Choosing a wedding dress is no small ordeal. That’s why there are TV shows, magazines, and websites devoted entirely to that one part of the ceremony. A wedding dress is no small expense, either. Across all 50 states, only a handful spend less than $1,300 on their dress—and some spend over $2,000! Sure, the price tag might not matter when you find The One after months of searching. But is the dress of your dreams comfortable for all-day wearing, dancing, and eating? The recent trend of wearing two wedding dresses suggests, “No.”
The trend is so popular, in fact, that designers have started creating convertible dresses. The ceremony style is big and breath-taking. And then the flowing skirt detaches to reveal a more fitted knee-length skirt underneath—transforming layers of tulle into a simple lace skirt. While that might seem extravagant—do you really need two wedding dresses?—there are plenty of practical reasons to consider buying a pair. (Aside from the obvious excuse to buy two dresses instead of one!) Before committing to one or two wedding dresses, consider these pros and cons.
Dance With Comfort
The wedding ceremony is rather uneventful, as far as moving around is concerned. If you’re getting ready off-site, fitting in a car is your biggest challenge. After that, you do a little walking, a lot of standing—and then you’re done! You might venture outside for group photos, but overall, it’s nothing too complicated.
The reception, however, is a completely different story. Between dancing, sitting, eating, and going to the bathroom (notoriously hard to do in a long dress!) a shorter dress with less fabric is more comfortable. Some brides even change into a pant suit or romper for a worry-free evening.
Blend Traditional and Modern
The long, elegant gown you chose for your indoor ceremony might not match the casual outdoor reception. Buying two wedding dresses lets you coordinate with both venues, emphasizing the traditional formality without compromising a simply modern feel. Plus, you can change up the color on your second dress. White or ivory are traditional colors—but they might not be your color. So keep the tradition alive at the ceremony, and rock your personality during the reception.
Preserve an Heirloom
Is your wedding dress an heirloom? Or do you want it to be? Wearing it less means lowering the risk of tears and stains. At the reception, you could spill food or drink on it. And on the dance floor, someone could step on the train. (Or you could sweat into it!) Buying two wedding dresses lets you preserve your family heirloom for future generations.
Crash the After Party
Maybe your sister booked a suite, or your college friends planned to go out after. By having two wedding dresses, you can quickly get ready for part two of your reception. Not only is going out in a wedding dress cumbersome, but it also significantly increases the risk of getting stained or ripped in the process.
Buying two of anything usually costs more than buying just one. If you have the budget for two wedding dresses, that’s great! But make sure you set strict limitations on your final dress budget. It’s tempting to squeeze a few hundred extra dollars for The One—but finding two Ones can get expensive!
On top of two wedding dresses, you may find yourself in need of two pairs of shoes, two necklaces, or even a different hairstyle. Those, too, can inflate your total wedding costs. Of course, it is certainly possible to find a single pair of shoes that matches the two wedding dresses. But that might take extra time and coordination—so make sure you plan accordingly.
Under-dressed or Mismatched
In general, shorter dresses are seen as more casual—which might be what you want for the reception! But make sure all your wedding party photos are done before changing. Your second dress might not match the wedding party as well as the first. Or you might look a little less formal than everyone else. Make sure your second dress is also wedding-worthy!
Wear Each Dress Less
We keep talking about The One. That perfect wedding dress that makes you feel like a princess or warrior or model or bride. It’s the dress that makes everyone cry, including you. But buying two wedding dresses means you get to wear your perfect dress for only half the time. Chances are, you won’t wear it again—so you’ll want to savor every moment you can, and it may be a little sad to take it off.
There are compelling pros—and persuasive cons—of buying two wedding dresses. But only you can decide what’s best for you on your special day. If you buy two wedding dresses, you can always change your mind (and not change your clothes!) However, if you do buy two dresses, establish ahead of time when and where you’ll change, and ask your bridesmaids to help. That way, there’s no scrambling or extra stress on the day of!
Do you think buying two wedding dresses is worth it? Would you buy two, or do prefer a convertible style?