How to Plan a Fairy-Tale Second Wedding as an Over 40 Bride

You can totally have a Pinterest-Worthy Second Wedding even if you're an older bride. Here's how.

You can plan the perfect wedding whether you’re getting married for the first time over 40 or this is your second wedding. Here’s how I planned my casual but special wedding using ideas from Pinterest. From the dress to the cake to the flowers, you can find ideas to make your own “I Do Take Two” the special day you deserve.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

I know I’m not the only woman who just loves Pinterest, but you need to know that I really love Pinterest. In fact, I wrote that first sentence and didn’t come back to this post for 30 minutes because I opened Pinterest “for research” and got distracted. That’s a pretty common occurrence for me.

Unfortunately, though, it’s all too easy to caught up in “Pinterest Perfection”: the belief that anything you try from Pinterest isn’t any good at all unless it’s as perfect as your inspiration pin. And it can seem like a young woman’s game, particularly if you’re a bride over 40 or over 50 planning a wedding. I just did a search on Pinterest for “over 40 wedding” and I’m thrilled to see that there’s a lot more content now than there was when I was planning my wedding.

Our Goals for Our Wedding

We weren’t planning a big wedding, but I did want it to be special. As both the bride and wedding planner, I had a few goals for our big day:

  • Stress-Free! There would be no staying up all night the night before my wedding making centerpieces for the tables.
  • Cost-Effective. There would also be no four-figure flower bill. Flowers were strictly DIY. But easy DIY. 
  • Reflecting Our Personality. Casey and I both share a strong love of music. I wanted our wedding to reflect that wherever I could weave it in without being too “theme wedding”.
  • Love. I wanted the day to be a reflection of our love for each other and our love for our friends and family who shared the day with us.

And I had a final goal that I was a little embarrassed about. But it was important to me.

  • I wanted to wear a long white dress. I wore a tea-length plain white cotton Laura Ashley dress to my first wedding. There are a lot of reasons why that happened, but the bottom line is I always felt cheated out of my princess day. I didn’t need a full-fledged princess day, but I wanted a long white dress that was appropriate for a 52-year old woman. Equally important – I didn’t want to show my arms. 🤣

How to Use Pinterest to Plan Your Second Wedding

I created an inspiration Pinterest board to track ideas from Pinterest that met the goals I had for our wedding. You can find it here. I pinned everything that caught my eye: wedding dresses perfect for an older bride on her second wedding, ideas for the ceremony, rings I loved, wedding decor and the all-important cake.

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At first, I just used the board as a sort of mood board; pinning whatever struck my fancy. And then as the date got closer I started keeping a notebook of all the elements of the wedding along with each inspiration pin.

Our Wedding Invitation

For example, here’s the pin I finally chose to emulate for our wedding invitation.

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I created our wedding invitation in Illustrator using the pin as inspiration.

weddinginvite

Simple, Easy Flower Arrangements

I wanted flowers but I didn’t want to have to pay for them or spend a lot of time creating artful arrangements. So I went for the best of all possible solutions. I followed the inspiration of this pin:

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And I made things even simpler. Instead of Whole Foods, my florist was the local farmer’s market and instead of creating the bouquet myself, I outsourced the job to my beautiful niece.

You can have a Pinterest-worthy second wedding on a budget!
Pinterestformiddleagedweddings

I think you’ll agree she did a fabulous job.

The Wedding Cake

This pin was completely perfect as inspiration for a cake that showed our love for music and each other.

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cake2

Here’s our interpretation. The lyrics are from The Zombies, “This Will Be Out Year.”

Casey and I dated for a little bit in college and then remet 30 years later so the chorus, “This Will Be Our Year, Took a Long Time to Come” has a lot of meaning for us.

A White Wedding Dress for a Woman Over 50?

As for the white dress appropriate for a middle-aged woman? It took a few pins to cobble together just the right look. First, the actual dress. I wanted something simple, elegant and timeless and this dress was just the ticket.

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But I hated that thing on top of it. So I replaced it with a vintage cashmere cardigan because pins like this convinced me that was the perfect solution.

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And I added a sash that my sister made me to complete the outfit because I was inspired by this pin.

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Here’s the final result.

By the way, I saved a ton of money on my dress by buying a discontinued dress from a previous season. If I were planning my wedding now, I would absolutely try on a few of the options from Amazon. Just look at the choices available! (Be sure and check the sizing information and the returns policy of any dress you select. Some dresses on Amazon are Chinese sizes, which run smaller. Be aware of shipping times as well. Some wedding dresses take up to a month to arrive, particularly if you have ordered a custom gown.)

Wedding Dresses from Amazon

Strapless Gown with Pockets
Strapless Column Wedding Dress
Sleeveless Tank Long Wedding Dress
Short Sleeve Long Lace Dress
Backless Simple Wedding Dress with Pockets
V-Neck 3/4 Sleeve Organza Wedding Dress
Vintage Cap Sleeve Lace Wedding Dress
Women’s Long Sleeves Lace Up Wedding Dress
Lace Long Vintage Country Style Bridal Wedding Dress
Women’s Cap Sleeve Embroidered Gown
Adrianna Papell Women’s Short-Sleeve All Over Sequin Gown
Adrianna Papell Women’s Short-Sleeve Beaded Mesh Gown
Adrianna Papell Women’s Short Beaded Dress
Adrianna Papell Women’s Gardenia Guipure Long Dress
Adrianna Papell Women’s Metallic Stretch Lace One Shoulder Long Dress
Double V Lace Wedding Dress
Women’s Keyhole Back Lace V Neck Bridal Gown
Elegant Mermaid Wedding Dress
Cap Sleeve Lace Over Satin Wedding Dress
Lace Mermaid Wedding Dress

My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. We had the wedding in a lovely French restaurant in Atlanta and the food was so delicious. It tasted like love, I swear. As a wonderful added bonus, the building had, in a previous life, been my father’s office so I could feel his presence blessing us even though he’s no longer with us. You can’t find that stuff on Pinterest. But a pretty cake and a princess dress can help make a special day even more special.

Pin This on Pinterest Now!

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19 Comments

  1. October 28, 2015 / 7:01 am

    I’m going to pin this! Love that you started your board as a secret board and I love your dress. Almost makes me wish I didn’t elope the second time….almost.

    • Katy
      October 28, 2015 / 7:40 am

      Thanks Jennifer! Eloping is definitely a lot cheaper – probably should have included that in the post 🙂

  2. October 28, 2015 / 9:00 am

    I had no idea what a Pinterest wedding was until I read your post. Interesting! Oh and by the way? You are still a newlywed. I wish you many happy years!

    • Katy
      October 28, 2015 / 9:12 am

      Thanks Carol! I still feel like a newlywed. 🙂

    • Katy
      October 28, 2015 / 11:29 am

      Thanks Marcia. It was a lot of fun and nice to relive it.

  3. October 28, 2015 / 11:37 am

    Pinterest wasn’t around for my second wedding- I wish is had been. However, like you my second wedding was the wedding of my dreams and low drama.

    • Katy
      October 28, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      So much better without the drama, isn’t it?

  4. Helene Cohen Bludman
    October 30, 2015 / 10:32 am

    I love your wonderful story and your photos are just fabulous! Taking notes because I’m planning my daughter’s wedding for next May.

    • Katy
      October 30, 2015 / 10:42 am

      Tell your daughter Best Wishes from me. Have you guys started watching all the TV shows yet? They’re such a hoot.

    • Katy
      October 30, 2015 / 10:45 am

      I needed that cardigan! It was 55 degrees that day so I was very glad to have it. My sister would want me to tell you that she made the sash and I was very grateful to her. 🙂

  5. October 30, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    WOW! You look beautiful. You have to love Pinterest right? I love the wedding cake what a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • Katy
      October 30, 2015 / 2:47 pm

      Pinterest is great even for those of us who might be just a tad older than the standard bride 🙂 Thanks for the kind words – it was a lovely day.

  6. July 6, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    Katy, thanks for sharing your great ideas! When my hubby and I were prepping to tie the knot three years ago, I scoured Pinterest too for second time around weddings. Your dress is gorgeous and perfect for you! We ended up having three small receptions, (I think it’s on Pinterest how I pulled that off), with one at the church (helps to have an 11am Thursday wedding–no alcohol, just cake). The second reception was three days later in San Diego where most of our families live, then third was at our windsurf campground. Alcohol flowed during those, and so much fun to celebrate three occasions with different folks!

    • Katy
      July 6, 2016 / 8:58 pm

      That’s so awesome! Thanks so much for sharing and if you’ve got a post or photos I’d love to see them.

  7. July 9, 2016 / 12:57 am

    So pleased you had such a wonderful day – it all looks supremely happy and your dress is beautiful. You made me smile with the bit about not showing arms though – why are we so paranoid about that? I am too but then I see some REALLY seriously dodgy arms everywhere in summertime and then I think mine aren’t so bad! Still won’t have them bare though! Am pinning…

    • Katy
      July 9, 2016 / 7:23 am

      Thanks Gilly! In the end I’m glad I had a sweater because the day was seriously chilly. But I suppose I gave in a bit to my insecurities there. At the time you seriously could not find a brides dress that wasn’t strapless – I’m happy to see they’re bringing back a bit more variety now.

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