In some traditions, a bride wears several outfits over the course of the wedding. In India the bride is expected to wear a different outfit for each of several different parties over the course of multiple days. In China, during the wedding day a bride may change her clothes as many as eight times.
In the west, though, if the bride changed clothes it was usually for the now rarely seen going away outfit, which she would wear to travel on the first leg of her honeymoon.
Over the last few years, though, a new trend has emerged: the reception gown.
Most often, this seems to be chosen by women who have extremely elaborate wedding gowns for the ceremony, but then want to have the physical freedom to boogie down at the reception. Typically, the bride will wear the same gown she wore for the ceremony through the first dance, and then retire to change clothes. When she comes back, it’s the signal to the band or DJ to really let loose with the dance tunes.
I have to admit this is a trend I almost certainly wouldn’t have followed had it been around when I got married. My mantra has always been that the smart thing to do is to wear a gown (and shoes and headpiece and hairstyle) that’s comfortable enough to be happy in all day.
Then again, my wedding was fairly informal. It’s not like I was getting married in a huge cathedral. We were married in the woods (with no real facilities for changing other than a port-a-potty, which, so not going there) followed by a picnic reception. A grand gown with seventeen layers of crinoline, hoops, cathedral train and heavily boned bodice wouldn’t have made any sense at all under the circumstances. Also, we were broke. The money for a second gown just plain wouldn’t have been there for me.
If I’d worn a gown like that for the ceremony, I might have been tempted to change out of it…or I might have said to myself that having spent that much money on it, I was damned if I was going to change one nanosecond before I had to. After all, when would I wear something like that again?
What about the rest of you? Is this a trend you can see yourself following? Or does it not do it for you?
I have to say, though, if I wanted a reception gown (or a really fabulous informal wedding gown) I might go for something very like this JS Boutique gown:
Not only is it elegant and easy to wear, it’s also surprisingly affordable at $138.00 at Nordstrom.
Now if it just came in my size….