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Is There a Different Dress Code for Older Brides?

When planning a wedding, the etiquette rules to observe are seemingly endless. Should age-appropriate bridal attire be on that list of concerns? See what we told Marcia, who asked us via e-mail, if she should go with what she wants for her choice of gown and bridesmaids, or if she should tone it down to something more understated.

Photography by: Lindsey Ocker Photography

Q: Is there a rule that says a 39-year-old getting married for the first time shouldn’t have seven bridesmaids and a dress with a long train?


A: Nope. In fact, the maxim we subscribe to is, no matter your age, it’s your day and you deserve to feel beautiful, whether that’s in a princessy white ball gown or a hot-pink mini. The same goes for choosing your bridal party—incorporate however many friends into your ceremony as you see fit.


That said, there is one age-related caveat when it comes to bridesmaids. “Women in their late 30s often have a better grasp on their personal style than those in their 20s,” says associate fashion editor Carrie Goldberg. “Picking the same dress for all your attendants may not be the way to go.” Instead, she suggests, choose a color in your day-of palette or a chic neutral that complements it, and trust your pals to select something that makes them feel beautiful, too.