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6 Vintage Hippie Wedding Dress Ideas for Your Second Marriage

boho wedding dress gown second wedding older bride

by Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire)

If you're a bride over 40, 50, or 60, chances are good that mumsy and daddy are probably not going to pay for your second or third or twentieth wedding. So, it's very likely that you will want to keep your wedding costs down... even for your dress.  Hey, your "gown" is one place where you can go low cost without compromising on flair and panache.

Hippie Chic is Groovy

flowered floral hippie wedding gown dress indie brideOne of the easiest ways to throw yourselves a cheap, wedding shindig is to go hippie chic, because hippies broke all the rules and did whatever felt groovy and creative.  Hippies made up their own rules.  So, let's start searching for a fabulous wedding-gown style for you.

I Was a Real 60's Boho Hippie

Yes, I actually went to Haight Ashbury for the Summer of Love. Everyone went there… if they could find a way. It was like Beatlemania. Every teen or teenybopper in the US caught the San Francisco virus. So, I know what “real” hippie dresses actually looked like. In fact, I wore an off-white, muslin, boho peasant dress (from Nordstrom's) for my first wedding in 1972. Groovy… man.

Hippie-style Wedding Gowns Online

One of the coolest places to look for vintage, boho-hippie wedding dresses is Etsy.com. The problem with Etsy is that those really cool, truly vintage dresses (the dresses that are actually from the 60's and 70's) are essentially "one of a kind." What I mean is that (as with most vintage finds) you can't pick out your fave Etsy frock and order it in "your" size.

wear whatever dress you like for hippie weddingsMost Etsy retro wedding gowns are whatever size they are. And, that size is usually too small for a second-time bride over 40, over 50, or even (OMG) over 60.

We Wear Bigger Sizes Now 

Most of the vintage wedding gowns (made in the 60's) will not fit your current body. If you're skinny, you might be lucky enough to find an authentic hippie dress for yourself. But, look around the room. Most of us are a bit heavier than we were in the 1960's and 1970's.  Even 20-somethings from today are chubbier than 20-somethings from a few decades ago.

Many Real Vintage Dresses Were Homemade

Many of the wedding dresses from the 60's (seen on Etsy, Rusty Zipper, and other vintage sites) were made at home with a Butterick pattern and a Singer sewing machine. And, those old-school, groovy, dress patterns were usually altered to fit the original bride's body.

Alternatives to Vintageboho hippie wedding dress mini

If you have your heart set on a vintage boho wedding (and you should, because hippie weddings are more fun, more spontaneous, and much cheaper than big, splashy, lah-di-dah weddings), you are probably going to have to find a new(er) dress with a vintage feel. So, let’s look at Etsy for ideas and inspiration.

I've put together a list of groovy dress ideas that I've seen on the Etsy site. However, for some of the following dresses, you may need to get out the old Singer or find a dressmaker who can sew an inexpensive, cotton gown for you.

1. Cotton Gauze Embroidered Prairie Wedding Dress at Etsy.com

Yeah, baby! What a gorgeous find. This fabulous 60's style prairie dress is old enough that it was made out of cotton fabric. Hippies loved natural materials. Of course, it will be impossible for you to end up with a dress like this, unless you happen to fit into an extra-small... that's the size of this Etsy dress.  So, if you love this groovy, embroidered dress, you will need to have it made in your size, and someone will have to embroider the cotton fabric. Alternately, you might be able to find a top and a maxi skirt on Etsy and put together a similar, genuine, hippie wedding gown.

Two ways to get a Victorian cowgirl wedding dress in your size:

  • You can look for a prairie dress pattern (sometimes called a granny dress) on Etsy.
  • You can buy a Victorian or Edwardian dress on a site that specializes in period clothing, such as ForestCreekRenaissance.com and Recollections.biz. One example is Recollections' Edwardian "Bella" Dress. Many outfits on these sites can be ordered in plus sizes. (XS - 4X)

2. Vintage Lace Flower Child Hippie Wedding Dress at Etsy.com

If you are a size 6, you might look great in this white, lacy, flower-child dress and a big floppy hat. Lace is one of the hottest trends for everyday wear in 2013, so you should be able to find lace dresses in tons of colors (and in white) right off the rack.


For a similar feel that comes in plus sizes, try something like Joe Browns Swan Lake Vintage Lace Dress: This short dress at JoeBrowns.co.uk goes up to size 18.  Wear it short or wear it as a tunic over a pair of pants or a long, gypsy skirt.  Another gorgeous top that can be worn with a pair of white pants or a gauzy skirt is this Johnny Was tunic top.

3. Bohemian Hippie Wedding Dress in Ivory at Etsy.com

This wonderful "Edie" gown (sold on Etsy.com) with its hippie-trippy bell sleeves can be made to fit.  The store sells this fab knockoff in sizes S, M, L, and XL.  However, it is fairly expensive at $680.crochet hippie lace wedding dress ivory

4. Vintage Butterfly Print Maxi Dress With Wide Bell Sleeves at Etsy.com

This authentic 1960's dress is absolutely perfect for an indie wedding.  Unfortunately, you can only buy this gown in a size 4.  However, if you look around on other sites you will find new maxi dresses in colorful 60's and 70's prints.  Trina Turk's Surfside Halter Printed Maxi Dress is a good example of an updated, hippie-style print.

5. Boho Hippie Crocheted Cotton Wedding Dress at Etsy.com

This Lord and Taylor fringed dress is beautiful for any bride whose measurements are 34-36" in the bust, 30" in the waist, and 34" in the hips.  If you don't fit into this Etsy find, you could try googling "white crocheted dresses with fringe," and see what pops up.  And, if you have a choice, crocheted daisies will look the best.

6. Vintage Flower Embroidered Hippie Caftan at Etsy.com

boho wedding dress for second wedding older bridesThis hand-embroidered caftan was probably made in Mexico or India, and back in the day, it would have been considered unisex (worn by both women and men).  If you find a cool caftan that's short like a top or a tunic, just wear it over some off-white muslin, gauzy drawstring pants.  (One of my girlfriends wore this type of outfit for her own authentic 1960's wedding.)  If you find a maxi-length or knee-length caftan, wear it as is, but check to see if you need to wear a slip under it.  You probably don't want a dress that's so sheer that the whole world can tell what color undies you're wearing.

These are just a few dresses, minis, and tops that you can use for inspiration or use as a focal point for your hippie-boho-themed wedding.  Sure, you can start planning without knowing what your dress will look like, but I like to start my wedding plans with a dress that looks good on me.  And, if you are going to be a bride over 40, 50, or 60... you will quickly see why the "gown" is the best place to start.  In other words, it's easy to change the color of your bouquet or your daughter's bridesmaid dress, but the hardest thing to find is a great, inexpensive wedding dress for yourself.


More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:

Wedding Dresses for Older Brides: Women Over 40

How to Wear Lace Trend for Women Over 40, 50, 60

23 Trendy Plus Size Clothing Sites for Large Women: Sizes 1X - 12X

Hippie Hairstyles for Weddings: Long or Short Hair

What do you think of this article? Leave a message at the bottom of the page.

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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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17 Comments

  1. Gloria L. Berman

    This is a great source of ideas and tips on vintage wedding dresses for a second marriage. This post is going to be useful for all those women who would be tying the knot and who have no plans of really spending a huge amount of money for their wedding gowns. Vintage dresses are classy and elegant so these dresses will be a perfect solution for their wedding needs.

    Reply
  2. Larisa

    Hi I would love to buy the vintage wedding dress the lace one with the beautifull scalloped bottom please can you help
    Regards Larisa

    Reply
  3. Tina-Boomerina

    Larisa,

    Oh no! I don't see a dress with a scalloped bottom. I'll have to email you to find out where you saw it.

    Tina Boomerina

    Reply
  4. Jill

    Where can I find the dress on the top of the page for 2nd wedding hippie boho style?

    Reply
  5. Megan

    Who makes the flowy wedding dress pictured at the top of the page?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Megan

    Reply
  6. Megan Smarr

    Where can I find the flowy ivory dress posted on Pinterest??

    Thanks,
    Megan

    Reply
  7. Karen

    Where can I purchase the dress pictured just below the main heading? I can't find it anywhere!

    Reply
  8. Tina-Boomerina

    Megan, I sent you a link. I don't know if they will have your size, but they might. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner but I was flooded with comments and yours was buried in the comment list.

    Tina

    Reply
  9. Angela

    I am desperate in getting the cream satin and chiffon gown pictured on the blonde on top of the page.

    Reply
    • Tina-Boomerina

      Angela,

      This article was written about a year ago, but I'll do my best to see if it's still available. It's from SimplyBe.com. Let me look.

      Tina Boomerina

      Reply
      • Tina-Boomerina

        Angela, it is called Angel Sleeve Wedding Dress or something similar and they only have sizes 8 and 10 on the site, however I would contact them. Sometimes websites will look around their stores to see if there is something on the shelves. It's worked for me in the past. I'll email you with the link.

        hope it helps,
        T

        Reply
  10. Julia

    Hello there! I am getting married on May 17, 2014. I googled "wedding dresses for older women" and ended up on a pinterest site. (This is also my second wedding) I am in love with the dress in the picture, but I can't find it on your website! The picture says "Hippie Wedding Dress-photo Simply Be prshots.com. Can you help me?

    Thank you!
    Julia

    Reply

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