The Secrets to Bar Hopping in Your Wedding Dress

Showers & Parties, Wedding Dresses

Photo: Dylan Don

Sometimes girls just don't want to change, and that's okay! You've probably seen your fair share of brides out on the town in their wedding gowns, and now you're contemplating doing the exact same thing on your big day, which is A-Okay, but there are a few things you should know first. From getting dirty to getting free drinks, here's what to expect and a bit of advice for brides that are dead set on donning their dress to the after party bar crawl.

A lighter wedding dress is the way to go
As Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner points out, many wedding gowns are often heavy and uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. "The fabrics aren't breathable and are often laden with beadwork that literally weighs you down." Sound like your gown? Then bar hopping in it is a bad idea! Instead, opt for a lighter and airier wedding dress to take you from the venue to the town (that is, if you haven't already bought yours), she suggests. "This would be a better choice if you want to continue partying until the wee hours of the morning, dress intact."

A two-piece gown gives you the best of both worlds
Fashion forward and trendy, a transitional two-piece gown is a fun way to take your style from aisle ready to downtown chic in a jiffy, notes Austin-based bridal buyer and celebrity stylist Lacy Pool. "One of my favorite examples of this look is with Sarah Seven's 'Delancy' top and 'Eutopia' skirt. The sequined short-sleeved crop top pairs beautifully with the bias cut crepe skirt, but by simply switching out this formal frock with a high-waisted pencil skirt, you're good to go for a night on the town!"

Ask your seamstress about a detachable skirt
Worried about the bottom of your dress getting completely destroyed? Samuels says to discuss with a knowledgeable seamstress the possibility of making parts of your gown detachable from the get go (think a long skirt that conveniently transforms into a shorter one for a night out). And if you decide to brave the odds and endure the gown in its original form, she proposes pairing it with some comfy shoes and changing out of any uncomfortable undergarments ASAP.

Buy a short dress with your party plans in mind
The type of bride that will bar hop in her wedding dress is also likely to go against the grain when it comes to choosing said gown! If you really want to hit the club or the bar scene post-wedding, Dorian Smith-Garcia, founder of The Anti-Bridezilla, suggests selecting a sheath, tea length or modern mini (not micro mini) that'll fit into a more relaxed atmosphere.

See More: Guests You Don't Want at the After-Party

Know that it's going to get dirty
And that's a fact! While wedding and event planner Jenny Orsini, owner and Creative Director of Jenny Orsini Events Inc., has only seen a handful of brides paint the town in their wedding gown, that's not to say you can't do it! "If you're confident, carefree and not overly concerned about rips, spills and stains, then heading to multiple bars in your dress is probably going to be fun," she tells us. On the contrary, if that dress was designer, couture, costs thousands of dollars and falls in the cherished items category, she advises changing out of it prior to hitting the bars.

Just in case, pack a mini emergency kit in your clutch
"Sometimes bustles don't hold up through all of the dancing, especially if you're keeping the party going at a club or bar afterward," cautions Krystel Tien, owner and founder of Elle Bridal Boutique & Couture Events in San Diego. That's why she recommends being prepared with a small sewing kit and safety pins, this way one of your bridesmaids can come to your rescue in case there's a party foul!

Be prepared for a ton of attention
If you're the type of bride that shies away from the spotlight, wearing your wedding dress to a bunch of bars might make you feel uncomfortable, as you'll definitely attract a ton of attention. On the upside, strangers will also be more likely to buy you drinks!

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