Though the numbers don’t quite add up to a mainstream trend, a second wedding gown worn during the reception isn’t a trend reserved only for English Royalty. More brides than ever are taking to the idea of having a slightly more comfortable, party-version of their wedding dress at the ready for their reception.
At first glance, buying a second wedding gown may seem like abuse of your budget, whether shoestring-sized or abundant. But upon closer investigation, bountiful shopping choices can make two dresses work for any budget. And, there are several reasons besides comfort for doing so.
6 Reasons–Practical and Otherwise–for Procuring a Second Wedding Gown:
Comfort. Layers of tulle, folds of heavy satin, or a chapel-length train and veil can hang up even the most nimble of brides on the dance floor or when circling tables to mingle with guests.
Change in venue. If your reception takes place outdoors or in some other environment dramatically different than your ceremony.
Indecisiveness. Strapless or sheer-illusion neckline? Empire-waisted tea length or full-skirted ball gown? Two gowns let you have your cake and eat it too.
Budget. Ironically, your budget may be better equipped to handle two, less expensive dresses than one designer dream gown. Davids Bridal has gown starting at $99, and prices run the gamut at other reputable department stores with robust wedding lines like Nordstroms or at specialty stories like J. Crew.
Expressing Yourself. Your uniqueness and desire to show your personality tugs your heart away from the expected, traditional white, ball gown. But, you’re savvy enough to still want some classical pictures for posterity.
Traditional Customs. Honoring your family heritage in a special, traditional wedding garmet.
Just keep a few things in mind if you decide to pursue a second gown:
- Budget (again!) Even if your two dresses fit into your budget, don’t forget the additional cost of two dresses to be fitted and altered, and potentially two sets of accessories (shoes, hairpieces, jewelry, etc.)
- Be the Bride. Depending on your style preference (short dresses are popular reception gown choices), you do not want to look like just another guest. Stick to white or ivory, (no one else should be wearing it). Go for a fun splash of color with a sash, a hairpiece, or in your shoes.
- Logistics. Some extra planning will be needed to make sure your dresses are where they need to be when you are.
Trends in wedding gown design have brought greater variation in hemlines, splashes of color, lighter-weight skirts, and other exciting fashion features that can be beautiful in both formal and casual settings. Whether or not two gowns are in your plan, check out theknot.com’s Top 10 Wedding Gown Trends for the latest, most fashionable trends straight from the 2011 bridal fashion show runways.
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