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Changing dresses for the reception -- is this normal / expected?
Every single wedding I've been to (except for when I was really little) has had a reception immediately following, where the bride just wore her wedding dress straight from the ceremony to the reception. However, one of my BMs says that every single wedding SHE's been to, the bride has changed dresses for the reception. Is this the norm? Is it usually a matter of whether the reception immediately follows the ceremony? Or is it cultural? The super-traditional Chinese weddings I've been to have the dress change; the ones for my friends who grew up here don't.

Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 8
Posted On: Mar 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM | Vendors are allowed | Add to My Watchlist | Flag As Inappropriate

5 Answers This question is closed for answers.

Married: 05/15/2009
Reviews: 7
Mar 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
My guess is that the "norm" is to wear the gown all day. The idea of the reception dress or "party dress" is really a modern thing that's getting more popular. But you can do it anyway you want. I wasn't going to have a reception dress and then stumbled onto an amazing deal on a gorgeous gown. I love my traditional wedding gown so I won't be changing into the second dress until after the cake cutting so I'll only wear it for the last 2 hours of dancing. It's really more of a surprise for my groom because it's much sexier and flashier than my formal gown. But no one will wonder where your second dress is if you wear your wedding gown all night. the second dress is just for fun and comfort if you feel like adding it in!
Mar 30, 2009 at 1:18 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Hi Johanna,

Most of the traditional American weddings I've been to the bride wants to wear her wedding gown all day..
I've seen some brides change into evening gowns, costumes, even a tank top and jeans once...I guess it depends on how comfortable you are in your gown and if there's a reason to change I had a swing dancer bride take off the bottom of her gown for the reception and it was a short swing dance kind of dress..
The biggest dress change I ever had was a Vietmanese wedding... from traditional komonos for the gown for the picture location....glamorous spicy red evening gown half way through the reception. Some Chinese weddings I've been to do this too. It seems many of the multi-cultural weddings I've been to do this.
Ultimately, your comfort and budget should come first...for me, when I already spent $700 for one dress, I want to wear it all day!

Good luck!

Married: 06/20/2009
Reviews: 9
Mar 31, 2009 at 8:23 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I am changing gowns because the gown I am wearing is a pick up skirt with lots of tufts and cannot be bussled (did I spell that right?) without ruining the dress. I love my dress so much I don't want to change it, and I plan on preserving it so I can pass it on to my daughter/granddaughter so she can wear it if she chooses so I don't want the bottom to get too dirty from the floor, blah, blah, blah.

I also got a really good deal on my reception gown, but like the previous poster I'm not changing into it until after we cut the cake so I can get the most wear out of my wedding gown.

Go with your gut, you'll look good in whatever you wear anyway, your the bride!!!
Mar 31, 2009 at 9:35 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I've seen maybe 2 weddings (out of 5-600) where the bide changed dresses. Both times the ceremony dress was very formal, and the receptoin dress was much smaller and less formal. It's your day, if you want to change dresses, do it. If not, don't. But don't do something that you don't want to just because someone tells you other people are doing it.

Married: 10/17/2009
Reviews: 5
Apr 01, 2009 at 8:46 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think that this idea or tradition os becoming more and more popular. I think that it is totally upto you. I would definitly do this, but I LOVE my wedding dress and figure I will never be wearing it again and I would like ot get as much use as I can out of it. On the other hand you can do what some other brides are doing and changing dresses right before the cake cutting! If you fell in love with 2 dresses, then why not wear them both! It's your day! Good Luck!

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