Pros and Cons: Wearing Multiple Wedding Dresses

The perks and drawbacks of changing dresses after your ceremony... maybe more than once.

Pros and Cons: Wearing Multiple Wedding Dresses

Bridal Gowns
Photo: Heather Kincaid

Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses on clothing rack
Riding the line between innovation and tradition has become a staple of the 21st-century wedding. Modern brides task themselves with weaving the “something old” and “something new” motif into their big day, and in recent years, they’ve made the concept of having more than one bridal gown incredibly fashionable.

Experts have debated back and forth about the potential merits and disadvantages of this trend, so we’ve complied research on both sides of the argument to bring you a list of the pros and cons of the opulent fad. 


-  No style compromises. If you’re looking to wear a classic, conservative dress for your church ceremony but you want a sultry, revealing number for your lively reception, good news: you can do both! Changing dresses after the “I dos” and before the toasts first became en vogue because brides wanted to honor their religious beliefs and feel sexy on their big day.

-  No matter the weather. Similar to the style versatility, donning a few different gowns affords you the luxury of going from indoors to outdoors, cold to warm, dry to humid relatively quickly. Putting on a dance floor-friendly dress after feeling somewhat restricted in a ceremony gown is a feeling unmatched by nearly any other. 

-  True showmanship. If we’ve learned anything from Broadway musicals, it’s that quick changes are undisputed crowd-pleasers. While thinking of your wedding as a performance isn’t always the best scenario, there’s no denying you want to entertain your loved ones. Of course, some people won’t even realize you’ve switched ensembles, but when you have a flair for the dramatic, all the world’s a stage.


-  Financial compromises. This comes as no surprise: two dresses are more expensive than one. There’s always a possibility you’ll need to rearrange your spending allocation in order to make the second (or third) dress a viable option. You may need to make a decision between the extra hand-laced masterpiece and the beautiful charger plates you've been eyeing.

-  Time allotted. You’ll need to pencil in extra time to make the swap(s). Presumably, you’ll take time away from pictures, cocktails, or a quiet moment alone with your new spouse. Not to mention the complications that come with taking off one wedding dress and putting on another; your bridesmaids will need to train with your intricate bodices for twice as long.

-  The cynics. As with most matrimonial elements that stray from tradition, you’re going to find some naysayers amongst your guests. More than likely, you’ll encounter a few purists that strongly believe in the idea of “The Dress,” – similar to “The One,” as in, “The Only One.” It’s true what they say: you can’t please everyone.

If you’re considering a bridal costume transformation or two, make sure you weigh the factors: financial, climatic, and theatrical alike. For more inspiration, view gowns worn by real brides in our photo galleries or discover styles hot off the runway in our Lookbooks.

Opening photo by Heather Kincaid; Bridal gowns by Monique Lhuillier

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