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How Many Dresses Do Brides Wear?

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Many brides spend years thinking about the dress they want to wear when they walk down the aisle. Once they get engaged, the hunt for the perfect dress begins in earnest. The purchase process can take months or longer until the dress of their dreams is found.

The wedding dress is the most anticipated item at most ceremonies. But do brides wear it for the entire day, or are there other dresses that make their way into the day?

How many dresses do brides wear?

Most times, brides will stay in their formal wedding attire for the whole day.

Other times, brides will make several wardrobe changes to show off different styles and move the wedding through various stages.

There is no rule as to how many dresses you can wear, but changing may add some flair to the reception and make dancing more comfortable.

If the thought of switching dresses during your wedding is intriguing, we’ve put together some advice on ways to do it and what types of dresses to consider.

In addition, here’s some helpful guidance on how many dresses brides can wear at their weddings.

A young and beautiful bride at home standing near window with flowers

One Is Still the Norm

In the U.S., most brides will wear just one dress. It’s easy to understand why, especially when you typically pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for the perfect dress.

Most brides will want to wear the same dress throughout the ceremony and the reception for the photos. They want the dances and cake cutting to all be in the same, most glamorous dress.

If you dress down into something more comfortable or a different color, other people who see your pictures in the future may not recognize you.

Getting caught up in thinking that you must wear different dresses to have a fancier wedding can be easy. However, your wedding can be perfect if you wear your chosen gown without changing into something new.

Some trendy weddings involve wardrobe changes in different colors.

If you want to wear multiple dresses, make sure you love the other choices before committing to a mid-wedding wardrobe change.

It’s tough to match the glamor of your primary wedding dress, so changing should make you feel on the same level as your ceremony dress.

Indian bridal wedding sandals with jewelries and lehenga blouse dress

Wardrobes Sometimes Follow Cultural Traditions

Changing dresses during a wedding is more common in some countries and cultures.

Chinese brides usually go through several different dresses during their wedding day, each signifying a certain section or purpose of the wedding event schedule.

Indian weddings are also known for their ornate decorations and incredible parties. Brides often change into multiple dresses to revamp the party and get everyone moving again.

These days, more brides in the United States are catching onto the trend of changing into different attire.

Some brides change into another white dress that is different from their ceremony dress or put on something totally different, like a red ballgown or a pink formal dress.

When to Put on a Different Dress?

Changing dresses makes the most sense after the wedding ceremony is over. There is usually a break in the schedule as people move from the ceremony to the reception location.

Whether it’s a walk across the venue or a couple of hours break to relax, it’s a good time to change into your next dress. Here are some options.

Another Wedding Dress

bride fitting wedding dress in a wedding shop

What if you love two dresses immensely when you’re shopping for wedding dresses and can’t decide between the two?

If you have the budget, you can buy both and change into your second favorite dress once the ceremony is over.

You wowed the crowd as you walked down the aisle, and now you can wow them again when you show up looking fantastic to your reception.

Some people like to change but want to stay in a traditional wedding dress after the ceremony because there are still the first dances, cake cutting, toasts, and other traditions that happen later in the day.

Some brides want to be photographed wearing a wedding dress, even if it’s not the dress they wore as they recited vows.

When you put on your second dress, feel free to liven things up a bit with colors, sashes, and other bolder fashion statements. It’s a bit more relaxed, and it will tune everyone up for the party to come.

Your Party Dress

A young bride dancing with grandfather and other guests on a wedding reception.

Once you’ve taken care of all of the photos, you can dress to party.

Modern brides love to change into something more comfortable for the dance floor. You can also wear a dress you won’t fret about if wine spills on it.

Wedding receptions can last for hours. It’s normal for there to be an occasional lull in the action. A wardrobe change can last long enough for everyone to start wondering where the bride went.

Make an entrance in a new dress with a spotlight shining on you and music blasting to breathe new life into the party. Get people back on the dance floor and keep your wedding moving.

bride holds her wedding dress in the garden

Why Not Wear Multiple Dresses at Your Wedding?

When is wearing multiple dresses a bad idea?

Avoid wearing more than one dress if it stresses you out even thinking about it.

Your wedding is full of detailed planning, and wearing different dresses can add stress. Skip it altogether and stay in your original dress if you think it will help you relax.

Money is another reason to stay in your primary wedding dress.

Not spending money on multiple dresses means you can invest in a premium dress that you love. You won’t have to compromise on price and quality because you only have one dress to choose from.

Finally, a short wedding program makes changing clothes mid-event a challenge.

If you feel like you don’t want to miss a moment, or you have a strict time limit on your reception, stay in your dress so you can enjoy more time with friends and family.

Final Thoughts

Have fun with your attire and how you’ll arrange your wedding schedule. If you’re inclined, choose alternate dresses that will highlight your style and personality or pay homage to your culture.

Your guests will love seeing different bridal looks throughout the day, and it will make your wedding more memorable.