Why buy one perfect wedding dress when you can have two? A formal, floor-length gown for the ceremony paired with a festive mini for the reception is the perfect combination for a fashion-forward bride. However, between first-look pictures and the first waltz across the dance floor, what bride has time for a wardrobe change? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the best time for an outfit swap.
If your chosen ensembles are meant for the ceremony and reception respectively, the optimal time to change your attire is in the small window between those two stages of the celebration. If your ceremony venue offers an appropriate location for a quick change, it may be easiest for you to make use of the space before you travel to your reception.
Many churches have a separate room where brides and their entourage can prepare themselves for the ceremony, which would also serve as a great location for an outfit swap. If you have chosen the same venue for your ceremony and reception, find a makeshift dressing room where your bridesmaids can help you out of your first gown and into the second, just in time to make a grand re-entrance into your wedding.
Some brides choose to enjoy the first dance in their ceremony gown, and sneak away before other guests hit the dance floor to slip into a more movement-friendly frock. Make sure to assign your maid of honor, mother, or another trusted source the responsibility of keeping your second dress safe until you choose to change into it. The dress should remain in a garment bag until the moment you don it for your reception.