Moms and Maids

Bridesmaid wants to change dress at reception

Hi ladies

So the title speaks for itself.. one of my bridesmaids asked me if she can change out of her bridesmaid dress for the reception. I was completely caught off guard when she asked me, because of all the weddings I've been in and attended as a guest, I've never heard of or seen anyone do this.

I would totally understand if she felt uncomfortable in the dress.. BUT.. we haven't even picked them out yet.. much less gone for fittings, etc...

Since I was caught off guard, I stammered, and said to her "uhh, yea I don't see why not." Now I am regretting it. The photographer will be taking pics all night and I want them to all keep the dress on. Once the reception is over, I don't care if all 10 of them change into their pajamas.

How do I tell her that I would like her to stay in the dress without sounding like a demanding Bridezilla, especially after already kinda telling her I was ok with it?
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Re: Bridesmaid wants to change dress at reception

  • lalap69lalap69 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_bridesmaid-wants-change-dress-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:a94fd5db-ed81-483e-94b7-60b34f4035c1Post:b18de8c8-8670-4178-833a-2cb36050fb80">Bridesmaid wants to change dress at reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hi ladies So the title speaks for itself.. one of my bridesmaids asked me if she can change out of her bridesmaid dress for the reception. I was completely caught off guard when she asked me, because of all the weddings I've been in and attended as a guest, I've never heard of or seen anyone do this. I would totally understand if she felt uncomfortable in the dress.. BUT.. we haven't even picked them out yet.. much less gone for fittings, etc... Since I was caught off guard, I stammered, and said to her "uhh, yea I don't see why not." Now I am regretting it. The photographer will be taking pics all night and I want them to all keep the dress on. Once the reception is over, I don't care if all 10 of them change into their pajamas. How do I tell her that I would like her to stay in the dress without sounding like a demanding Bridezilla, especially after already kinda telling her I was ok with it?
    Posted by LudaSeka[/QUOTE]
    You can't.  Suck it up and move on.  Her role has ended after the ceremony, and reception pictures don't generally turn out all that well anyway.  You probably won't even notice her wearing something else in them anyway.  She'll wear the dress for that and pictures and then she's just like any other guest.  So let her change if that will make her more comfortable, it's obviously important to her if she's approached you about it already.  Plus, you already said she could.  There's really no good way to go back on your word.
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  • AutumnFairAutumnFair member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Actually if you think about it most pictures at the reception are of the Bride&Groom (cutting cake, first dance, bouquet/garter toss, Daughter/Father, Son/Mother dances, MOH/BM toast). I really doubt you are going to notice or keep many pictures with your BM in a different dress.

    As for changing my best friend's sister didn't necessarily change out of her dress but did throw on jeans under her dress. My friend really didn't care or notice. So if you already said yes, you should just let it go and let her change if she wants to. 
  • edited December 2011
    Just out of curiosity, is this bridesmaid a woman who generally doesn't wear dresses/skirts so she will feel uncomfortable in ANY dress and maybe she wants to put on a nice outfit that has pants or something?

    I only ask because that would make a little more sense to be. But if she is generally ok with wearing a dress, and would be changing into another dress it makes me wonder why she doesn't want to be affiliated with your wedding party at the reception.
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  • aerinpegadrakaerinpegadrak member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    What would be the problem with it?  She's off duty after the ceremony, and I promise that none of your guests will care who's in the WP.  As far as pictures, call me silly, but I wanted my pictures to reflect what ACTUALLY HAPPENED instead of staging moments to be more "aesthetically pleasing". 

    Don't you want her to be able to enjoy the party?  Then let her wear what makes her comfortable.  (And I kind of hope you were joking with the bit about not caring if they change after the reception; if you did, you'd be miles beyond the bridezilla line.)  My MOH changed into big red fuzzy slippers for the reception; I didn't notice until I saw the one candid that someone posted on FB, and then I got a good giggle out of it.  I would hope that you're going to be looking back on your pictures and remembering how much fun everyone had, not griping that this particular shot would be so much better if Susie were in a different dress.
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  • alainn15alainn15 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I would say that as long as she doesn't plan on putting on a costume or something totally outrageous, like a wedding dress or something, then let her change. You could also work on picking a dress that she will be comfortable in ALL day.
  • jessshireyjessshirey member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    If it does bother you. Just politely say - I didn't really think about it at the time when you had asked, but now that think about it some more would you mind wearing your dress for the reception too.  If she needs reason then just tell her about the pics and how would like everyone in the party to be dressed the same.

     I don't see how it would be a big deal. And if she does have a problem with it them just deal from there.

  • JerseyMLJerseyML member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm with you on this one LudaSeka, I have never been to a wedding where the bridesmaids changed for the reception. 

    I would talk to her.  If she is your friend she will understand.  Just let her know that there are going to be pictures taken all night long and you would like her to be in the same dress she started the day with.  I don't think that's such a horrible request. 

    At our reception, the bridal party will be introduced before the first dance, I wouldn't want one of the girls to be in something different, that would look ridiculous. 
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  • edited December 2011
    rknox88 - nope, she definitely does not feel uncomfortable wearing dresses. She wears dresses 90% of the time.. even if we simply go out for coffee..

    I guess it's not a big deal. I just don't see how she plans on lugging another dress around until she feels like changing. And the fact that we didn't even choose a dress yet makes me wonder.. so, call it ignorance, but the reason I asked is because I've never witnessed this.

    aerin- I don't get how that statement would put me "miles beyond the bridezilla line." Are you serious? I've seen weddings where the bride not only wanted every girl to wear the same dress, but the same shoes, style their hair the same way, wear the same nail polish (I am not kidding). I'd say something like that would be beyond bridezilla.
  • edited December 2011
    For the most part, you can't.  The most you can do is clarify (if you want her to wear it in formal pics), but not expect her to wear it for the entire reception.  Besides, maybe she's not that comfortable in formalwear in general, which is why she doesn't have to see the dress before deciding she wants to change out of it.

    After the ceremony and formal/staged pics, I don't see why she would still need the dress on anyway.  Most of the reception pics will be of the B and G, and maybe some of other guests.  Even with a lot of candid shots, I don't see how your BM having on a different outfit would ruin your pictures.  Besides, isn't the point of candid pictures to show how much fun your guests had, including the WP?
  • AutumnFairAutumnFair member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_bridesmaid-wants-change-dress-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:a94fd5db-ed81-483e-94b7-60b34f4035c1Post:698b2583-1f76-4f8f-9f36-0ec7a5e707bd">Re: Bridesmaid wants to change dress at reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm with you on this one LudaSeka, I have never been to a wedding where the bridesmaids changed for the reception.  I would talk to her.  If she is your friend she will understand.  Just let her know that there are going to be pictures taken all night long and you would like her to be in the same dress she started the day with.  I don't think that's such a horrible request.  At our reception, the bridal party will be introduced before the first dance, I wouldn't want one of the girls to be in something different, that would look ridiculous. 
    Posted by JerseyML[/QUOTE]

    <div>Why would it look ridiculous? If someone had a different dress on, I would only notice and leave it at that. Seriously, people should not "judge" how weddings are "suppose" to be and just celebrate the party at hand. </div><div>
    </div><div>The point is OP is taking back her word of saying "it's alright". Seriously its easier to just get over the fact that she "might" change dresses then start possible drama or hurt feelings over a dress. Also OP, I would be as accommodating as possible with the dress choices and maybe she won't even want to change if everyone finds something they like. Maybe its just me, but when people take their word back its quite annoying and it really makes me less trustful of the person.</div>
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I think you have more pressing matters on your mind and should let this one go.

    She wears the gown for the ceremony and pictures. After that, why would you care?
  • trix1223trix1223 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    AT my niece's wedding, all of the WP, including both BM and GM changed into whatever they wanted for the reception.  So did a lot of guests.   So did my niece: the bride.  So did the groom. 

    I don't see why, once the formal photos are taken, this even matters.  The role of a BM begins and ends with the ceremony.  They are done once the recessional has faded and the formal pics are done.

    Let this go.  You're worrying about something that's a year away, and may or may not happen.  What's the point of expending any more time/energy over this anyway?  Will you still be married if she changes into her dress?  Yes?  Then let it go.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • lalap69lalap69 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_bridesmaid-wants-change-dress-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:a94fd5db-ed81-483e-94b7-60b34f4035c1Post:2a8c063e-143b-4c89-a9c8-3d2de433017a">Re: Bridesmaid wants to change dress at reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess it's not a big deal. I just don't see how she plans on lugging another dress around until she feels like changing. And the fact that we didn't even choose a dress yet makes me wonder.. so, call it ignorance, but the reason I asked is because I've never witnessed this. aerin- I don't get how that statement would put me "miles beyond the bridezilla line." Are you serious? I've seen weddings where the bride not only wanted every girl to wear the same dress, but the same shoes, style their hair the same way, wear the same nail polish (I am not kidding). I'd say something like that would be beyond bridezilla.
    Posted by LudaSeka[/QUOTE]
    If it's not a big deal, then just let her do it.  It might just be that you have different tastes and she's expecting to have to wear a super bridesmaid-y dress that she'll hate.  If you find a dress she loves, she might change her mind.

    Also, Aerin was referring to your comment about letting them change into pajamas after the reception: "Once the reception is over, I don't care if all 10 of them change into their pajamas." which....seriously, why would you even be commenting on what they would wear after the wedding is completely over?  If you WERE going to dictate that, it WOULD be miles beyond bridezilla.
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  • edited December 2011
    I should have been more clear with the pajamas comment..
    usually after the reception, there's an afterparty.. and that is what I meant when I said I didn't care if they all showed up in their PJs.
  • aerinpegadrakaerinpegadrak member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, lala, that's exactly what I meant.  After the reception, the wedding is over, and anyone who is still trying to micromanage the bridesmaids beyond that has completely and utterly lost it.  Since they're technically off-duty following the ceremony, I think you're pushing it with wanting to deny her perfectly reasonable request.

    I still don't think this is a hill worth dying on.  As far as pictures, anyone glancing through your photos will just presume that your bridesmaid is a regular guest.  If she doesn't have a problem with that, I don't see why you should.  Your bridesmaids aren't supposed to be props.
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  • edited December 2011
    I think it's weird, but maybe she has a reason.  Would you feel comfortable asking?  or maybe just suggesting that she come dress shopping for bm dresses to make sure that you get one she feels comfortable wearing?
  • Cynthia1207Cynthia1207 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Maybe she will change her mind once the dresses are actually chosen.  She might just be thinking that you will put her in some atrocity from 27 dresses and doesn't want to stay in a dress like that all night. (in which case I would totally understand).  Who knows maybe in the end she will love her BM dress.  I say don't worry about it until then.  It's not worth fretting over too long either.

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  • SSaltzman87SSaltzman87 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I see absolutely nothing wrong with your BM wanting to change into something else for the reception. I fail to see what's so wrong about it.
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  • edited December 2011
    She should be able to change if she wants to.  You've already ssid "um, ok", and that was the right thing to do.  It really won't matter in the long run.
  • mkjpopmkjpop member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but I think it's weird. If she's difficult and this would cause a big fight, just let it go. But why would she change her dress? Especially since you guys haven't picked out the dress yet? Speaking as a bridesmaid in other people's weddings, it was an honor to be part of the bridal party and it's weird to me that she wants to separate herself from that. 

    Talk to her and see what it's about... agree with previous posters that it's not worth getting all fired up about...but it's a strange request.

    And... are bridesmaids actually "off-duty" after the ceremony? Not that I have jobs planned for them (or any of the wedding planned, ha!)- but when I've been a BM I didn't think that I wasn't a BM once the ceremony was over.
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  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_bridesmaid-wants-change-dress-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:a94fd5db-ed81-483e-94b7-60b34f4035c1Post:da76488d-b3ba-42d5-8f96-1b2322e5f04c">Re: Bridesmaid wants to change dress at reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess I'm in the minority here, but I think it's weird. If she's difficult and this would cause a big fight, just let it go. But why would she change her dress? Especially since you guys haven't picked out the dress yet? Speaking as a bridesmaid in other people's weddings, it was an honor to be part of the bridal party and it's weird to me that she wants to separate herself from that.  Talk to her and see what it's about... agree with previous posters that it's not worth getting all fired up about...but it's a strange request. And... are bridesmaids actually "off-duty" after the ceremony? Not that I have jobs planned for them (or any of the wedding planned, ha!)- but when I've been a BM I didn't think that I wasn't a BM once the ceremony was over.
    Posted by mkjpop[/QUOTE]

    Off-duty BMs means they get to enjoy the reception without doing any little "duties" that the bride wants at that time. It doesn't mean they aren't a BM.

    I'll be honest, I understand not wanting to keep wearing the dress. She might be jumping to a conclusion in this case, but is it such a big deal to change the dress? Maybe she has a different dress that she just loves? I have no idea. But I have a BM dress right now that I wouldn't love to wearing during the reception.

    I just don't think this is something worth fighting over. I don't see it as trying to separate herself necessarily. I mean, lots of girls have non-matching BM dresses anyways. Are they somehow "separating themselves"?

  • mkjpopmkjpop member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Obviously I don't think girls who wear non-matching bridesmaid dresses are separating themselves from the party, since that IS their bridesmaid dress...
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  • VRLVRL
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I won't lie; if one of my bridesmaids asked to change out of her dress - before the dress had even been selected - I would be taken aback. And in a moment of irrationality and insecurity, I would think it had to do with one of two things:

    1) She didn't want to be associated with me or my wedding party any longer than necessary,

    2) She hated my sense of style so much, she couldn't bear the thought of wearing a dress for an entire evening that I'd had a hand in selecting.

    Of course, I would never admit to the first point - so I would ask if the second point was true. If it came out that she truly didn't trust my sense of style, I would leave her to her own devices to find a dress within a set of guidelines (color, length, etc).

    If it came out that she genuinely doesn't feel comfortable with formal gowns, the attention paid to the wedding party, etc. - then I would wholeheartedly agree to ditching the dress once the photos were taken care of.

    If it came out that she actually didn't want to be associated with me, then I think we'd have bigger problems than whether or not she wore a specific dress for a  specific length of time.

    In the end, I would never leave someone to suffer through an evening feeling uncomfortable - that would just be cruel. You've told her she doesn't have to wear the dress all evening, so going back on that now may cause tension and upset. I wouldn't appreciate it, if I were in her position. I think there's no harm in asking why, for curiosity's sake - or to see if there's a problem that can be remedied - but other than that, I think it's best to just let it be. She may very well change her mind in the end, if she discovers the logistics of a dress change just aren't feasible.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone. I understand everyone's viewpoints, and at the same time, although we are in the minority here, I'm glad there are others that feel the same way I did.

    The biggest cause of my concern was the very fact that we did not choose the dresses yet.. of course if she is uncomfortable in it I would not make her stay in it all night. But there is no dress yet to feel uncomfortable in.

    I will take some of your advice and nicely ask her why she wants to change when we eventually go dress shopping. Whatever her reason may be, at least it will hopefully make more sense to me.

  • edited December 2011
    I usually go with the let the bridesmaid do her own thing (hair, nails, shoes, etc), but OP, I have to say that I'm with you on this one.  Being asked to be a bridesmaid is a honor, and that honor continues all the way through the party.  We ended up taking some of the formal pictures during the reception due to timing issues, and had our bridesmaids changed, that would have been a problem.  Additionally, some of our favorite pictures that are going into our professional album are of the BMs and GMs during the reception.

    The only time I've seen a bridesmaid change out of her clothes was at a friend's wedding when the dresses arrived 2 weeks before the wedding, and they were easily 10 sizes too big.  I'm not kidding.  We pinned two of the girls into their dresses and they changed after the ceremony, but if they hadn't, their dresses would have fallen off of them.

    OP, I would just go for coffee with your BM and ask her why she wants to change.  The dress highlights her as one of your closest friends - and you really want to honor her that way.  If she's concerned about what the dress will look like, find out if she has any legitimate fears about dress shape, and go from there.  And good luck.
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  • Kristin789Kristin789 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    The MOH is the coordinator of the bridesmaids.  Have your MOH handle this.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_bridesmaid-wants-change-dress-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:a94fd5db-ed81-483e-94b7-60b34f4035c1Post:8ec83ea8-6ede-4f30-be84-34c6d1a10d78">Re: Bridesmaid wants to change dress at reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]The MOH is the coordinator of the bridesmaids.  Have your MOH handle this.
    Posted by Kristin789[/QUOTE]

    <div>OP, don't listen to this.  Your MOH is NOT your coordinator of your bridesmaids.  You, or if you have a wedding planner, coordinate everything.  TALK to your BM.  Don't burden your poor MOH with a "job" that she didn't ask for!</div>
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  • mrabbitomrabbito member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    i'm voting minority as well!  it's weird! 
    I don't think you're 'off duty' after the ceremony and i do agree that it would seem like they want to dissociate themselves from the wedding party.  All the weddings i've been in/been a guest at have had the WP greeting guests at the shot table, gift table, seating chart...etc and if she were in a different dress that would be weird.  Also, traditionally aren't the WP introduced during the reception? Also weird if she were in a different dress.  

    Agreed that you should talk with her. let her know that you were caught off guard when she asked, but since the dresses haven't been chosen yet that you can work together to find something she would be happy in all night.  It's so easy now with all the BM dresses out there to pick a designer/color and let the girls pick their own style. 

    I think this gets back to BM-ships/friendships, (not saying she's a bad friend) but as a BM i never assume my ONLY duty is to 'buy the dress and show up to the ceremony' and i can peace out after the ceremony.  As a friend, being asked to be part of your celebration is an honor, and I would do whatever I could and help out wherever I could from engagement ring shopping to sweeping the floors after the reception.  Including wearing a 'non-preferred dress' for a few hours!!  However, this is just my opinion!   
  • edited December 2011
    Personally I don't think its odd at all, when I was MOH for my sisters wedding we changed into other dresses for the reception.  My sister wanted the reception to be a celebration and our dresses for the ceremony were very modest and ceremony centered, and she let us choose dresses we would feel more comfortable in for the reception.  I don't even remember noticing in the pictures that I had changed, and come to think of it, there wasn't a single picture taken at the reception where the bridesmaids were together or looking "bridesmaidish".  We were just enjoying the party as guests. 
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  • colourzcolourz member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    At my sister's wedding, both her MIL and SIL/BM changed their dresses for the reception. Apparently this is part of their culture to wear two different dresses. Maybe that's the same for your BM. People were surprised, but it was fine.
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