Writer, artist and exquisite model Alex B. finds that confidence in who she is is the key to wearing whatever the heck you want, when you want.

In the 21st century brides and grooms come in all ages, shapes and sizes. According to statistics, it is very likely that contemporary wedding couples are well into their forties or much older. Simply stated, here is the problem, typically concerning women only, as men at any age and for any formal occasion always have a suit to wear. That brides are young and virginal is still a deeply entrenched stereotype and any bridal magazine or catalogue will have page upon page of beautiful wedding gowns worn by young, beautiful models who represent the ‘typical’ bride.

In such visual narratives women over fifty are only present as mother-of-the groom or mother-of-the-bride, wearing well tailored suits and imposing hats. That such women might themselves be first time brides is a notion that has not entered the world of fashion and advertising. Not really.

"In the 21st century brides and grooms come in all ages, shapes and sizes."

Photography by David Green, www.davidjohngreen.com

I am a model, close to sixty in age. I have modelled countless mother-of the-bride outfits but not a proper wedding dress. Only once I had such an opportunity and not for a fashion show or a fashion spread, but for a series of photographs for a book cover.

I married young, and at my registry office wedding, I wore jeans! My now ex-husband and I went for the very unconventional thing of getting married first, in secret, and then announcing it to friends and family.

I have no intention to wed now (though I am not ruling out the possibility it might happen) but this thing of not being able to wear a beautiful white wedding gown because that is regarded as inappropriate at my age really bugs me. A wedding day is your opportunity to shine. It is the day when you and your partner formally declare your commitment to each other. Mature couples are more likely to take their wedding vows as a true life commitment, having often experienced difficult divorces and arriving at the decision to marry again or marry for the first time with a clear head as well as with a true heart. So why should this not be celebrated with all the pomp that you wish for, wearing your most beautiful gown ever, rather than making do with a classically tailored suit “because you are not young anymore”?

Just a thought…


Alex B. is a model represented by Grey Model Agency www.greymodelagency.com

Alex began modeling rather late, already in her late forties while holding down a job as a university lecturer. She no longer teaches but continues to model, write and take photographs. She believes that we are all unique individuals, that life is delicious and that conforming to stereotypical notions of what is or is not appropriate as you grow older is a waste of precious time. For more on Alex sign up to her brilliant blog The real does not efface itself.

"In visual narratives women over fifty are only present as mother-of-the groom or mother-of-the-bride, wearing well tailored suits and imposing hats. That such women might themselves be first time brides is a notion that has not entered the world of fashion and advertising."

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