So You Want Two Wedding Dresses... Here's How to Make Multiple Looks Work!

Wedding Dresses
Two wedding dress tips

Photo: Getty Images

What do you do when you have a "that's the one" wedding dress moment...with more than one dress? For an increasing number of brides, the answer is, buy them both! The two wedding dress trend isn't going away anytime soon, and we can understand why. (The chance to wear multiple gorgeous, sparkly dresses in the same evening? Yes, please!) But pulling off even one wedding look requires lots of planning. Going for two may double your fun, but does it also double the work—and your budget? We asked Cassandra Quinn, Corporate Manager of New York-based bridal salon Lovely Bride, for her tips on buying and wearing two wedding dresses.

Brides: Let's talk money: How should you divvy up your budget when you want two dresses? Split your dress budget down the middle? Spend less on the reception dress?

Cassandra Quinn: Budget is so personal, there's not a right answer to this question. It really just depends what you are looking for. I think people choose to have two dresses for a few different reasons: They may want to shoot the moon in terms of fullness or structure or have the longest train in the world, but they don't want to haul around a major dress for their whole event; or the bride may be wearing her mother's dress for the sentiment but also want to express her own unique take on bridal fashion; or there may just be two gowns she can't decide between.

The reason a bride is buying her second dress will guide the budget. If she's wearing her mom's dress down the isle, she's lucky because her first dress is essentially free (except for the tailoring) and she can spend her entire dress budget on the second look.

See more: Winter Wedding Dresses with Stylish Coats to Match

Brides: How should you mix and match your two wedding dresses? Should they both fit the style of your wedding? Or is this your chance to indulge in the two wildly different dresses you love?

CQ: Again, I don't think there's a rule here! I love the idea of having extremely different looks. Going from a huge, strapless, tulle ball-gown to a short, body-con, backless dress with straps will keep a bride's guests on their toes and allow her to explore very different bridal looks. I also like the idea of going from one dress to another from the same designer or with the same feel. This is a less dramatic way to get the increased comfort or mobility a bride may be looking for from her second dress.

Brides: What about bridal accessories? Should brides pick shoes and jewelry that work with both, or does a second wedding dress require a second set of accessories?

CQ: A second dress certainly doesn't demand a second set of accessories, although if a bride is going for the drama of the big change she'll probably want to change out her accessories as well as her dress. With shoes, a long dress may not showcase the fabulous heels she is wearing and the short dress for the reception will let them stand out. If a bride is going for a really classic look with her ceremony gown she may choose to keep her accessories very traditional and then once the dress is changed the show-stopping costume jewelry can make its debut!

See more: Wedding Dresses We Love For Under $1,500

Brides: And how should you handle photos?

CQ: This is one place where I do think that you want to be careful. Getting all of the standard shots while the bride is in her more formal attire is important. She shouldn't be hurrying out of her mother's dress before the photographer has time to get a shot of her wearing it with her mother. Then all of the documentary-style photos from the reception can show off the second dress.

Brides: What else do brides need to keep in mind when they're considering buying and wearing two different wedding dresses?

CQ: Ultimately, as long as you feel like your most beautiful bridal self in what you are wearing you're doing the right thing. Just remember, two dresses probably means twice the tailoring expense. Oh, and you may need to switch out your undergarments!

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