A timeless wedding gown

If you're getting married - or renewing your vows - you can be a beautiful bride at any age.

Soft color in a formal wear style rather than a traditional white wedding gown is the preference of today's older bride. "Pale pink or champagne is very popular," says Elaine Cordeau, wedding coordinator and owner of Elaine's Bridal Boutique. Deeper color tones work well, rather than .pure white.

Kristi Dole of Something Blue Bridal Boutique agrees. "Color is very alluring. One customer celebrating her golden wedding anniversary and renewing her vows came in wanting cream .and gold. She fell in love with a color instead."

A simple style fit for a fancy dinner party is what mature brides are looking for. "This kind of wedding dress is elegant and tasteful," Elaine says, "perhaps with some beading, usually with a jacket."

Stores like Elaine's and Something Blue carry many lovely mother-of-the-bride outfits that can make perfect wedding gowns for senior brides, often worn with beautiful sandals for comfort as well as style. Something Blue even employs people from all age groups to assist brides of any age in making the right choice.

Tea-length is the ideal length for the usually smaller, less formal wedding of a mature bride. One bride, Kristi recalls, chose a full-length wedding gown from Something Blue's formal wedding gown line and had it shortened to tea-length to make it age-appropriate. "It was a cafe color with a lace cover, and the bride looked stunning!" The bride in this case was 84.