When Is the Best Time for a Mid-Wedding Costume Change?

Etiquette, Planning Tips, Wedding Dresses

From convertible wedding dresses to little white numbers to an endless array of bridal hair accessories and jewelry to choose from, it's hard to resist the temptation to go for a second wedding dress. Whether it's a full costume change, a quick adjustment to your hair, or a new accessory, it's a great way to get more bang for your buck — after all, when will you ever have a professional photographer documenting your every move again? But the real question is, when is the best time for a costume change? Our experts have a few ideas on when to slip away to put on your next look.

When to schedule a costume change depends on how you'll be changing your look, but no matter the time, it's best to pick a moment that fits naturally into your timeline (so you're not checking your phone in the middle of cocktail hour or getting up from the dinner table right before the entree is served!).

If you're wearing something to cover your shoulders during the ceremony, like a lace overlay or some sort of shrug, and plan to swap it with a belt to highlight your waist, step away once you're done with pictures and before you get to cocktail hour. This is also a good time to replace your longer veil with a blusher, birdcage veil, or headpiece (or just take your veil off altogether).

See more: 4 Reasons to Say "I Do" to a Second Wedding Dress

Planning to trade those soft curls for a top knot or a French twist (or let your hair down for dancing)? Have your hairstylist stay through the ceremony, then make the necessary adjustments before you make your grand entrance. If it's a quick change, you should be able to do this after cocktail hour and before you enter the reception. However, if it's a more complicated change in hairstyles, plan to get you new 'do at the beginning of cocktail hour so you have a little extra time to work with.

If your dress has a removable overskirt, consider keeping it on through dinner and for the first dance and father-daughter dance — one last chance to be photographed in your full gown! Then step away for a minute to reveal the hidden silhouette underneath all that tulle.

And if you're planning to change out of your wedding dress entirely? Whether it's a Little White Dress, a super-chic jumpsuit, or something a little less "bridal" but totally you, mid-reception is the way to go. You can either put a note on the timeline for your planner to wave you down, or just wait until you're ready for something a little more comfortable, then surprise everyone when you hit the dance floor again, totally ready to get down.

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