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Your Ultimate Second Marriage Wedding Dress Shopping Guide

Here are the five things you need to know about wedding dresses for second marriages. Plus, take a peek at the styles we're loving right now.
Emily Platt - The Knot E-commerce Editor
by Emily Platt
Emily Platt - The Knot E-commerce Editor
Emily Platt
Editor, E-Commerce
  • Emily is a writer and editor who specializes in shopping content
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Emily wrote for Martha Stewart Weddings
  • Emily has a bachelor's degree from Vassar College
Updated Feb 22, 2021
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One great benefit to remarrying? The experience you'll bring with you. You're older, wiser and you know what you want. What you may not know is what kind of second marriage wedding dress to wear. The short answer? Whatever your heart desires. A pale pink sheath? Sure. An A-line dress in ivory? You bet. A dramatic, white ball gown—why not? As long as you feel comfortable, anything goes.

But to help make your selection process a little easier, we've rounded up five tips based on the questions we get the most about what's appropriate and what isn't for a second marriage wedding dress. And at the end, we've even recommended where (and what!) to shop. That's right—you may just find your ideal style on the spot. 

1. Second marriage wedding dresses can definitely be white.

Forget what anyone told you about "purity" and "innocence." If you associate white with weddings and that's the color that'll make you feel the most special and festive on your big day, then that's the color you should wear. Besides, just because it's not your first wedding, doesn't mean it's not your partner's. If they'd love you in white (and you would too) go right ahead.

Even if you chose something super classic and "bridal" for your first wedding, that doesn't mean you have to forgo white this time around. Nowadays, white wedding dresses come in all shapes and styles, so you can find something as formal or low-key as you'd like. And there are also different shades of white, so if bright white isn't your thing, consider ivory or off-white.

2. But you're free to wear a second marriage wedding dress in any color.

While white certainly isn't off-limits, more and more brides (including lots of first-timers) are wearing alternative colors instead. Now's the perfect chance to try something different, especially if you felt pressured to wear something more "conventional" for your first wedding.

Not sure what the best second marriage wedding dress colors are? There really aren't any "bests!" The possibilities are practically endless, so focus on what you feel good in. Popular picks include light pinks, soft blues and champagne or other neutrals and metallics. That's not to say you can't wear something deep or dark—even black is on the table. We've also seen multicolor patterns and floral prints take the stage, which we absolutely love. Again, these options aren't reserved just for second marriages either. People at all ages and stages are rocking these options at their events.

3. Casual second marriage wedding dresses are totally fine, but not mandatory.

Casual wedding dresses for second marriages are pretty common, and that's for a number of reasons. Maybe you're over the princess look and want something sleeker. Maybe your budget is smaller or the outfit you're wearing just isn't that important to you. Or maybe you just love a daytime celebration. These are all perfectly acceptable scenarios.

If you're looking for a casual wedding dress for your second marriage, try a shorter hemline or something asymmetrical—high-low and midi styles are trending. In addition, many lighter fabrics, non-white colors and relaxed silhouettes lend themselves to informal events, as do toned-down embellishments or minimalist designs. And don't forget that you don't have to go the dress route at all. Jumpsuits, rompers and separates are all fair game.

At the end of the day, you'll want to match your outfit's level of formality to the rest of the wedding's. Planning a ballroom wedding? You have full permission to wear a big skirt and lots of sparkle. 

4. When it comes to second marriage wedding dresses for older brides, there aren't any special rules.

We all know that age is just a number, which means second marriage wedding dresses for those in their 20s and 30s don't have to be different from dresses for an older set. Whether you're in your 40s or over 50, the sky's the limit.

Of course, if your second marriage comes later in life, you might not want all the pomp and circumstance of a first wedding. After all, long gowns and allover beading can be uncomfortable. That's why many older brides (and grooms, for that matter) tone things down the second time around. We've seen a lot of simple tea-length dresses paired with matching jackets, not to mention elegant pantsuits. On the flipside, a flowy frock with spaghetti straps might suit you perfectly.

5. Go ahead and get creative with where you shop for your second marriage wedding dress...

We'll always be big fans of bridal salons, but if that's not the experience you're looking for, you have other options. Styles from popular bridal designers are now sold online, and there are even dedicated bridal e-retailers. But you also aren't limited to looks specifically labeled as "wedding dresses." Department stores and e-commerce sites sell tons of gowns (and more!) that would work well as second marriage attire. Here are some of our go-to places to shop for suitable second marriage wedding dresses:

Reformation: If you're all about sustainability, check out Reformation's eco-conscious collection.

BHLDN: Anthropologie's awesome bridal shop has lots of great brands in stock, including the ever-popular Jenny Yoo.

NET-A-PORTER: This is the luxury e-retailer fashionistas flock to for evening gowns and more.

Moda Operandi: Here's another luxury site people in-the-know adore, with a wide variety of wedding-worthy options.

LoveShackFancyFor whimsical, fairy tale-worthy frocks, look no further than LoveShackFancy. You'll find everything from frilly white gowns to colorful floral dresses.

ASOS: Did you know this fast-fashion favorite makes bridal designs? You're welcome—now you do.

David's Bridal: You can't go wrong with this retailer known for its inclusive sizing.

Tadashi Shoji: Shop here for everything from unique short dresses to bridal separates priced well under $1,000. 

Amsale: This classic bridal designer offers select styles for sale online—check out the super-chic Little White Dress label.

Watters: Peep the ready-to-ship section of the brand's site for shippable styles under $1,500.

...and check out these shoppable options for inspiration.

There are hundreds, honestly thousands of beautiful second marriage wedding dresses to choose from, so we had a hard time narrowing down our list to just a few. But hopefully these dresses for a second marriage will give you ample inspiration. Pro tip: Click out to the brand and retailer websites for more styles to explore.

Long white casual second marriage wedding dress

Searching for simple wedding dresses for a second marriage? This maxi features thin shoulder straps, a relaxed skirt and a carefree smocked back. We love the look for a casual wedding outdoors—at the beach, perhaps?

Reformation Hollyhock dress, $388, TheReformation.com 

Long ivory plus size second marriage wedding dress with ruffles

This contemporary plus-size wedding dress beautifully frames the figure, and the ruffled neckline is just the icing on the cake.

DB Studio plunging V ruffle strap plus size crepe gown, $160, DavidsBridal.com

Long silver patterned second marriage wedding dress

We adore this mature second marriage wedding dress on older brides. It has a stunning sequin pattern, lovely cap sleeves and an elegant high neckline.

Tadashi Shoji Odette sequin dress, $430, BHLDN.com

Ivory high neckline second marriage wedding dress

Channel Meghan Markle's wedding reception dress with this high-neck gown. The ivory dress is a seriously sophisticated choice for a second marriage.

Halston ivory belted stretch-jersey gown, $325, NET-A-PORTER.com

Short lace second marriage wedding dress

When in doubt, a short lace dress is never a bad idea. This plus-size second wedding dress has a timeless V-neckline and three-quarter sleeves.

Kiyonna plus size Wedding Belle short dress, $188, DavidsBridal.com 

Silky V-neck second marriage wedding dress

Want to feel like a movie star? Slip into this slinky satin dress for your second marriage ceremony. The shiny off-white shade is undeniably memorable.

ASOS EDITION satin paneled wedding dress with fishtail, $135, ASOS.com

Pink ombre second marriage wedding dress

Go for bold with this incredible ombre gown. The ruffled frock is a one-of-a-kind alternative to the classic wedding dress. Why fit in when you can stand out?

LoveShackFancy Francoise gown in Millennial Pink Ombre Hand Dye, $625, LoveShackFancy.com

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