What is the ‘Two Wedding Dress’ Trend?

There is a growing trend within the bridal world of fashion today where brides buy not just one—but two wedding dresses for their special day. You might be thinking, “What! Two?!” In reality, this trend is not a recent development, it has been around for a long time, and there are many practical reasons why brides might choose to invest in a main wedding dress and a reception dress on top of that. Let’s explore the “reception dress, as well as some pros and cons of having two pieces saved for your special day that will be helpful for shopping reception and wedding dresses online.

The History of Reception Dresses

While the trend of using two wedding dresses instead of just one may seem like an extravagant recent development, in fact, the trend dates back as far as the 1930s. Reception dresses were first used in weddings in America by brides who would change at the close of their reception into a “going away dress”, to be worn as they waved goodbye to friends and family and left for their honeymoon. Original reception dress designs would be customised for easy travel and movement, and often consisted of a bridal-inspired skirt and jacket suit.

Nowadays, although dress designs can differ greatly from traditional wedding gowns, the main purpose behind a reception dress remains much the same. Reception dresses make a bride feel just as beautiful, while also being more forgiving in terms of fabric and style to allow comfort and freedom of movement so she can enjoy her day to the fullest.

Modern Reception Dresses

Lily wedding dress from the Dell’Amore Bridal Floral Paradise Collection
Levi wedding dress from the Dell’Amore Bridal Floral Paradise Collection

As wedding expectations moved away from traditional practices, wedding dress designs became more free, creative, and customisable. Personality has become a top priority nowadays, and modern brides love the opportunity to switch from their ceremonial wedding dress to a lighter, more freeing one for the afterparty. Pictured above are the Lily and Levi wedding dresses from our Floral Paradise Collection—great examples of modern reception dresses. There are more wedding dresses online on our website that you can choose from.

Flowing wedding dresses with long trains and elaborate detailing and beadwork as well as gowns made with a form-fitting mermaid silhouette are romantic and dreamy, yes, but prove a little tricky to dance the night away in! If your ideal wedding dress is a real beauty, but not suitable or comfortable to sit, eat, dance, and enjoy the festivities in, you might want to consider investing in a reception dress. This will give you the freedom to enjoy both parts of your wedding celebrations equally without compromising your original design.

Pros & Cons of Two Wedding Dresses

If you’re trying to decide whether to buy one or two dresses for your wedding day, we’ve listed a few pros and cons to consider below!  

The Pros of a Reception Dress

  1. Double the fun and style – If you’re looking to wear a classic, conservative wedding dress to the ceremony, having a fun and free ‘party dress’ design to switch into after the ceremony will make it easier to relax and enjoy yourself.  
  2. Be ready for all occasions – Keep in mind, after the official ceremony things are likely going to heat up on the dance floor, and wearing a heavy dress might make you hot, bothered, and tire you out more quickly.    

The Cons of a Reception Dress

  1. Expenses – an extra dress will add to your overall wedding expenses. If you’re considering a second dress, make sure it’s within your estimated budget.
  2. Time constraints – Make sure you give yourself enough time to switch dresses, and that your bridesmaids are ready to help you make the switch effortless.  

A Modern Alternative to a Reception Dress

Rona wedding dress from the Dell’Amore Bridal Dream Ocean Collection

For those who aren’t looking to buy a reception dress, a brilliant modern alternative is selecting an adaptable “two-for-one” wedding dress that can be converted just before the reception. There are many excellent two-for-one dress designs brides can explore, such as the Rona wedding dress above from our Dream Ocean Collection. Some silhouettes include a flowing tulle skirt laying over a lace sheath. The tulle skirt is removable so the bride can switch into a lighter, more sophisticated reception dress easily, without having to buy more than one dress. Check our other “two-for-one” wedding dresses online.

Other designs include removable sleeves and decorations, and even wedding dresses with skirts that can be pulled up and bunched in the back to remove the train to give the bride maximum freedom of movement.     


Looking for a Wedding Dress for your Special Day?

Whether a reception dress is something you want or not, there is no doubt that the creative ways we can personalise wedding dress designs today makes now an exciting time to be a bride!   If you’re looking for the perfect dress (or the perfect dresses) for your special day, come and explore Dell’Amore Bridal’s elegant collection of wedding dresses online and gain the inspiration you need! If you live locally and are looking for wedding dresses in Auckland, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll happily set you up with a free 1-hour appointment as soon as we can! Please check our Instagram page for the latest inspiration.