Cashmere Aran sweater, €850, Elaine Madigan. Hand-embellished silk-organza ¾ skirt, €1,450, Helen Cody. Veil (behind model), €120, Veils of Ireland. Leather gloves (not in shot), €125, Paula Rowan.Worn underneath: Boned, smoothing basque, €120, Susan Hunter. Bouquets and roses in hair, Dromoland Castle florist's service

Wedding Dresses

The Charm - luxurious and sophisticated design for older, wiser, brides-to-be

 

Whenever I dress older, or second-time-around brides, they always seem to feel they shouldn't make a fuss of themselves. They think they shouldn't want the dream wedding dress that younger women so easily lay claim to.

So today, I want you older, wiser, brides-to-be to pause. And feel. What would you love?

Meghan Markle was 37 and a divorcee, but she didn't shy from wearing a traditional white gown. The symbolism was clear: here I am, unadorned, ready to begin life afresh. With you.

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I loved that at 57, Camilla Parker Bowles, in her marriage to Prince Charles, opted for white, though it was a civil ceremony and theirs a scandalous history (she wore a second outfit for their subsequent blessing at St George's Chapel). Her divine hat by Philip Treacy was also a key 'signifier', as it declared who and what she was - bold and strong, feminine and fun.

If you have dreamed of wearing white, wear it. The only reason not to is the obvious one - if it doesn't suit you. In which case, choose cream.

Helen Cody adores designing dresses for second weddings. "The first wedding is always like a fairy-tale. The second time around, it is more contemplated," says Helen.

"The fact that in Ireland, if you are a divorcee, you can't get married in a church, also has dictated the style of second marriages."

The upside of that is one is free to get married somewhere more one's flavour (as we did for our shoot) such as the romantic and beautiful Dromoland Castle. Imagine saying 'I do' by that romantic lake, under a lime tree bower walk, or at their historic Temple of Mercury.

Speaking of flavour, both Delphine Grandjouan and Louise Kennedy are mistresses of luxurious and sophisticated design, and musts for pure elegance.

Theia Bridal by Don O'Neill is East Coast elegance, but with a dash of New York daring. Available exclusively in Folkster Bridal, Kilkenny, its definitely worth a research trip, as it isn't outlandishly expensive and is always surprising.

My point is: wear what you want, be who you want. Be it fabulous in divine fantasy by Claire Garvey, or pure softness in that tenderest of fabrics, cashmere, in exclusive designs by Elaine Madigan. On our shoot day, Elaine's soft-hued, luxurious knits kept our models looking beautiful while saving them from catching their deaths.

Never forget to have fun on your day out. Those finishing touches of sartorial drama - hats and gloves - remind us we are special.

Glove designer Paula Rowan is the current darling of Vogue and no wonder - her work is fabulous.

And so are you.

Photography by Peter Evers Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Indo Life Magazine