Searching for ‘the one’ and ‘the two’

I\'d want to get the heck out of a 50-pound dress, too

Some brides-to-be buy two wedding dresses and choose between them at the last possible moment. Other brides-to-be buy two wedding dresses and wear both. More than you’d suppose, if a recent Boston Herald article isn’t pulling my leg. While a quick-change between ceremony and reception is de rigeur in many cultures, Western brides have traditionally gone the one gown route. Melania Knauss changed dresses (from a 100,000 Christina Dior couture dress to a $10,000 Vera Wang lightweight tulle dress) mid-wedding during her marriage to Donald Trump, but that’s Melania Knauss.

Stoneham-based wedding dress designer Elizabeth Crannage, who has been making gowns for 49 years, blames the trend on Donald Trump.

“I started getting requests for two dresses about a year and a half ago, when Melania Knauss went down the aisle in something that weighed 100 pounds and changed at the reception,” she said. “And I think the return of the ball gown – which is really complicated to sit down in – has forced brides to wear another dress.”

Which was the case with one Beacon Hill bride.

“My wedding was black tie so I wanted to wear a gown, but it also was a long night and I wanted to be able to dance later in the evening with all my friends, so I had a shorter version of the same dress made,” said the 24-year-old, who asked not to be named. “It was the same fabric, color and with the same details, but was strapless and ended below my knees. I loved them both.”

If you want to emulate Melania (and aren’t put off by the thought of the cost), consider wearing something heavy and traditional (think huge skirt and long train) for the ceremony and then changing into something that you can move easily in (like a sexy sheath) for the reception.

9 Responses to “Searching for ‘the one’ and ‘the two’”

  1. Amy says:

    I’ve always thought a very practical and stylish solution to this problem would be a gown with a detachable overskirt, like the Givenchy stunner Audrey Hepburn wore in the Sabrina tennis court scene.
    Second picture down, for anyone who doesn’t have the image as embedded in their memory as I do. 🙂

  2. Mcmiller says:

    I changed dresses for the reception, sure, because I was trussed up like a turkey for my wedding gown! But I changed to a simple black dress I already owned. I don’t see anything wrong with changing, but why buy two dresses?

  3. Lowy says:

    I heard an interesting interview with the founder of Brides for Breast Cancer in which she said that a lot of the used gowns in their sale come from this – the bride may want to keep the dress she got married in, but she gives away the 2nd choice for charity. Sweet!

  4. Never teh Bride says:

    Perfect, Amy! It would go from ceremony to reception in about seven seconds flat!

  5. It’s not just the brides! I’ve been to a couple of weddings (Italian) where the mother of the bride wore one dress to the church and a completely different dress to the reception. Is this a cultural thing?

  6. Twistie says:

    I have to say, I can understand having multiple gowns if it’s cultural…but I’m glad I chose something I’d be comfortable in. If nothing else, there would have been no place to change into something else where I held my wedding! LOL!

    Not for me, but as my father always used to say, who’s milking the frog?

  7. Peri says:

    My cousin didn’t have two wedding gowns, but the gown she chose had bustling that could be undone for the ceremony (making the dress fuller and leaving a train) and then done up for the reception to make it shorter and ‘dance worthy’.

  8. Stacy says:

    And see… I’m going for a dress that’s not big and poofy and unwieldy to start with. Not sure how miuch dancing we’ll do, but I won’t trip on the darn thing.

  9. La BellaDonna says:

    The dress that I designed and made for my sister-in-law incorporated the train and the (big) sleeves into a silver-embroidered pearl-trimmed organza overgown. When it was on, it looked like a big-church-wedding-dress; after the ceremony, she slipped it off, like a sheer sparkling evening coat, and danced at the reception in the now-sleeveless bodice and trainless skirt. The skirt was full at the hem (about 5 or 6 yards around), and smoothly-fitting at the top, so it would bell out when she danced, but it wasn’t big and poufy. It was also about 2 inches shorter in the front than at the back, so that she could walk easily in it. All the trim on the bodice and skirt was designed to blend in with the overgown, so that the entire outfit looked complete, whether she had the trained overgown on or not.

    It was a tour-de-force of practicality (and partnership, since my SIL doesn’t speak fashion or sewing at all, yet I was able to make exactly what she wanted).