This Controversial Wedding Trend Is Becoming a Thing

michelle scanga bridesmaid second dress trend



This post was published at an earlier date, pre-pandemic.

When it comes to wedding guest attire, we've recently shared insight on party dress codes and a complete guide on what to wear to fall weddings. To add to the list of wedding-prep outfit ideas and more, today we're slightly shifting gears and focusing on a bridesmaid trend that's stirring up quite the controversy in our office right now. Let me preface this by saying I was in three weddings last summer, so the majority of my weekend plans and conversations revolved around planning or traveling to my next wedding destination. Read on for the bridesmaid trend I'm surprisingly on board with.

The Controversial Trend: Second Dresses for Bridesmaids

michelle scanga ballyfin wedding



Michelle Scanga, left. 

You'd think after being in three weddings in the last year that my dress-planning energy and bank account would sweat at the thought of purchasing another dress for a wedding weekend, but here I am with this trend I accidentally started: wedding-party second looks. Hear me out on why I'm so for the idea of this. Weddings are one of the few times you get to see all your favorite people in one place, and if you've been selected to be a part of the wedding party (which is such an honor), that means you'll be in the same or similar dress as other girls in the party.

For this reason, I suggested a bridal-party "second look" to one of my friends. I'll admit I was somewhat joking when I suggested it, but when my friend was so into it, I thought we should make it an official thing. My friend and the bride-to-be said if bridesmaids want to change, she's totally down and wants everyone to enjoy the night and feel comfortable in whatever they are wearing. By no means is this a required thing, but it's simply an option for those who'd like to change mid-reception after the bride puts on her second look. When I was casually chatting about this at the office, the topic turned quite controversial, as the team was torn 50/50 for and against the idea.

Our EIC, Kat Collings, even chimed in: "When Michelle told me about the new trend of giving bridesmaids the option to wear a second look, I was low-key alarmed. In my mind, being a bridesmaid is a bit demanding already, and having to think about another dress (even if I already own it) and pack it seems like extra stress. I know it would most likely be optional, but I wouldn't want to be the only one left in a bridesmaid dress when all the others had transitioned to cooler looks. At the heart of the debate, though, is this one fact: People don't like wearing bridesmaid dresses. I bet if you were able to wear a bridesmaid dress that you felt truly beautiful and unique in, no one would want a second look!" I can see her point, but for me, the idea of putting on a dress I'm truly excited about after all the bridesmaid duties are complete for the night makes me so happy. Keep reading to shop the dresses I'm considering for my next wedding-party second look.

Shop Bridesmaid Dresses for the Wedding Party Second Look:

This emerald green is so striking. 

I'm obsessed with this Bridgerton-esque wallpaper print.

Mango hit it out of the park with this one. 

Reformation has so many fantastic bridesmaid dress options. 

Nothing screams "party" like a sequined dress. 

This halter dress is so elegant. 

How could you not fall in love with this stunner? From the bold color to the pretty pleats, it's a winner all around. 

This shade of purple is guaranteed to garner compliments. 

H&M always makes pieces that look more expensive than they really are. 

Red is a bold choice for bridesmaids, but this stunning dress is totally worth it. 

You can't go wrong with a lovely LBD.

If you're going to wear a printed bridesmaid dress, muted patterns like this one are perfect. 

Reformation did it again. 

These appliqués are just too cute. 

This dusty rose is a classic choice. 

This glittery one is perfect for a city wedding. 

This sleek dress will truly look fantastic on anyone. 

Gray is an underrated choice for bridesmaid dresses. 

This short dress will be so easy to dance in. 

Perfect for a spring or summer wedding. 

Who could resist this $60 sequined number? 

I have a feeling this one will sell quickly. 

Just add a coat for cold-weather receptions. 

The kind of dress that you'll still be wearing in 10 years. 

This beautiful blue slip dress can be styled in so many different ways, as evidenced by this layered look. 

I always love an asymmetric neckline. 

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