The Wedding Dress

by mssinglemama on September 15, 2010

My Mom and I stopped into a bridal boutique a few days after John and I’s engagement.

We were right there. So, why not?

I’m not by any means a wedding planning bridezilla. Quite the opposite I’m afraid. The very thought of planning another wedding, even though my first happened so quickly, makes me a bit queasy. What can I say? I’m just not that into weddings. But, I am into romance. And, I do understand and realize that even though this is my second wedding this is John Bear’s first.

With that in mind, one thing John and I agree on is that our wedding won’t be completely traditional. For starters, we are bypassing the whole sit down dinner thing to save money and also to save everyone the trouble of sitting with complete strangers and eating food that (typically) is well, you know… anyway, we would rather have our ceremony and then dive straight into the reception/party.

Our dream wedding scenario plays out like this.

Ceremony. Vows. Kiss. Tada!

Band kicks up (and we hired the most amazing, dance your ass off band).

And then… the party begins, everyone has a great time and takes a shuttle bus to the hotel just around the corner.

That’s the plan anyway. But I know as hard as I may try to keep things simple there will be a lot of planning, decorating and overall loveliness to create. I’m going to get into it, I will. But I won’t get caught up. After the year we’ve had I just want to relax in to the new house and let the wedding happen on its own.

So… as Mom and I walk into the store she says immediately upon seeing me gazing at a long, white dress, “Well, you can’t have a long dress.”

“What??! Why not?” My typical naive-self, I was completely ignorant to what she was implying.

“Well, because, this is your second time.”

I threw a bit of a fit and said, “Seriously? Really? You think that means I can’t wear a long, white dress?”

“I don’t know. What will people think?”

“What people, Mom?”

“You know, people.”

Uh-huh. People? And this coming from my mom, the most liberal woman you’ll ever meet. Smells fishy. Smells like some old rule her generation had. But does ours? So then I did some Googling and there are all kinds of sites devoted to planning your “second wedding” with tips on choosing your “second dress”. And yes, they all suggest that I wear something short or ivory.

Turns out… I do really, really like the shorter styles. They’re cute. They are practical and they are less expensive. Besides, as Miranda said in Sex and the City – “The gig is up!” But above all, I could dance in a shorter dress.

I’ve asked John Bear and he, in his usual John Bear fashion, says he just wants me to be happy and to wear what I want.

Now your turn. What do you all think about this second wedding dress issue.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela September 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Oh, poo poo on the “second wedding” hoopla and what you should and should not be doing, wearing, etc.

Wear the dress that when you put it on makes you smile and makes you think of John Bear seeing you in it for the first time.

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TwinCitiesLynn September 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm

My parents eloped, so when I got married the 1st time at 19, my mom wanted the whole church / 7 bridesmaids / country club reception blah blah blah. I went along with it because I was trying to let her have her dream wedding as well? Who knows. My 2nd wedding I wanted none of that, but hubbys 1st wedding was at a justice of the peace (nothing wrong with that) but his was so sterile and generic he couldn’t even remember the date. So we had the perfect in between. We had been living together for 4 years, so we didn’t want anything big, but I wanted something where he would at least remember the day! We were married on our deck up north, by a justice of the peace, had a potluck dinner prepared by our guests (instead of gifts we had them bring a dish to pass). I wore a white lace and satin dress that was at ankle length in the back and just below the knees at the front. We told our Maid of honor and best man to wear whatever they wanted. It was perfect, and 14 years later, he still remembers both the date and the day.

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Savored Life September 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Wear whatever you want. It’s YOUR day. Plain and simple. :)

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Julie September 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I say make it your wedding. Whatever that means. Life is really too short to care too much about what “they” think. Ya know? The shorter, off white dress does make sense but, in the end it’s YOU wearing it. For some that may be purple and I say go for it!

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heather September 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm

john bear is a good, good man…he’s right, wear what you want & be happy in it! i’m sure, either way, long or short, white or ivory, you’ll look beautiful!! :) congratulations on the many wonderful things going on in your life right now!! all the best to you both! <3

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Nicole Sciascia September 15, 2010 at 9:58 pm

So I never thought I would be doing it again, but I will be at some point soon. I had the big wedding the first time and $3k Christos dress ( which was gorgeous) but over and done with now. I think a shorter ivory dress is perfect. I could care less about the dress now and sit down dinner crap. I found my best friend, a true gentleman and the person I WILL be spending the rest of my life with. So, yes the dress is important but just a small piece of what you really found and what you are going to be celebrating with your close friends and family.

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Jay Dee Pea December 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Open your eyes to your new “best friend” and “perfect gentleman”… He’s that way until you marry him. Then you will become trash while he wines and dines someone else, being her “perfect gentleman.” You will be his third wife and at least his fourth “fiance”…probably more – he proposes to every girl he meets! The jewelry store must love him. Is he making you sign a pre-nup? Keep your eyes on your money because he will take it… just like he took forty grand from his last “fiance”. I hope you can take care of yourself too… he loves to beat up women and children. Have fun.

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Ally September 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Short wedding dresses can be super cute.
Evidence, it’s the same girl but they had two ceremonies and both dresses/skirt were adorable, elegant and fantastic!: http://www.oncewed.com/31768/wedding-blog/real-weddings/max-margaux-ii/
http://www.oncewed.com/31809/wedding-blog/real-weddings/max-margaux-i/

And you’re right, makes for more dancing fun!

The real question is, how will you do your hair?! ;) Best of luck, mama.

xo

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Lauren September 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Get thee to A Practical Wedding blog. It is an awesome non-pukey-weddingy wedding blog. I mean read the title! She profiles all sorts of awesome options, like dessert (!) receptions because you “should” feed your guests something.

Oh, and I say wear whatever the hell you want. My mom wore long and white or off-white to all three of her weddings.

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melissa B September 15, 2010 at 11:06 pm

I think you should wear what you want because YOU want it. Not because someone created a tradition saying that second weddings should be short ivory dresses or first weddings should be long white dresses. You choose what you feel beautiful in.

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Jessee R. September 15, 2010 at 11:09 pm

As a single momma about to walk down the aisle in three weeks (EEK!) I say you should wear whatever the hell you want! This is my first marriage, but I do have a child (not my fiance’s) and I’m rocking a long white gown. I don’t know too many ladies getting married now days that qualify as “pure” anyway! BUT, as someone immersed in planning for the last year and a self-appointed pro on all things wedding (hehe) I know that short dresses are extremely popular now. So, either way, you’ll be beautiful and John Bear will be bowled over!

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mommybella September 15, 2010 at 11:24 pm

wear what you love. Who cares what “those people” have to say, it’s your wedding not theirs! this is between you and John and your lil B. Go with your heart just like you did with John!

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Ricci September 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

I already figured out mine. It will be ivory, not because second time around, but looks better on my complexion. It will also have color. I’ve always been a girl that does it different and like no other. Take that a run with it. Your wedding should have people jealous of you, not you worrying. Just sayin’…..

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Mama Bub September 16, 2010 at 12:11 am

I think on your wedding day you should wear something that you love, and if that something is a long white dress, then that’s what it should be. I wore ivory to my first, well only, wedding because I look better in ivory than white white. Alert the media.

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mommaliss September 16, 2010 at 12:23 am

Ok, so I may be the wrong one to ask since I wore jeans and a cute top to my second wedding (at the hall of records)… Like John Bear, it was my husband’s first wedding also. I gotta say, wear what makes you, and your man, happy… as for all those “people” well they can stick it! :)

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Meagan S September 16, 2010 at 1:06 am

Personally I love the shorter dresses just because I think they’re a lot more fun but in no way do I think just because this is your second wedding you should have to wear one if you don’t love it! Weddings are so personal that you can really pull off whatever you want…who cares what other people say!!

Can’t wait to see what you choose :)

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Abimom September 16, 2010 at 3:23 am

I read your book which talked about your first wedding and frankly, I think you kind of got gipped. Doing this wedding EXACTLY the way you want is the ONLY way you should do it. I say look at both, try both kind on–and they do make short WHITE dresses, and some middle length dresses in both white and ivory–and choose the dress you love, white/ivory, short/long. It’s your wedding babe. It’s completely up to you.

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Annie Y September 16, 2010 at 3:59 am

Shoot. If I could redo my first wedding, I’d be wearing a short dress. I wore a long white, traditional dress but there was nothing traditional about my wedding seeing as I was pregnant and had already had 2 kids prior to getting hitched. I say go with whatever makes you happy!

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Sheila September 16, 2010 at 5:00 am

I think you should wear whatever floats your boat! Short dresses are adorable and fun!

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Stac September 16, 2010 at 6:16 am

I don’t think it really matters if it’s your second wedding. I think the important part of that sentence is the word “your” and not “second”. However….as a girly girly I’ve glanced upon wedding dresses every now and then and I love the short dresses. I’ve never been married but when/if I do, I think mine would be short.

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Lisa from Lisas Yarns September 16, 2010 at 7:02 am

I say where what you will be happiest in and will look the best in. Wear the dress that makes you look on the outside how you feel about John Bear on the inside. If it’s long? Great! If it’s short? Fabulous! I don’t think any of your guests will care, and if they do, then they shouldn’t be at your wedding!! Anyone that knows you is going to be so happy that you are marrying a man that is worthy of you, they won’t care about the length of your dress!

Happy wedding planning!

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Susan September 16, 2010 at 8:45 am

I agree with John Bear.

You were the dress that makes your eyes light up and makes you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.

He won’t see the dress as you walk towards – only the light in your eyes and your beautiful smile.

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Susan September 16, 2010 at 8:45 am

Um – wear – not were. Clearly not enough coffee this morning.

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lauren September 16, 2010 at 9:08 am

it is a day that belongs to you, john & benjamin. you are becoming a family.
it is a body that belongs to you. dress it as you please! :)
wear what makes you smile and what will keep you comfy and cozy and smiling.
*

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Lori September 16, 2010 at 10:30 am

Okay, I have no idea what the second wedding rules are but I think you should get the dress that you LOVE and not worry about any of the rules. Besides, who made the rules anyways………..

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Joelle September 16, 2010 at 10:52 am

I think back in the day, women who had 2nd weddings didn’t wear white or long dresses because they weren’t as “pure” as their first wedding. Therefore it wasn’t appropriate for brides to wear white because everyone knew that they were already married and (gasp) had sex already. But in this modern day and age, most women have had sex before marriage anyway, and most of my friends wore ivory dresses to their first wedding simply because that was the style.
I think white gowns symbolize a new beginning, and if you like long, wear long! Personally for a 2nd wedding I wouldn’t do a huge poofy gown, but if that’s what you like, you should wear it. Don’t downplay this wedding simply because it’s your 2nd. In all hopes, it’s your last wedding for both of you, so do it up how you want to do it!
also, are you serving any food? how about a mash potato bar? Love those at weddings!

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Upbisb September 16, 2010 at 11:33 am

I’ve only been married once, but I totally think you need to get a dress you love. Long or short, white or ivory- whatever! I’ve seen lots of really cute short dresses lately and it does sound like it would go very well with the look and feel you’ve described for the day. I would try to get a little more out of Jonh Bear abou what he’s imagine his “bride” wearing though. When we were planning our wedding I was blown away when my husband mentioned that he always pictured his bride in white. I had always imagined myself wearing off white or ivory. I decided to at least try on some white dresses since I knew it was important to him and ended up finding something that fit both of our “ideals”. So yeah, guys sometimes have things they’ve always assumed about the brides dress, go figure!

- another option is going the two dress route if you can find some that will fit your budget but you love. That way you could do the long white dress for the ceremony but change into something short and fun (maybe with color and something you could wear again?) for the reception/party. That also ses to be a trend in weddings now.

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GreenInOC September 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Do what YOU want and what will make your Bear happy.

Don’t forget this will be his wedding and he surely has some fantasy about seeing you walk down that aisle.

You know you could get a long dress that “converts” into a shorter one.

How about TWO dresses. One fantasy one (whatever your fantasy is) and one for partying and dancing!

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Lori September 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

It might be your second wedding but it’s your first and only with John Bear so wear whatever dress strikes YOUR fancy. Short, long, white, ivory, yellow, magenta. WHATEVER.
You and John Bear have the perfect idea for the wedding and reception though!

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Heidi September 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I think you should wear what you want to wear, and if it’s a long, white dress, then go for it. You will look beautiful in it. But I’m not one to follow wedding “rules” — we got married in Miami Beach with just our immediate families present, and had a party for other people later to celebrate our marriage. While I pissed off some of my friends by not having the wedding they expected, it was what we wanted. And we’re still married almost 14 years later.

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Jennifer September 16, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I say wear whatever you want. I just got married a few weeks ago (both of our second marriages). At first I thought I would want to do a short dress….tried them on and wasn’t too excited. So tried a few longer, yet simple ones on and fell in love with one. Certainly not the type that was looking for “the one” and would be featured on “Say Yes to the Dress” but didn’t feel it was out of line for me to wear a long white (it was actually ivory) dress.

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Jill B September 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I’d never heard ivory for second wedding – I always heard it referred to as white [for ladies with complexions that require ivory to pure white], and things like pink or other light (sorta pukey) colors for 2nd weddings. Unless you’re an old lady, and then you wear a suit. Yikes.

I think if you find a dress that SUITS you, nobody will spend much time thinking about whether it conforms, and be more caught up in “it looks like YOUR wedding!”

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Eva September 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Girl this is you and John bears day you wear what ever the hell you want to wear.. honestly who cares what people think NOBODY will be thinking “ohh she wore the long dress” – all they willbe thinking is WOW she looks beautiful and this is beautiful.. I recently got married and we have a child so yeah “the gig is up” but I wore my off white dress and looked damn good.. and we had the most amazing day because the most important thing for both of us was LOVE and we damn well showed it and overflowed peoples champagne glasses with it.. because LOVE is what matters on that very special day so wear what you want and be happy

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Jenny September 17, 2010 at 1:11 am

Ignore the rules – wear the dress that you feel beautiful in. If you glow then it’s the one.

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Michelle Thompson September 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Wear whatever YOU want! Long time reader and this is my first post! Weird??

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Stephanie September 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Every wedding is unique, and not 1st or 2nd or 3rd…. it doesn’t matter what other people think, it matters that 5 , 10 years from now, you will still have a smile in your face when you look at your wedding pictures. Go for the dress you love!!

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Kristy September 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Honestly? I don’t think it matters what you wear as long as you are happy. We had our daughter 5 full years before we tied the knot. I was 18 when we had her. I was told over and over what I could and couldn’t do. I ignored most, wish I had ignored all of them. It’s your wedding and special regardless. It is your first and only marriage to John Bear. Make it special however you want to.

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healy September 18, 2010 at 2:17 am

wear something that comforts you. . .that gives you beauty! happy searching

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Glenda September 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm

wear what will make you happy. i wore a short dress for my wedding (1st and only) and he wore his military uniform. we were married at our friends home. dinner was provided by the best man / maid of honor and we have tons of pictures and the memories live in our hearts. it’s what you make it to be.

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Heather September 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Wear what makes you happy. I am still wearing a long dress, because a) it’s October in Boston, might be a bit chilly) and b) I felt more bridal in a long dress. But it’s plain, with no beading or lace or anything. Congratulations!

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Elizabeth September 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm

As a professional wedding planner I have to say that I think it’s not the best form if you have been married before and done the whole big white dress, bridesmaids, wedding showers and big crazy reception thing once before to repeat it a second time. However, I also believe that in a case like your own when you had a thrown together wedding or those that do a trip to city hall the first time around then it’s ok to do some of the (long) white dress, big fun party stuff because it’s the first time to do that for both of you guys and it should be special and magical in whatever ways YOU choose! Everyone deserves to have that…if you want it. A long dress hardly makes you a bridezilla! Ask your 10 best friends to get done up in matching dresses and hairdos though…then maybe we’ll have to talk!

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Krista September 22, 2010 at 10:29 am

I wore a strapless black and white floaty cocktail dress, killer black stiletto heels and a huge red flower in my hair for my second wedding. I bought it from White House|Black Market off the sale rack completely on a whim.

I had also purchased a beautiful long white diaphanous plunging neckline column dress, but opted for the shorter one.

Wear whatever you want. I truly do not think it matters. If you do decide on the white gown, wear amazing shoes in a great bold color with out-of-this-world jewelry to match.

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Amanda September 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

When (and if) I get married again, I plan on still wearing a long, white dress…because that’s what I want, dammit! And frankly, the first wedding wasn’t really anything I wanted, and this next go-around, it’ll be what exactly what I and my new husband wants!

…and when it comes down to it…the important part of all of this is you’re marrying a fantastic guy. It’s about the marriage, not the wedding…so make the wedding however you want it to be! :)

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Allison in the MN September 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm

When I had my second wedding it was the second for both of us. So I simply wore a nice summery blue dress that I purchased off the rack at a department store. I have heard of the “can’t wear white at your 2nd wedding” theory & quite honestly I couldn’t care less about it. I wore what worked for our wedding. We had a huge party in the backyard the day after the ceremony complete with a bounce house, pulled pork sandwiches, mulitple kegs of beer & mini donuts. I think you should wear whatever works for you! :)

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girlplease September 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm

What you want when you want it how you want it. That’s the wedding vows of decorum and fuss whether it’s 1st, 2nd, third.

And while I’m not on my 2nd…not even close, working on the big D first, it doesnt mean I don’t think about it (I LOVE wedding dresses). And honestly, I have zero clue what I would choose. 1. I’m pushing 40. 2. I did the dress thing. Not THE dress (I settled) but still and 3. my tastes/design styles change.

Like John Bear, you’ll know it when you see it.

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