36 Reception Dresses Brides Changed Into for Their Parties
There's so much that goes into choosing a wedding dress. From selecting who you'll bring along on the search to the actual shopping process, you'll likely experience every possible emotion during the journey. One of them is bound to be relief—especially once the final choice has been made. But then the following thought might bubble up: What if one wedding dress just isn't enough? This might be something you have in the back of your mind from the very beginning (raise your hand if you're a bride that definitely wants two wedding dresses!) or something you determine later, once you consider what it will be like wearing your gown during the reception.
While your wedding dress might be the ultimate choice for your walk down the aisle, you may find it's not quite right for your first dance. It's often this conundrum that leads a bride to opt for an outfit change, either at the beginning of the party or mid-festivities. The moment you decide to change is entirely up to you, but it typically depends on a few factors. Some brides want to linger in their first dress and really show it off on the dance floor. Others feel restricted by their ceremony attire (especially those wearing tighter, more form-fitting silhouettes!) and want something easy and breezy to kick off the evening. Or maybe you're a fashion-lover who just wants to wear two looks on your big night. Regardless of the camp you find yourself in, you're likely in the market for reception wedding dress inspiration.
Luckily for you, we rounded up a few of our favorite second wedding dresses that brides wore to their own parties. These inspired looks—from sexy mini-dresses, to romantic reprisals of gown number one!—are sure to inform your own party change. Click through for the ultimate second wedding dress inspiration.
This bride opted for a jumpsuit with poufed sleeves and a delicately draped bodice.
This bride's Naeem Khan jumpsuit proves that there's nothing more celebratory than a voluminous overlay.
A New Look
Is there anything that says "Let's party!" like a shorter hemline? Not according to this beauty, who changed into a BHLDN mini dress before hitting the dance floor. A high neckline and long sleeves kept the look classic.
Need a look worth dancing in? This glowing bride changed into a slinky, sparkly sheath dress for her wedding reception.
A Nod to New Heritage
"I chose to wear a dress with colorful vibrant African fabric during the party, to represent Tk's heritage and celebrate the culture I am joining," shares the bride, Victoria. Nigerian seamstress Glory Ojei of Bespoke By Glory designed the dress.
When it came time for her reception, this radiant bride slipped into a long-sleeve dress by Needle and Thread.
Looking to add some glamour to your reception? Make like this bride and change into a fitted, beaded gown—hers was from New York's Faviana—before your first dance.
This Finland wedding was a daytime affair, but that didn't stop the bride from donning a gorgeous reception dress. The sleeve details and tiered skirt are just the thing for a garden soirée.
The bride traded in her wedding dress for a bespoke rose gold jumpsuit by Ella Pritsker Couture for the after-party.
Bow in the Back
Consider a racer-back wedding dress (like this one, by Marchesa!) for the latter half of your big day—the sporty cut allows you to move without restraint.
Short and Sweet
You don't have to wear a long gown all night. This bride changed into a light and airy sparkly mini dress for the wedding reception, chosen specifically because it matched the venue's disco balls.
Nothing makes dancing easier on your wedding day than changing from a big ballgown into a jumpsuit with a fitted bodice and wide-leg trousers.
This bride wore a gorgeous two-piece pant suit-inspired look for her rehearsal dinner that would make for a gorgeous wedding reception look. Floral embellishment and cigarette style pants make for stylish and easy fashion.
Little Black Dress
Who says the bride has to wear white? The woman of the hour, pictured center, did a quick change into a black velvet Tom Ford halter mini dress for the rest of the evening.
This bride changed into a Mira Zwillinger sequined jumpsuit with a jewel neck and fitted bodice for her wedding reception.
The New Pantsuit
If you're known for your fashion sense, one outfit change might not be enough. This bride, for example, donned three looks throughout her wedding. Her new-age pantsuit, which featured a peplum, off-the-shoulder top, and metallic wide-leg pants, was an appropriate way to close out the reception and enter after-party mode.
We're not sure what we love more about this mid-length number: the gauzy asymmetrical neckline or the skirt's metallic embroidery.
Another Long Number
We'd argue that there's no detail better suited for a night of dancing than tassels. This bride definitely got the memo.
Consider another shade of wedding white to differentiate your second look from your first. This bride transitioned out of her bright-white ceremony garment into a champagne-colored number by Monique Lhuillier for her party.
First Dance Jumpsuit
A choreographed first dance calls for a look that commands attention. A jumpsuit is different enough to make a statement—and allows you to hit all those moves uninhibited.
If you're set on wearing a white wedding dress for your ceremony, consider switching into a second look that pays homage to your roots. This bride (and her groom!) stepped into traditional Nigerian attire for the latter half of their party.
All About That Lace
Looking for another fun factor? Pair a lacy knee-length number with a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses before getting down with your guests.
Really want to get experimental? Enter your party in couture—an unexpected silhouette (like this floral skirt and structure peplum top) is the ultimate way to make an entrance.
If you know that you want to change into a shorter number for the reception, but don't want to deviate from your first look entirely, consider choosing a second dress that references the first. Both of this bride's wedding dresses featured long sleeves (this one was by Jenny Kim Couture), which eased the transition from service to party.
Long and Flowing
Add edge to your reception look by deviating from bridal white entirely. This bride slipped into a statement-making black Monique Lhuillier gown with plenty of shimmer before cutting the cake.
In the Details
This bride changed into a beautifully embellished Bronx and Banco gown for her wedding reception.