(Closed) Reception Dress? To Do or Not To Do?

posted 4 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
2130 posts
Buzzing bee

I personally think reception dresses are the dumbest thing ever. I would never do it, but you could maybe consider changing into flat shoes after the ceremony? 

Post # 3
361 posts
Helper bee

I’m totally opposite and think the more wardrobe changes the better! Reception dresses are a good alternative to a heavy dress for a long reception.

Post # 4
9528 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Its your day, do whatever you want. Don’t let others dictate how you do your wedding on how they would do theirs. Everyone is entitled to their own priorities. You can always have dinner, cut cake and do all of those pictures in the pretty poofy dress then change for dancing. 

Post # 5
857 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I wore my ballgown for the entire evening of our wedding, no wardrobe changes needed. This will obviously be affected by what your dress is made of though, mine had several layers of fabric but it’s English Net, so very light.

As far as using the bathroom goes I was fortunate that my dress just had a zipper + hook and eyes, so I wore a strapless bra and some light shapewear shorts under my dress and every time I had to go to the washroom I had a friend come and just take the dress right off of me, they would step out of the bathroom (single person ones, not stalls), I’d pee, then they’d come back in and help me back into the dress, it was super easy. The one time I had to go alone I just sat facing backwards (toward the tank) and it was totally fine.


I had a lot of dress but it wasn’t heavy at all to wear, I loved it and didn’t want to take it off. I also didn’t bother with the bustle, I had one but I didn’t find that I needed it at all.


Post # 6
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I used to think reception dresses were overkill, but then I ended up making a totally unplanned wardrobe change halfway through my reception because my damn dress was getting so uncomfortable! Fortunately I had a second dress (to wear out after the wedding) that I ended up changing into, but it was red so not really “bridal” at all. No one cared though, and it was so nice to be out of my wedding gown.

So, I say get a second dress, but don’t break the bank. It’s nice to have the option in case your dress gets really uncomfortable! 

Post # 8
1411 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I think it comes down to how much you love your ballgown and whether you can afford to buy another dress you’ll love equally for the Reception. I’d generally only advise it for brides who literally cannot pick between two dresses they adore. I think if you love wearing your ballgown, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy that feeling and what a shame to only have it on for a couple of hours then spend most of your day in a cheaper alternative that’s not your dream dress at all.

I would only change later on in the evening for dancing and only if you manage to find a dress which you are really very excited to wear. I know brides who are quite crazy dancers and have managed with a ballgown thoughout, so don’t let your mother pressurise you if you want to keep it on. Maybe if you have the budget to risk, you can pick up a second hand/discounted Reception dress in a sexier or somehow differnt style to your ballgown and then sell it on if you don’t end up needing to wear it? 

Post # 9
73 posts
Worker bee

Dress changes are expected and typical in my culture (Vietnamese), my mom purchased a reception dress for me so I could change into it… I, initially didn’t care to change as we were having a total westernized wedding. BUT it was perfect because my reception dress was gorgeous and it allowed me to do our choreographed first dance that included a lift. I had a fit and flare wedding dress that would’ve been too difficult to dance the rumba in. 

pic of the dress: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/504895808202539946/

Post # 10
583 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Big wedding dresses aren’t the easiest to move in, I wore mine from 2pm to 1am, and had just about got the hang of steering it by the evening! But I loved wearing it so much. I say wear it all day if you want to, take some flats to change into for the reception/evening. Going to the bathroom actually wasn’t an issue for me, even though there was a lot of skirt going on, just a case of heaping all the netting and stuff into the hoop to keep it out of the way…. so elegant!

Post # 11
463 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

i always encourage brides to have a second dress if their first one is hard to dance in. I wore a ball gown and I would not have enjoyed the reception as much if I had stayed in it, I would have been so uncomfortable. I stayed in the ball gown for dinner and then wore a simpler sheath dress just for dancing. So so glad I did it this way. 

Post # 13
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

When I think back on the weddings I’ve been to, its probably split half and half for those who did and didnt have a second dress. I think it really depends how difficult it is to move in your dress, whether it will spoil your day not being able to do what you want to do in it and of course, if you can find something you love enough to wear after your lovely gown!

I personally am so in love with my dress that I want to wear it for as long as I possibly can. It is an A-line ball gown and probably wont be the easiest to dance in as its fairly heavy but I don’t think any other dress will feel as special to me so I want to stick with the one all day and Im going to just take my shoes off as the day goes on.

Most of the people I know who opted for a second dress said it was because they felt like they needed something lightweight to dance in in the evening but I also know one or two who just couldnt decide between two dresses so went for both and loved both dresses equally! If you wanted to go for two dresses but wear the first for more than the ceremony, you could maybe wear that dress for the ceremony, cake cutting, first dance etc, then slip into a more practical one to dance the night away in/mingle with your guests? 

It really is down to personal preference. If its going to feel like a step down from your first dress by changing in to a second dress, dont do it as you want to feel amazing all day but similarly, if you know two dresses that you love or know you wont be comfortable in the one dress for the full duration, go for it!

Have you seen anything you like? Would you like something drastically different or similar but just more practical?

Post # 14
1117 posts
Bumble bee

If it’s in your budget and would make you feel more comfy then I say do it! I wore two dresses and I don’t regret it. My ceremony gown was big, poofy tulle and lace ball gown. My reception gown was a lace mermaid with straps and a detachable train that was easy to move in and lightweight. 

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