Should You Change Your Dress Before Your Reception?

Bride getting ready with help from bridesmaids (B&W) Sure, we get it - what bride can resist a change of look right before the reception? And why should you? This is the big day you have been waiting for, and you want to be looking and feeling your best. If this means a wardrobe change right after the ceremony, so be it! We say go for it.

Best ideas we have run across for changing your look

We have seen some brides go completely casual for their reception, but we advise our brides to switch to a second, albeit decidedly less formal, gown. You have a couple of super-easy choices:

1. Change into another dress altogether

This is the most common switch we see in the Sonoma and Napa wedding scene. The bride sticks to a puffy princess-type gown for the ceremony and then slip into a chic white number for the reception and afterparty.

2. Try looking for a dress with a removable overskirt.

In this scenario, all a bride needs to do is remove the overskirt and she's ready to party!

Maybe just a change of hairdo will work

Maybe you don't want to change out of your gown at all! This is less common in the Napa / Sonoma scene, but to each her own, right? Changing up your hairdo is the next option, but be aware that it will take longer than an outfit change.

On the plus side, you can dramatically let your hair down or go for a chic updo and still have a fresh new look in all of your reception photos.

Your other choice is to refresh your bridal accessories. For example, that lace overlay covering your shoulders can easily be converted into an oh-so-sophisticated belt for the reception. Or why not switch up your long formal veil and replace it with a blusher? Finally, you are always welcome to ditch the high heels and opt for flats on the dance floor.

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How long will you need to change?

If you have a wedding planner (insert shameless plug here), she will be able to keep you on track throughout the evening. Ideally, you should allocate no more than 15 minutes for the change so your presence won't be missed from your party.