Wedding Dress or Wedding Outfit

 ‘The Outfit’ vs ‘The Wedding Dress’

For any mature brides-to-be who are looking for an outfit rather than a wedding dress, some Mother of the Bride outfits can look great as an alternative. Or if its a bolero or wrap you’re after, take a look at the gorgeous ones by UK firm, Wrapor. There are some examples below, and if you are a plus-size beauty then take a look at the dresses by Alfred Angelo Bridal.

Designer Outfits

dress by Jill Harvey
Dress by Jill Harvey
coat by Jill Harvey
3/4 Sleeve Coat by Jill Harvey
dress by Jill Harvey
Dress by Jill Harvey
dress by Jill Harvey
Dress by Jill Harvey
dress by Jill Harvey
Dress by Jill Harvey
dress by Jill Harvey
Dress by Jill Harvey


You can sneak a peek at the 2015 preview by Mary’s of Enfield.


But I thought I’d show you a beautiful collection by Jill Harvey… perfectly elegant and great for a mature bride.























































Mid-range Bridal Dresses

For those of us with gorgeous curves, it’s time to take a look at some wedding dress collections. Although I’m not a fan of the term ‘plus-size’ I guess it’s what everyone actually puts in a search bar, so I’ve relented. No sense in not being able to find what you want after all…

Plus-size Alfred Angelo wedding dress
Style 2180J with bolero

So here’s a selection of designer, mid-range bridal and budget outfits suitable for the more mature bride.

The first collection I discovered is by Alfred Angelo Bridal and the dresses are available in sizes 8-22.


Great if you’re looking for a traditional wedding dress. This one shown is available in sizes 6-30.

Next up is a floaty Grecian style number from It comes in 3 different shades and is made to order, so no matter what size you need – you can have this dress. plus-size dress
Style PS122

I think I’m probably right in saying that most of us who are 40+ brides would rather cover up their upper arms. No matter how successful the weight loss, it just never seems to make a difference to the wobbly bingo wings, does it?


Not a problem, that’s what jackets, boleros and wraps are for. Here’s just a few I’ve found recently.


UK company Wrapor have a fantastic range of bridal boleros and wraps. Here’s a taster selection from the current bridal collection.

Bridal organza shrug
Wrapor Organza Overlay Shrug available in 10 colours and sizes 6-30











Pink bridal shrug
Wrapor Pink Silk Dupion Shrug, choice of style and fabric and sizes 6-30
Wrapor Satin Bridal Bolero
Wrapor Satin Bridal Bolero available in 10 colours and sizes 6-28



Right, well hopefully that should keep you going with boleros and wraps and I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for on the Wrapor site.

Now for some shorter length dresses (and jackets) that are currently amongst my favourites.

This next one from Chesca I’m especially fond of, and you can also get this label at John Lewis.

Chesca Ivory Lace with Ribbon Trim Detail
Chesca Ivory Lace with Ribbon Trim Detail, available in sizes 12-24
Chesca Bridal Bolero
Chesca Bridal Bolero, available in sizes 12-24
Chesca flapper bolero
Chesca Flapper Bolero available in sizes 12-24 from John Lewis


























Budget Dresses

This next one is from where you’ll find links to more. The dresses are available in satin, taffeta and chiffon.

Short wedding dress
Short Style Wedding Dress also have a few really nice short dresses – here’s one in a tea-length with empire waist.

Tea-lengh wedding dress
Tea-length Empire Style Wedding Dress




















This one from AyaBridal on the Etsy site is actually a bridesmaid dress, but would look nice teamed with a jacket or bolero for a mature bride looking for a shorter length and a more informal look.

Have you got your shoes?  Take a look at our latest article on the most gorgeous bridal footwear around. (PS link to come as still writing the article :))

Sweetheart champagne dress
Sweetheart Champagne Dress




For some ideas on wedding shoes, take a look at the article, Bridal Wedding Shoes for some gorgeous wedding styles from Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Emmy London.

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Wedding Hairstyles for Over 40 Brides

One of you lovely ladies emailed me last week, asking for information on wedding hairstyles for brides over 50 with long hair.  It can be quite tricky to get the right ‘look’ for you, and many styles (just like the wrong dress) can leave you feeling and looking a bit on the frumpy side – definitely not what you want on your wedding day!

Up, Down or Half and Half?

I had this same problem 2 years ago. My hair is long, I’m over 40 (actually 50 now) and I had no intention of cutting it.  Needless to say, finding a suitable wedding hair style for my age was pretty difficult.

I knew I didn’t want a traditional ‘Up Do’ – not that I don’t like it, I certainly do, and they look fantastic on the right person, just not me.

So I developed a strategy after seeing the photo of Kate Winslet below.  Instead of looking a bridal pictures, what about studying photos of red carpet events –  women with style and class who have the best hairstyles around, and adapting what you like for your wedding.

The Long and (not so) Short of it

So here are some styles for long hair that I love:

I wanted my long locks as natural as possible, and this is the one I tried to copy for my wedding day. The stylist set my hair using large velcro rollers and I pinned a section of one side with my chosen hair accessory pin.



Kate has so many fantastic looks, and absolutely perfect for an older bride, whether she’s 30, 40 or 60 plus! For Kate’s many, many styles including up-do’s, just google ‘Kate Winslet hair’ and look under the images tab. You’ll find every style under the sun, many of which can easily be used as a template for a mature bride’s wedding hairstyle.


My 2nd choice was Ashley Greene with her Hollywood glam hair do.

Ashley Greene

My own wedding style ended up somewhere between the two.

At least, that’s what I was aiming for although it always turns out quite individual as your hair will tend to do its own thing.

I also had a fringe, but your stylist will be able to adapt your chosen style to suit you – just remember to have a trial run.

Another one I really like if you want to keep your tresses long and natural is Jennifer Anniston’s style when she married Brad Pitt. Those little strands pulled and pinned to the side are gorgeous.

Jennifer Anniston

40’s Hollywood waves are so perfect for a wedding and my favourite of all, Rita Hayworth.

Rita Hayworth

veronica lake


For extra long hair why not try a version of Veronica Lake’s waves. So sophisticated.


There are many variations on the Hollywood ‘wave’ that are perfect for a 40+ bride.

Longer hair can sometimes be difficult to pin up, especially if it’s quite thick.

So if you want something a bit more formal that will perhaps stay in place longer, you could go for the Half-Up Half-Down style.

This was made famous by Pippa Middleton at her sister’s wedding and is a great way of combining formality with a casual air.112734792AZ008_Royal_WeddinPippa Middleton_back

Pinterest is a great place to find all your wedding styles and ideas.

So if you’ve never used it, have a look at it today on the link provided.





Or just click on the top right column of this page where you’ll be taken straight through to the boards for FortyPlusWeddings.

We’ll be adding new stuff all the time so do keep coming back to check what’s there.

Why not create your own?



Wish I’d known about it when I was planning my wedding. It would have done away with a lot of file saving and emailing back and forth with my bridesmaid!

And FortyPlus just wants to help so get yourself a Pinterest account today.

You’ll love it!


I’ll do articles that focus on short/mid length hair next as there are so many lovely styles out there.

That’ll keep me busy for the next few weeks!

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Channel 4 Call for 2014 Summer Brides!

Will you be a summer bride in 2014? If so, something very exciting has happened!

Channel 4 is currently working on a series which looks at what it means to be happy in modern day Britain. One of three episodes explores how our ideas and perceptions are changing with regards to long-term relationships and marriage.

I do photo for channel 4 call for brides article
photo credit: mandaloo via photopin cc

Emma Lou Pringle, producer of the show, is very keen to speak to someone who is getting married at a later stage in life, in order to help with the programme-planning and possibly film part of your preparations, such as a dress fitting. They’ve asked 40+ Weddings for our help to see if any of our lovely brides-to-be would like to take part.

They’re looking for anyone that might be marrying in the summer of 2014 who’d potentially consider appearing on the show, and are very happy to have initial chats with anyone that might be interested.

Are you interested in taking part, or do you know someone who might fit the bill?

Reply by email to me personally at allison[at], or leave a private message on our Facebook page. I’ll be sure to pass your details on.


Allison x

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