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Wearing multiple dresses on your wedding day has become somewhat of a new norm amongst brides in recent years. Instead of one dress for the big day, brides are opting for one formal ceremony look, and another (or several) fun and nontraditional look for the reception. While this is a great concept, buying and changing into multiple pieces can seem like a daunting task.
Luckily, the vast emergence of convertible wedding gowns has made the transition from one dress to the next easy, by combining several looks into one with just a few quick alterations. The beauty of this style is that you don’t have to spend time getting changed, which is time that can be spent with your partner and guests. It also allows you to mix traditional and modern looks throughout your day.
Perhaps you are dreaming of a ballgown for your ceremony, but you want something you can dance in for your reception. Convertible wedding dresses will give you the best of both worlds without the stress of an entire outfit change. Not to mention, this option is extremely budget-friendly too!
To help ease you into this trend, scroll on for a list of our favorite convertible dresses that you can shop for right now.
Most Elegant: BHLDN x Amsale Olympia Gown
Size: 0-18 | Materials: Duchesse Satin | Length: Floor
For a formal wedding, we love this two-in-one ballgown. While the sweeping skirt on this gown will stun as you walk down the aisle, it can be taken off to reveal a reception-ready, chic column dress.
For the Classic Bride: Kate Halfpenny Removeable Skirt Wedding Dress
Size: Contact store | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor, midi
This gown, exclusive to Harrod’s, features a classic A-line ballgown silhouette that seamlessly transforms into a fun and flirty peplum midi dress.
Best Mini Dress: Alexia Maria Blair Dress With Convertible Skirt
Size: 0-16 | Materials: Silk faille | Length: Floor, mini
For two equally fun and daring looks, consider this Alexia Maria gown. The first look hints at a mini dress style, with a partial overskirt that is open in the front. Then, take the skirt off to reveal a party-ready mini dress for you to dance the night away in.
Best Sleeve Transformation: Ines Di Santo Rebecca Gown
Size: Contact brand | Materials: Tulle, pearl embellishments | Length: Floor
Convertible dresses aren’t always about the bottom of a gown. This couture piece emphasizes the sheer sleeves, which can be easily transformed from long to short sleeves.
For the Modern Bride: Safiyaa Ivory Catalina Convertible Midi Dress
Size: FR 34-46 | Materials: Ivory stretch-crepe, silk-organza | Length: Midi
If you want to stay away from the traditional bridal look, consider this chic convertible midi gown. The silk organza bolero can be removed to reveal a strapless sweetheart neckline.
Most Statement-Making: Amsale Memphis Gown
Size: Contact brand | Materials: Silk faille | Length: Floor
All eyes will be on you during your wedding day regardless of what you are wearing, but this gown will undoubtedly make your guests’ jaws drop. The convertible piece? The dramatic, ruffled train is detachable.
Most Regal: Rita Vinieris Penelope Gown
Size: Contact brand | Materials: Eco-sustainable satin crepe | Length: Floor
This structured gown from Rita Vinieris is fit for royalty. The bubble shoulders make a statement while the rest of the gown remains sculpted. The sleeves can be taken off to create a strapless neckline for an entirely different look.
Best Jumpsuit: Alexia Maria Silk Faille Twisted Bow Jumpsuit With Convertible Skirt
Size: 0-14 | Materials: Silk | Length: Floor
Go from dress to jumpsuit with this convertible option from Alexia Maria. When the overskirt is taken off, a crisp, fashion-forward jumpsuit is revealed. It’s perfect for the bride looking to mix tradition with modernity.
For the Glamorous Bride: Galia Lahav Quinn Gown
Size: 34-48 | Materials: Tulle, beading | Length: Floor
If sparkle is your top priority for your wedding dress, we have the gown for you. The Galia Lahav number features a completely beaded bodice with a tulle overskirt. Take the overskirt off, and you have a sexy mermaid-style dress encrusted with crystals.
Best Allover Sparkle: Galina Signature Embellished Bridal Jumpsuit with Overskirt
Size: 0-14 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor
This embellished bridal jumpsuit demands attention. The subtle detachable overskirt is a romantic touch to this glittering look.
Most Romantic: Odylyne The Ceremony Mini Cosmos With Wrap Skirt
Size: 2-20 | Materials: Silk | Length: Floor, mini
It’s impossible not to fall for this modern, fairytale-esque gown from Odylyne The Ceremony. The dress has romantic elements such as the dramatic puff sleeves, the sweetheart neckline, and the oversized bow. The wrap skirt can be easily removed to transform this look into a sweet mini.
Best Subtle Embellishments: Imad Eduso Anne Sheath Dress
Size: 2-16 | Materials: Silk satin, tulle | Length: Floor
Pearl beading makes up the left cup of this gown, while the opposite side of the neckline has an architectural style to it. The long train can be taken off to turn this piece into a classic sheath dress.
Best Off-The-Shoulder: Jenny Yoo Eliza Gown
Size: 00-32 | Materials: Luxe taffeta | Length: Floor
You can’t go wrong with a classic ballgown, and this Jenny Yoo number allows for a surprisingly subtle convertible look. The off-the-shoulder straps can be hidden by tucking them under the arms.
Best Budget: Birdy Grey Spence Convertible Dress
Size: XS-3X | Materials: Polyester chiffon | Length: Floor
Convertible dresses can be pricey, but believe it or not this classic gown falls under $100. The dress can be worn in three different ways: strapless, cold-shoulder, or cap-sleeve.
Most Stylish: Reem Acra One-Shoulder Mini Dress
Size: 2-12 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Mini
Fashion risk-takers will love this modern draped mini from Reem Acra. The side train is detachable to make the dress a true mini option—perfect for dancing the night away.
Best Halterneck: Nadia Manjarrez Kikey Gown
Size: 2-12 | Materials: Embroidery | Length: Floor, knee-length
Made from hand applique 3D floral fabric, this halterneck gown from Nadia Manjarrez is a showstopping number. The gown starts as a tiered look, but turns into an elegant knee-length dress once the overskirt is removed.
Most Versatile: Hermione De Paula Wisteria Waterfall Mini Dress
Size: 6-20 | Materials: Tulle, silk organza | Length: Floor, mini
Why stop at just two looks? This Hermione De Paula gown gives you the option of three different bridal styles. It can be worn as a mini, a gown, or a mini with a train.
Most Party Ready: Galia Lahav Ellie Gown
Size: 32-49 | Materials: Silk, satin, organza | Length: Floor, mini
This contemporary gown from Galia Lahav will take you from the ceremony to the dance floor at a moment’s notice. We especially love the beaded and pearl-encrusted accent belt.
Best Feather-Detailing: Christopher Kane Bridal Feather-Trimmed Lace Gown
Size: 2-6 | Materials: Polyamide | Length: Floor
While it may seem like a subtle change, removing the detachable feather cuffs and collar, on this Christopher Kane gown, creates an entirely different look.
Best Cape Feature: Marchesa Jemma Gown
Size: Made to order | Materials: Embroidered lace | Length: Floor
Capes are always a bridal fashion trend that fits right in with convertible gowns. We love this option from Marchesa, featuring a floor-length cape that doubles as a train which can be removed after a formal ceremony.
What to Look for in a Convertible Wedding Dress
Convertible wedding dresses are made to help you seamlessly transition through different bridal looks on your big day, so when searching for this style of gown, focus on the transition itself. If the detachable pieces are fussy or hard to work with, it may be frustrating when you are trying to change at a quick pace. The goal is to have your outfit change be as stress-free as possible because that is the purpose of a convertible wedding dress. Also, make sure you are easily able to disguise any loops or hooks that may be visible once you take pieces off your gown.
What makes a wedding dress convertible?
A convertible wedding dress generally has detachable elements that allow it to transform from one look into another. These detachable pieces can range from a simple overskirt to a dramatic train or a statement sleeve.
Do convertible wedding dresses work for a formal wedding?
Convertible wedding dresses can work for a more traditional wedding as long as you pick the right dress. Many styles start full-length and then turn into minis, but if you are looking for something more conservative, try a detachable train or a sheath number underneath your overskirt.
How much do convertible wedding dresses cost?
Like any wedding gown, prices vary depending on fabric and intricacy. However, since you are getting multiple looks in one, the overall cost is generally more than a regular dress, ranging from $1500 to $2500. Nevertheless, you can still find more budget-friendly options, especially if you're just looking for a detachable train or something more simple.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Melony Forcier is a recent graduate starting her career path in beauty and fashion journalism. Before graduating, she interned with both Boston Magazine and Foundation PR. Additionally, she served as a fashion editor for Boston University's lifestyle magazine, The Buzz.