When the buttons on her $500 wedding dress popped after the ceremony, Susie Allison changed into her back-up, an $80 number with pockets.
“I wanted a second dress for the party we had before the wedding, but I ended up changing back into it for the party afterward,” said Allison, 59.
The pre-wedding wing-ding stopped just long enough for bride Allison and groom Martin Floe to exchange vows.
Party before and after? Why not? This was a second marriage for both.
Second dress, second wedding, second time around? When brides say yes to the dress the second or third time, they may be talking about a fire-engine red gown.
Back in the day, second brides were advised to stick to neutral colors or pastels. Want fun or flashy? Forget about it. Anything white or off-white? Don’t even go there.
OK, party pooper.
If you look hard enough, you can still find “rules” about second (or more) wedding decorum, but, really?
The second-wedding brides we talked to said they wanted a fun, stress-free event — and they didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it.
Shop at a thrift store? Why not. Check out the bargain bins? Go for it.
For her second wedding, a friend of mine opted for a $19 lace dress from the sale rack at J.C. Penney. After the ceremony, the guests dined on barbecued ribs and corn on the cob. At that dress price, there were no dry-cleaning worries. They spent the savings on extra napkins.
Susie Allison’s three daughters and Martin Floe’s daughter helped her pick out a flowy, off-white, cap-sleeve dress at David’s Bridal in Lynnwood.
With a pre-nuptial party that included an open bar, Allison wanted a second dress, so she popped into Nordstrom and found a white cocktail number with cellphone-size pockets.
Instead of renting a hall, the couple hired a contractor to spruce up the back yard of their Lynnwood home, and that’s where Allison, a multimedia sales consultant at The Daily Herald in Everett, married Floe, principal at Ingraham High School in Seattle.
The groom wore a dark blue suit and a bright pink tie. The vice-principal at his school officiated, and Allison’s vows included a pledge to support the Rams, Ingraham’s mascot.
The after-party included a mobile pizza oven, a kilt-wearing cook and karaoke.
There were no toasts, no speeches and no gifts.
“We just got rid of all that stuff and had a party. It was perfect,” she said.
Vivianne (McCaulley) Scofield’s first wedding dress was the typical white number.
With a second wedding planned, she chose her favorite color: red.
“I am a vibrant, spunky person,” said Scofield, 40, a maintenance supervisor at Monroe Correctional Complex.
But finding a red wedding dress that doesn’t look like a prom dress was a challenge, she said.
Scofield’s mother-in-law-to-be took the lead and ordered dresses from Nordstrom for her to try on. One after another, they ended up in the return pile.
“I’d almost given up and was leaning toward my Plan B, a really nice gray or black dress,” the Marysville resident said.
Then, three weeks before the wedding, she found her red dress.
“It was comfortable, strapless, but not a ball gown. It had just enough sparkle — rhinestones on the side and back — that it worked for my personality,” Scofield said.
What was the price tag? Scofield isn’t sure.
“My mother-in-law picked it out and paid for it,” Scofield said. “I never saw the bill!”
The Fourth of July wedding — a “union of families” — was laid-back and casual. “I didn’t want people to not come because they had to be in a suit,” she said.
Her fiance, Solomon Scofield, wore blue jeans and a black button-up shirt. It was his second wedding, too.
Each of their daughters wore white dresses, adding a traditional touch.
“I didn’t want to wear white, but I wanted my daughters to wear white dresses,” she said. “As a result, the children were in just as much the limelight as we were.”
White satin, white veil and big hair? That was Christine Malone’s first wedding in the 1980s.
For her second time around, “I didn’t feel the need to follow tradition,” said Malone, a health science instructor at Everett Community College. “I didn’t feel like I had to impress anybody. It was all about what we wanted to do. I wanted it to be a big party.”
Malone, a Tulalip resident who collects what she described as “weird, industrial art,” used her interest to devise the theme. She went to eBay and typed in “rustic dress.” Up popped the dress — a bronze silk and lace dress with a hint of post-industrial steampunk, priced at $80.
A headband made of peacock feathers completed her wedding ensemble.
The groomsmen wore boutonnieres made of gears and cogs. Her bouquet was formed from old tires.
Her daughters chose dark-green bridesmaid dresses.
The cake, made by Hillcrest Bakery in Bothell, was topped with skeletons instead of a bride and groom.
“They made it look like it was made out of metal. It was one of the most fun cakes I’ve ever had,” said Malone, 55.
The groom, Fred Low, wore pirate pants, a velvet jacket and a top hat he found online.
If that’s your style, too, check out Vintage Costumers, 2101 Colby Ave., Everett. Cyd Hand, the store’s co-owner, said she’s helped outfit quite a few themed weddings. The most popular? Pirate and steampunk, she said.
Malone and Low’s wedding, held at the Lookout Lodge in Snohomish, was catered by Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub. An ‘80s tribute band and a bagpiper topped off the festivities.
“This time around, I was not the least bit stressed,” Malone said. “This was tremendously more fun.”
Washington North Coast Magazine
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