Attire & Accessories Forum

Different dress for ceremony and reception???

I bought a dress a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it, but think it might not be right for the ceremony. It is Blue by Enzoani 'Astoria' and I would love to still wear it for the reception.  But I want to know if REAL brides really wear two dresses, or if that only happens on tv.

My fiancee would love to see me in a fitted dress but the one I currently have is not, and I would love to have a fitted dress too.  Is it unreasonable?

I know I spent too much on my first dress and if I get another it needs to be cheap, what do you all think?  Possible or over the top?

Re: Different dress for ceremony and reception???

  • danielle16_17danielle16_17 member
    edited December 2009
    no there are many brides out that they have a different reception dress... I think a fitted dress would be easier to dance and sit in - some brides have troubble going to the restroom with big dresses - they have to have other girls help them. Its your wedding so if you want two dresses then why not. BTW- your dress is beautiful
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2009
    My honest, blunt opinion:

    I think wearing two dresses can come across as pretentious. It makes me think that the bride just wants even more attention on her when she enters the room in a different outfit, and/or that she just couldn't make up her mind between two dresses and bought both. Most people in regular life can't have their cake and eat it too, so I think that brides are no more special than anyone else and shouldn't be entitled to whatever they want just because it's their wedding day.

    I think there's a huge difference, though, between this and when brides change into a cultural outfit or a family heriloom (like her mother's wedding dress), because they're honoring someone or something and not just satisfying their own desires to have two pretty princess dresses. I also think there's a difference between wearing two full-on wedding gowns, versus wearing a bigger gown for the ceremony and then wearing a cute little party dress later on. I can understanding changing into something simple so it's easier to dance and be comfortable. IMO, if someone think a dress is way too complicated to dance in, go to the bathroom in or be comfortable in (at ALL, not just that it's a little heavy or a little hot), then she shouldn't have bought it in the first place.

    I also just don't understand the reasoning behind searching for a wedding dress, and paying all that money to have it ordered and fitted and accessorized perfectly, and then change into a second wedding gown halfway through the event.

    It's certainly not unheard of, and I've seen plenty of Knot bios with regular girls doing this ... but I am not a fan. So my vote goes to no. But it's your wedding, not mine.
  • I'm also not a huge fan.  Personally, I can't see shelling out thousands of dollars for a dress you'll wear for an hour or less, in addition to all the reasons malphabet mentioned.  But if it's in your budget, then go for it, it's pretty common.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • Lots of brides do it, but IMO you shouldn't go out and buy a cheaper dress for the ceremony--the most special part of the wedding when all eyes will be on you.  Do you really want to make your grand entrance and say your vows wearing some dress off the clearance rack when you have that beautiful one?   

    I was worried about the same thing but your FI will love you in whatever dress you're in because you'll be the one wearing it.  If you have your heart set on something sexier, you can always get a cocktail dress for the reception. 

  • Thanks for all the opinions ladies, I guess I have just been really stressing and I do love my original Astoria!  I feel better now about just staying with the one I first picked, thanks!!
  • Ditto malphabet, and I'm glad you decided to stick with just the one, which I googled and it's stunning!  Why wouldn't you want to keep that on forever?  :)
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  • Holy crap! I just googled it too and my goodness is it gorgeous. Geez if that was mine, I might sleep in it – just too pretty to take off.

    Glad you are sticking with it!
  • ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2009
    First of all, your dress is gorgeous.  No reason to change ;)

    Regarding your question about two dresses, however, I wouldn't do it because I LOVED my dress...  And I think people would give you the side eye if you wear two dresses but then the food's not that great, there's a cash bar, etc.  Not that you were planning on that, but just keep it in mind.  

    Good luck ;)
  • Just wanted to say that I'm a two-dress bride.  I LOVE my ceremony dress - it's the princess dress I always dreamed of, and I didn't want to give that dream  up just because I wouldn't really be able to dance in it.  Seriously, under what other circumstances do you get to wear a gorgeous ballgown? 

    My reception dress is also long, but more sheath style and flowy.  It feels like a nightgown - so delicate and soft.  I could wear it forever.  I love it, too, and it's exactly FI's style - but it's not the dream.

    Really, it had nothing to do with attention or ego or anything.  I did want to have my cake (dream dress) and eat it, too (moveable reception dress). 

    Oh, and I got both dresses for less than 1/2 my budget thanks to one being discontinued and the other coming from a store that was closing.

    Ceremony dress = Justin Alexander 9552
    Reception dress = Vineyard Cecille (google image search still gets it)

    It's your wedding day. Do what you want.  Hopefully you'll be surrounded by people who love you - not people who will judge you or give you the 'side eye.'

    Btw, gorgeous dress.
  • I too am considering two dresses, only under the condition I can purchase BOTH dresses within my attire budget. I am very short (only 4'9") and I get uncomfortable really fast in long dresses. That said, I still want to wear a long dress for my ceremony. I am thinking about getting a short, simple white dress for the reception so that I can be comfortable and not tripping all over myself. I think wearing two dresses is fine, and it's going to make you more comfortable on your special day, go for it.
  • I thought about doing two dresses - our reception site was indoor-outdoor and I worried about getting mud all over my dress - but a friend said something to me that really stuck: people want to see your dress, and really don't get to up-close in the ceremony....changing from one full-on wedding gown to another seems silly/wasteful, and while I can see changing later in the night into a more comfortable party dress ( I changed to go to our "after party" with the younger folks at a bar, into a little white dress), I think a lot of guests would be disappointed if you show up straight from the church already dressed down.  I would at least make an entrance, etc., then maybe change later.
  • I am a two dress bride... nothing wrong with that! My ceremony dress is gorgeous, large, and will not be comfortable to dance in, which is why I got a second dress for the reception.

  • I disagree about the pretentiousness of changing - and compared to other things done for the wedding, the thought is pretty laughable.   Some dresses just don't allow for much movement at the reception, so it may make sense to change and feel comfortable.  I find it no different than I would changing shoes.  And as others have said, lots of brides do it.

    It's your day and do as you wish.  If you are happy now with just sticking it out with one dress, great - but do so because that's what you want and not for a few opinions on a board.  I thought about it but after the alterations and all, I decided that I could live with keeping my dress on all night.  Had it been a lot bulkier, however, I most certainly would have gotten a second dress and if anyone thought it made me pretentious, than frankly they never really knew me.
  • edited December 2009
    I am, as well, a two dress bride...I found my wedding dress and reception dress at the same shop. And, yes there is a definite difference between THE dress and another. I wanted to be more comfortable at the reception...seeing that our wedding is not "formal" and more of a get-down and dance your butt off celebration there is no way I could have done that in my wedding dress. It looks very A-line from the front...but there is a tone of material due to the pleating at the waist. I do not plan on changing until all the major dances are finished (ie father/daughter, ect). So as far as people getting to really get a look at the dress...they will have plenty of time. After that I plan to slip away and into something more cocktailish but still bride worthy. My second dress is a short, fun, ivory dress that perfectly complements THE dress. (Plus I get to show off my oh, so sparkly Enzo Angiolini shoes!)
    I don't see any thing pretentious about buying two dresses if it is in your budget. And you won't draw mean intentioned attention unless you make a huge, big ordeal entrance in your newly changed outfit! GO FOR IT!!

    Link to wedding dress:
    Link to reception dress:
  • I too am a two dress bride but..... my second dress cost me $10.00! I'm one of those girls who loves to dress up but have to be comfortable to party!!! I made a deal with my Fiancee not to change until it's about 2 hours before we leave. I dont see spending a fortune when so many people are hurting-I will post pics asap.
  • I think it's a waste of money to buy two dresses. I plan on buying one dress that I love and that I will be comfortable and feel beautiful in all day. Why are so many of you buying huge dresses that you can't dance in? In general, the more fabric, the more $$, and yet you're wearing that dress for the shortest period of time? I have other wedding things I'd rather spend the money on, or even other things in life.
  • I couldn't do it.. I too plan on buying a dress that is gorgeous, but comfortable enough to wear all day. Our ceremony will be short (20 minutes or so), and I really can't imagine spending any money on a dress I would only wear for an hour, tops. I also love the dress I'm planning on getting, and I know I'll want to wear it as long as I possibly can.

    We don't have a budget, but the goal is to spend as little as possible, so two dresses also doesn't fit with our overall philosophy..

    Our wedding will be at 10:30am however, and we'll be having an after party that night with the younger crowd, so I will likely buy some cute white outfit to wear to that. But I'm a pants kind of gal, so I'll buy pants and a top that I can mix and match to wear again on other occasions.
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  • It's not tacky or pretentious.  I understand why some brides choose to get 2 dresses for comfort and it's easier to dance in some dresses. I don't think anyone at your wedding will give you "the side eye" if you change dresses.  It is you wedding, you CAN do whatever you want!
  • I'm wearing a dress I inherited for the ceremony.  While beautiful, it will be a complete pain in the butt to wear at the reception.  So I'm going to buy a simple white cocktail dress to wear at the reception.  This way both my family and I stay happy :)
  • So we were supposed to get married in Mexico on May 5th of 2009 but thanks to the H1N1 outbreak our trip & wedding were cancelled. I had a beautiful dress that I had chosen for our beach wedding but once plans changed & we decided to have a formal wedding in Toronto, I felt like the dress was too beachy & didn't fit the venue. I really went out and scoured the city to find the best deal (so I wouldn't feel too guilty about getting another dress) and I found a beautiful more formal dress for the ceremony for under $300 at a bridal boutique in Toronto. Anyways, call it what you will but I felt like I had to do it & I have no regrets about wearing 2 dresses. It is your day & you have to do what makes you feel the best that you possibly can.
    Good luck!
  • I think I am going to stick to the one dress for both, unless some magical wedding dress fairy will drop a gorgeous dress on my lap for the ceremony, lol.  Or I can borrow one from my cousin's mulitple attempts. 

    It really is all about the budget and it would be a little out of my and my fiancee's range to try and get another dress.  If I could I would do it!  Thanks for all the opinions and the dresses y'all have shown, they all look gorgeous!!
  • Your exactly what you want!
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