Though the typical bride today is in her 20’s, plenty of women in their 30’s, 40’s and beyond are saying “I do” for the first time. Regardless of age, all women want to look radiant on their wedding day. BRIDE’s Magazine offers these suggestions for women marrying at different ages, plus hair and makeup tips:


Every woman feels like a princess on her wedding day, but it’s the twenty-something bride who most often opts for a fairy-tail dress. Rustling ball gowns accented with delicate beading, gossamer veils, and cascading trains have special appeal for younger brides.

Regal twists and buns have been longtime hairstyle favorites of brides in their 20’s, but many are choosing to wear their hair straight in response to the season’s fashion and beauty trends. Although any bride can opt to wear a veil, its ethereal charm is particularly suited to a woman in her 20’s, paired with a sleek headband, pearl combs, or jeweled barrettes.

When it comes to makeup, a young bride should always put a fresh face forward. “Their makeup should have a very natural look so that it will enhance their features, not overpower them,” says New York City makeup artist Alison Raffaele. A palette of delicate pastels such as peaches and pinks and cool neutrals like beige and tan is her best bet, says BRIDE’S.


Celebrating her personal style, a bride in her 30’s often sidesteps tradition in favor of alternative designs. Evening wear inspired silhouettes such as a narrow lace sheath with delicate tulle draping or an A-line halter gown of pleated woven satin assert her individuality. A first-time bride in her 30’s may pair a short veil with a beaded headband, or small tiara.

“A bride in her 30’s can get away with deeper tones than a younger woman – her face is now mature enough to handle it,” says Raffaele. While smoky eyes and red lips look glamorous for an evening or nighttime wedding, they can be too harsh in the light of day. For a morning or early-afternoon ceremony, a beige or taupe eye shadow, bronze highlights on cheeks, and a matte-red lipstick are perfect choices for the bride in her 30’s.


Marrying in her forties, a woman can go the long white dress route or push the fashion envelope in a glamorous satin pantsuit.

Her hairstyle should be uncomplicated – that’s the mantra that New York City stylist Damien Miano recites to his over-40 brides. “Long hair can make older women look garish,” says Miano, who prefers shorter, sleeker cuts that are away from the face. Instead of a headpiece, try jeweled combs in the hair, or simply wear a pair of fabulous earrings.

Brides in their 40’s need to get some color – but not from the sun. “As a woman gets older, her skin tone loses a lot of its natural pigment and can appear washed out,” explains Raffaele. But, bright doesn’t mean Barbie blues or neon pinks. “Rosie peach or shimmering lilac is more current and gives a more luminous glow than some of the neutrals,” says Raffaele in the BRIDE’S article.

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