cap- sleeved bridal | Gown by Christos Bridal Via MarthaStewart.com

Ball Gown Wedding Dress

There is absolutely no reason why you can’t arrive at your wedding looking like a princess.  With delicate touches like a frayed edges or soft open  weave fabrics, not unfinished, just clever modern design details that scream modernity –  think ballgowns that are actually separates in disguise and provide opportunity to be worn after the occasion

Ballgown wedding dress,

Ball Gown Wedding dress by | Image sourced via Etsy | Ladidatelier

 Long-sleeve gown.

The high cut of the empire waistline with a A-line skirt is effortlessly flattering and enhanced by the romantic long sleeves with ruffled cuffs.  The geometric embroidery on the organza and the layering over a softer toned colour  adds a contemporary twist.

A-line Wedding dress  | Ambridge | Image sourced via Vogue

Short Wedding Dresses

Do not even get me started here…Do you know how good Short Wedding Dress can look on #olderbrides? Especially when topped with a feather headpiece  adding a touch of sophistication and finished off with statement jewellery.

Short Wedding Dress | Giambatista Valli

After considering all of the the possibilities we have covered together, are you still convinced about the lack of choice for older brides?


There has been no better time for women to feel free to express themselves without jugdment and rules governing appropriateness and age.  So long as you can still pull off a style and look drop dead gorgeous whilst doing so – then shouldnt you make the rules about what to wear?


This is the perfect time to ditch the fascinator, bolero jacket and every conceivable piece of cover up ever designed as they are old, antquated and boring.  There are so many other younger fresher approaches towards covering up such as cape veils, ruched detachables and lace capelets – all assuming that you may want to cover up for your wedding.


I sincerely hope you have found this post refreshing and thought provoking so that you restart your wedding dress search with vigour and an open mind.  Remember that age is but a number and that a woman of 35 plus years just needs a little encouragement and know how to determine what is right for her body needs as opposed to being told ‘that looks amazing’ by some 20 year old with no idea of how a womans body needs changes as she matures.


I don’t want you to give up hope. There are lots of available options out there for those who don’t want a typical wedding dress and this post is all about providing you with a little help to find your perfect wedding dress.

Hmmm…tell me more?