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5 Reasons to Wear a Wedding Reception Dress on Your Wedding Day


March 26, 2024


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Wedding attire is a poignant expression of love and individuality for couples embarking on the journey of marriage. While the classic white gown holds timeless appeal, modern brides are increasingly drawn to the idea of incorporating a wedding reception dress or even multiple outfits into their special day. In this journal entry, we explore five reasons behind the choice to wear a second wedding dress. 

Expressing Personal Style

Many brides find that a single dress cannot fully capture their unique personality and taste. Opting for a second wedding dress allows them to explore diverse silhouettes, fabrics, and designs that resonate with their individual style. Whether it’s a deep love for fashion, a desire to look like a princess and a femme fatale, or something in between, there are a multitude of second-dress options that can help you show off your personal style.

Day to Night Transition

Transitioning effortlessly from ceremony to reception is a priority for brides seeking comfort and practicality. A second dress, or maybe a pantsuit, often lighter and more maneuverable, facilitates easy movement during dancing and socializing while maintaining a radiant bridal look. After a long day of wearing a heavy bridal gown, brides often opt for something that suits them, and the dance floor, a little better!

Cultural Significance

Across various cultures, the practice of wearing multiple wedding dresses is deeply rooted in tradition. Whether to honor familial customs or symbolize different facets of the bride’s heritage, these cultural rituals infuse weddings with profound meaning and symbolism. While many weddings offer the opportunity to wear many traditional gowns, some brides also choose to have a traditional ceremony as well as a modern one, and their dress choices reflect the two ceremonies.

Symbolizing Different Wedding Themes

Some brides opt for multiple wedding dresses to reflect different themes or atmospheres throughout their wedding day. For example, a bride might choose a traditional gown for the ceremony and a more contemporary or casual dress for a themed reception, such as a beach or garden party. If you are planning to be married in a beautiful church and celebrate your union outdoors, you may choose something more modest for your ceremony and something with a little more flair for your reception. We knew our bride had style when we saw her Vera Wang gown and Zimmermann reception dress.

Honoring Family Traditions

In some families, wedding gowns have been passed down for generations. These dresses have special significance or sentimental value, and connect the bride to their heritage in a meaningful way. Some wear the family gown in the same way the women before them have, and some brides choose to make something new out of it. Whether it’s for the ceremony, or for the reception, honoring the women who have come before you in this way is a beautiful reason for wearing a second wedding dress on your big day.

Whether you fell in love with two dresses and just simply couldn’t choose, need more flexibility on the dance floor or are observing cultural traditions there are many reasons why wearing multiple wedding dresses may be the right choice for you. If you’ve been considering taking the plunge on a second wedding dress, let this be your sign. With all the beautiful designs out there, you really can’t go wrong.

As a Seattle wedding photographer, we have been so honored to photograph gorgeous brides showcasing multiple dresses on their wedding day. If you’re getting married in Seattle, you may be interested in our favorite estate wedding venues in Seattle. If you’re a SoCal bride then you may also be interested in seeing more of our San Diego wedding photography and explore the best European-inspired venues in Southern California.

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I'm Jackie and I'm so happy you have found my work! Have a look around and get lost in our world of weddings, portraits, and life.

welcome to the journal


Hey there

sample timeline

Curious how many hours are needed to photograph your dream day? My free guide will help you create a solid timeline, which is critical for a smooth and stress-free wedding day. 


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