Aisle Style: The Reception Dress

Recently, Chelsea Clinton chose two Vera Wang dresses for her big day—a strapless gown for her ceremony and a cross-back Grecian dress with a black belt for her reception.

You might be wondering: Can I afford two dresses? Do they both have to be white? When exactly do I change into it? Will I blend in with the guests? 

Here are some reasons why we love reception dresses and some things to keep in mind. 

Comfort – A more casual, flirty dress allows you to be comfortable at your reception. You can easily dance, talk to guests and drink that special red wine you ordered without worrying about your gown. 

Preserving Your Gown – You will still look beautiful in a second dress, but you won’t have to worry about guests stepping on your train as they “Cha Cha Slide” across the dance floor. 

Outdoors – If you’re having an outdoor reception or backyard barbeque, a shorter dress will make sense as you participate in lawn games, spend time in your photo booth or just relax with your new husband under the stars. 

Personality – Perhaps you’re having a traditional ceremony but want to show your creative side during the reception. Having a reception dress that has a bold accent color or fun accessories will really make you standout on your special day. Even if the dress isn’t white, you will be beaming from ear to ear—and impossible to miss! 

Time – If your reception and ceremony are in the same location or you have limited time with the photographer in between the two events, you may want to use your time in front of the camera instead of changing into a second look. 

Budget – If you’re on a tight budget, a second dress may seem frivolous. But just because you have two dresses, doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. By choosing a second dress that isn’t made especially as a wedding gown, such as a special occasion dress, you will most likely spend less and you’ll be able to wear it again! 

Here are a few of my favorites that show the trends of the season in all different styles and price ranges!

Clockwise from top left: BCBGMAXAZRIA Strapless Appliqué Dress, $398. Eliza J Rosette Trim Shantung Dress, $158. Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Ruched Matte Jersey Dress. $148. Haute Hippie Ruffled Minidress, $595. JS Boutique Lace Dress, $138. Alexia Admor Metallic Rosette Hammered Satin Dress, $198. All from Nordstrom.

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