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What Is a Wedding Reception Dress?

Finding your perfect wedding dress is one of the biggest moments in wedding planning. Once you’ve got your venue and date set, the dress is the next biggest—and the most fun in our opinion—on the wedding checklist.

You want your dress to be spectacular, eye-catching, and timeless—but these requirements don’t always make for the most comfortable gown! That’s why many of today’s brides are opting for a second wedding reception dress to make it easier to dance the night away. 

So, what exactly is a wedding reception dress, and how do you know if you need one? Read on to find out.

The bride and groom make their exit with the bride wearing a simple but elegant reception dress.

What Is a Wedding Reception Dress?

Your wedding dress is the one you’ll walk down the aisle in and the one that will be captured in your formal wedding photos. As weddings become more extravagant, it’s natural that the dresses do as well.

That’s why the latest wedding trend is opting for a second dress for the reception, or a bridal reception dress.

Your reception dress is typically more simple and more comfortable. The idea is that you’ll have an easier time dancing, eating, and socializing in this second dress during your party.

It doesn’t just have to be about comfort, though. Reception dresses for brides can be a different style than your wedding gown to express your different fashion preferences.

So how do you know if a wedding reception dress is right for your big day? Let’s discuss the pros and cons.

Pros of Getting a Reception Dress for Bride

Being more comfortable during your reception is a major pro to wedding reception dresses. If your heart is set on a lace bodice wedding dress with a tulle layered skirt, you won’t have trouble walking down the aisle, but moving and grooving on the dance floor might give you some trouble.

With a simpler dress, you don’t need to worry about people stepping on your dress by accident, and you won’t have to enlist a bridesmaid to help hold your skirt in the restroom either.

Even if your wedding gown isn’t restrictive at all, getting a second dress for your reception is another way you can opt for various wedding dress styles. Try a slip dress, mini dress, jumper, or pantsuit to show off your unique bridal style.

If you’re having a religious ceremony and need to dress more modestly or you’re wearing your grandmother’s vintage wedding dress that’s lovely but not exactly your style, your reception outfit can be your chance to show off your individuality.

Lastly, take the weather into account when considering a reception dress. You can go from indoors to outdoors or cold to hot more easily with a change of dress.

Reception dresses aren’t as pricey as wedding gowns, so it’s not a huge strain on your wedding budget either. And the best part is, the simplicity of the bridal reception dress means you actually can wear your reception dress over and over again. You might even want to wear it to your rehearsal dinner!

A bride being helped into her corset wedding dress.


Cons of Getting a Reception Dress for Bride

A second dress for the wedding reception doesn’t seem like it would come with many cons, but there are still things to consider before you jump on the purchase.

The extra cost is the first one. While bride reception dresses are not as expensive as wedding gowns, it is still an added expense, so make sure your budget will allow it.

You should also consider the time that a wardrobe change will take. You’re already missing some of the party while taking pictures, and now you’re missing even more time celebrating with your friends and family by changing into a new outfit. And be sure to ask your venue if you’ll have full use of the bridal suite on your wedding day. This will give you a private place to change as well as help keep your wedding gown clean and safe. 

(Keep in mind: as long as you choose the right wedding bar and wedding entertainment, your guests won’t notice you slipping out for a quick outfit change!)

If your wedding dress is one of the more ornate styles, it won’t be a quick change. Be sure to practice changing in and out of your dresses so you know how long it will take you and how much help you will need so you can discuss your reception timeline with your wedding planner. 

And don’t forget about your hair and makeup. You’ll need to be sure that your look matches both outfits unless you’re planning to keep your stylist there throughout the ceremony and into the cocktail hour.

One con you shouldn’t worry about is what other people will think of you switching dresses. If you find a wedding dress and a wedding reception dress you absolutely love, go for it! This is your wedding day.

The bride and groom exit their reception at Kendall Point under sparklers.

Pair Your Perfect Reception Dress With the Perfect Wedding Venue

You can’t have your dream wedding without the perfect venue. Enter Kendall Point in Boerne, Texas.

Located just outside San Antonio among Texas Hill Country, we offer gorgeous views, top-shelf amenities, and more than enough party space. We also offer multiple grand staircases for you to show off your wedding looks.

And if you’re planning on a wedding reception dress, we also allow access to your bridal suite for 14 hours, giving you plenty of time to change into your new look!

If you’re recently engaged and looking to have a classic and chic Texas wedding, call Kendall Point today to schedule your tour.


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