So This Is Why Certain Brides Wear a Second Dress on Their Wedding Day

Ask any bride about her search for "the dress," and she'll likely admit it was quite the ordeal. It's pretty much common knowledge that brides-to-be will jump through hoops in order to discover (or design) their dream gown. So for a process so tedious it's earned its own reality TV show (Say Yes to the Dress, anyone?), why would someone ever consider enduring it twice?

The reasons vary, but many brides consider an outfit change for practical reasons—the reception. Changing into a dress that allows for more freedom of movement means being able to dance the night away carefree. But don't just take it from us. Seriously stylish brides like Babba Canales and Whitney Port are weighing in on why they loved their reception dresses—and sharing the wedding photos to prove it.

Babba Canales Rivera, Founder of BYBABBA


Johanna Rosenlew

"I truly optimized my second dress for dancing," Babba tells us. "I went for a dress that would fit well with my first dance, which was a salsa, and I wanted something that was playful yet unexpected." Her silky two-piece Dietas set proved to be just that, something she says pushed her out of her comfort zone stylistically.

"I wore my first dress, a gown from Marchesa, for the ceremony, which took place in the afternoon. After the ceremony, we went for dinner, and I kept the gown on for the full duration of that. As the guests left dinner and started to enter the palace for the cake, I switched to my second dress and cut the cake in it."

Pamela Katz Tick, DJ and Influencer


Sidney Bensimon

For the NYC-based DJ and influencer, her reception dress was the perfect opportunity to express her bohemian-inspired personal style. Her first dress was classic and on the more traditional side, so naturally by the time the party began, she says she was "ready to explore the other 'me' that night; the barefoot, free, and twirling me."

To make her bohemian wedding dress dreams come to life, she worked with friend Rebecca Cohen, founder and creative director of LoveShackFancy, to custom design it. "We were inspired by a specific vintage dress, which was a dress we held close to our hearts." Its alternating rows of embroidered floral motifs, scalloped lace trim, and square neckline were romantic and yet playful. "The final touch was a velvet floral bow belt, which Rebecca made, that I wrapped around the dress, and a lace ribbon that I put up in my hair."

Whitney Port, Creative Director and Influencer


Hannah Costello

For Whitney, her second dress needed to be totally different from her first dress. Though both were by Marchesa, she wanted something shorter, a bit flirty and definitely festive to keep the party going into the evening. "I originally wanted to do a color other than white, but then I tried on this one and fell in love."

When it came to executing the dress change, she waited until after the first hour of the reception and then did a full hair and makeup change to accompany the reception-ready dress.

Your second wedding dress is the perfect opportunity to try out a less traditional style.

Available in sizes 0 to 8.

A dress you'll definitely want to keep long after the wedding.

Available in sizes 12 to 28.

With a plunging neckline, knotted waist, and side cutouts, this pick is all the fun of a second wedding dress.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Opt for an easygoing wrap dress you can move freely in.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

This dress was tailor-made for the minimalist bride.

Available in sizes 6 to 12.

The fringe on this dress will only highlight your incredible dance moves.

Available in sizes AUS6 to AUS14.

Lean into the Victorian-inspired trend.

Available in sizes 0 to 10.

Opt for long sleeves if the hem is on the shorter side.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Because one fringe option just wasn't enough.

Available in sizes 0 to 16.

Dance the night away in something playful and fun.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Simple and yet so elegant.

Available in sizes 0 to 14.

The reception dress is the perfect opportunity to try out something a little more playful.

Available in size 8 to 12.

Traditional wedding dress rules don't apply as much here, so the black accents are a welcome contrast.

Available in store only.

It doesn't get more flattering than this ruched skirt.

Available in sizes 14 to 28.

Whether they want to preserve the first wedding dress, play around with multiple bridal looks, or just dance the night away without any worries, more and more brides are opting to change into reception dresses as their second look of the celebration.

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