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Anya Meyerowitz

Guest Luxury Lifestyle & Travel Writer

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Wedding Reception Dresses for Brides

You’ve made it through hours of frantic hair and makeup, had your moment down the aisle and exchanged vows in front of your loved ones, now it’s really time to let your hair down. Sartorially-savvy brides know that, though a second wedding dress isn’t a prerequisite to enjoying the reception, the old adage ‘more is more’ is certainly back when it comes to nuptials, with sophisticated brides opting for two, three and even four gown changes. The post ‘I do’ dress is about personality, elevating the atmosphere, giving guests a taste of what to expect from the night ahead, and, crucially, allows for greater comfort on the dance floor. Plus, a bridal reception dress doesn’t require fittings or appointments, meaning you can maximise on the aesthetics while minimising the to-do list. And though it’s an undeniable luxury to be able to slip into a second gown, it also means you aren’t impaired when it comes to selecting your ceremony bridal outfit.

In fact, it’s a newer tradition that has been adopted by eminently elegant brides, from royals Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Goop goddess Gwyneth Paltrow, and we concur. Whether you want to twirl the night away in tulle or slip-on a fanciful, figure-hugging number for the first-dance, we’ve curated a selection of second wedding dresses or ‘wedding reception dresses’ if you will, that your guests will be hard pressed not to swoon at.

Mini Dresses for Wedding Reception

\ A mini dress is the ideal bridal reception dress for those keen to subvert the traditional and accelerate the party spirit. A mini says, ‘I’ll be on the dance floor into the early hours’, it’s playful and they’re seriously in vogue, according to our own findings that searches for 'mini wedding dress' and 'mini bridal dress' were up 229% and 423% worldwide earlier this year. And though opting for a second wedding dress is unarguably lavish, a mini offers many opportunities for future wear. Go sharp and sophisticated with a tailored tuxedo wrap style or lean into the drama of taffeta bow detailing.

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Midi Wedding Dress for Wedding Reception

Universally flattering, the midi dress provides just enough length to create an elongated silhouette and those fewer inches of fabric can exponentially elevate comfort. Generally more relaxed than a maxi, they tread the line between traditional and playful and still offer a marked switch-up between the ceremony and the reception. Opt for a cape midi dress to add dramatic flair or opt for a tailored piece with sparkling embellishment to create a striking focus and means you can go minimal on the accessories.

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Long Wedding Reception Dresses

From a slinky satin piece to dramatic ruffle detailing, opting for a maxi dress as a second wedding outfit keeps a sense of continuity running through your big day. Mimicking the length of a traditional gown, the extra length here creates a sophisticated silhouette, while opting for playful features effortlessly denotes the change in pace of proceedings. Opt for a glossy satin maxi dress with a draped neck to inject some timeless glamour or go off-piste and pair a woven tulle skirt with a bardot top for maximum modern effect.

Statement Wedding Party Dresses

If the purpose of your second wedding dress is to bring the glamour, our range of show stopping occasion wear is the place to browse.

From sparkling sequin fabrics, to statement three dimensional features, to capes, to beaded embellishments, our evening wedding dresses are certain to turn heads from the first dance to the final goodbyes. Perfect for bringing the drama to the evening, as well as being less restrictive than a traditional wedding dress, a statement wedding party dress is always a good idea. Don’t forget the flawless wedding pictures.

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Bridal Jumpsuits

While a traditional wedding gown will never go out of style, more and more brides are choosing to go in an unconventional direction to better showcase their authentic style. Sporting a jumpsuit on your big day is a sophisticated way to go against the grain and offer infinite comfort, longevity and a clean silhouette that works within every season. From sleek, courthouse-appropriate pieces to wide-leg numbers, the fluid feel of a jumpsuit is a fearsome rival for any dress. Opt for a belted-style to create an undulating outline or go for a fitted bodice and wide-legged trousers to add an elevated sartorial flair to proceedings.

Bridal Pantsuits

While many will say ‘yes to the dress’ ahead of their wedding day, some brides prefer to say no, and insead slip into a pair of wedding day-ready trousers. This androgynous style oozes a unique ilk of cool, collected confidence and is able to make a statement while remaining understated, giving your hair and makeup an elevated spotlight. Whether you want something oversized or fitted, cream or bright white, this less-traditional second wedding outfit choice gets maximum points for its wearability factor and affords you the rare bridal luxury of, gasp, pockets.

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