• When we think about weddings, we often envision couples in their 20s or 30s with a white dress, large reception, and dancing. So what are the rules for planning a wedding if you’re a bride over 50?  It could be a second or third-time wedding, or the couple could have waited until later in life for a first-time wedding. Planning the wedding for an older couple requires some new thinking. While some older brides prefer a small, quiet gathering, many brides now enjoy a large, festive event. Wedding planners can help.

    What style of dress is appropriate? What are the choices about the type of reception to have? We asked several different wedding experts featured in Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine for wedding planning advice, as well as tips for more mature brides.

    ZN: How important is it to have a wedding planner, and what advice do you have for brides over 50 in terms of the type of wedding they should have? Should it be more simple than brides in their 20s?

    It is so important to have a wedding planner to guide you through the process – if anything, to have a voice of reason and experience to advise you in decision-making. It is the planner’s mission to make you feel like the “guest of honor” on your wedding day, rather than the host, because your planner wants you to be able to enjoy yourself and feel free to mingle with your guests than have a list of responsibilities running through your head the entire night.

    When I begin planning a wedding, no matter the age of the client, I ask my brides to fill out a comprehensive survey to get a sense of who they are as individuals, who they are as a couple, what their home decor is like, and what they wear on a day-to-day basis. I even ask about what stores they frequently shop at and what their ideal “night on the town” is like. This helps me instantly understand whether the client is formal or casual, over-the-top or understated, and contemporary or classic. Everyone has a different taste or style. I want the experience to be true to the bride and groom, and not a replica of some other event. I find the age of the bride does not matter as much in planning the event, because every client comes into the planning process from a unique perspective in style and taste regardless of the year she was born. As long as the bride is able to prioritize what aspects of her wedding are most important to her – whether that be the cake, the stationary details, or the linens and decor – and stays true to those elements and her own particular tastes, the event will succeed in preserving the integrity of her vision.Valerie Gernhauser, Owner of Sapphire Events

    ZN: What are some current trends in wedding dresses, and what would you suggest for a bride over 50?

    Some of the hot trends are blush colored gowns, romantic laces, and demure cap sleeves. When these trends are incorporated in either a sheath, A-line, or mermaid silhouette, a mature bride can look age-appropriate without sacrificing style. I don’t recommend a ball gown or a gown with a very long train. One fashionable way to cover arms is with a sheer lacey sleeve, or a coordinating bolero jacket. Also, an off-the-shoulder neckline with 3/4 sleeves would look so elegant. Some age-appropriate alternatives, when it comes to color, can be a blush, antique ivory, or champagne tone. Nowadays, brides in general opt for creamy ivories or blush colored gowns – I think it’s more elegant than white, and I believe this can be applied to a more mature bride, too. -Blanca Gonzales, Owner of Sposa Mia Couture

    ZN: There are so many photographers to choose from nowadays – what should a bride be looking for when booking the photographer? Do you have any tips on how to look great in your wedding photos?

    A good way to initially decipher a photographer’s abilities is to look at their blog and see if after looking at wedding after wedding, you connect with the photographer’s style and editing. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is whether you think the photographer is a good fit with you and your fiance as far as personality. You want a photographer who will make you feel relaxed and confident. Your photographer will be with you for all the important parts of your wedding and you want to make sure you like having them around and that they make you feel comfortable. As for looking good in pictures, I think that looking your best – having professionals do your hair and makeup and wearing your hair down – generally looks better in photos. Avoid shiny makeup as well as shiny or shimmery dress fabrics. Avoid being too tan. If you are going to use a fake tanner, make sure your fiance does as well [so you both] “match”. Once you look picture perfect, all you need to do is relax in front of the camera and have fun. The professional will take care of the rest! Natalie Watson, Owner of Watson Studios

    ZN: What should brides consider when it comes to choosing flowers for their wedding?

    When choosing flowers for your wedding, take the advice of a professional. You should seek out someone who has a few years of experience in the floral industry. A seasoned designer knows what is in season or what is not in season. If you are getting married during any major holiday, expect to pay more for your flowers. If your heart is set on a specific flower, a professional will be able to tell you if it is in season or not. A professional wedding floral designer will have a great website with his or her own work. Select your designer six months to a year prior to your wedding. Some designers are limited to the number of weddings they will do in a day. Most importantly, make sure the flowers are a reflection of you.Eric Fredricks, Owner of Bee’s Wedding & Event Floral Designs

    ZN: What are some current trends in cake designs today, and how should a bride go about choosing her wedding cake?

    What’s really neat about current cake trends is that almost anything goes. Traditionally, elements such as columns, flowers, or piped details were acceptable to see on a wedding cake. Now we see anything from flowers, trinkets, bows, birds, and modern patterns to obscure items you wouldn’t expect to see even on a modern wedding cake. Choosing the perfect cake is more about matching your style and your event than just picking a cake nowadays. A good [cake] designer should be able to create a cake that reflects not only the couple, but also matches the mood and style of the event. If, for example, a couple is getting married in a room filled with detail and their decor plans are rife with extravagant floral arrangements, I know that the cake needs to be large or loud enough to stand out from the decor. On the flip side, if the venue is simple and the decor intimate, I know that the cake need not be so obnoxious that it looks out of place, but instead needs to stand out while still matching the intimacy and simplicity of the event.Sophie Bifeld, Owner of Sophie Bifield Cake Company

    ZN: How important is the music at a wedding and what should a bride take into consideration when booking a band?

    The heartbeat of any great wedding celebration or special event is the music. Nothing compares to professional live musical entertainment. When researching a professional band for your wedding, you want a band who has skill, great presentation, and are dependable. You will never go wrong with a live band whose members and staff are polished, personable, and dedicated to making your celebration memorable.Toray Brown, Managing Director of The B-Side Entertainment Group

    You may also enjoy…

    Are You Planning a Wedding After 50?
    Cindy Joseph – A New Marriage After 60
    Katie Couric – Beautiful New Bride at 57

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    1. tandytapper@yahoo.com' Tandy. Hoovef says:

      Help !