The concept of having a reception dress in addition to one’s wedding dress is a concept that has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. Perhaps the most famous person who has opted for a separate dress to wear to their reception is Kate Middleton, who attended her reception in a lovely gown that was more tailored for partying than the gown she wore for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Of course given the sheer volume of her the dress she wore to the ceremony (not to mention the length of the train) it is no wonder that she would have changed!
This is not uncommon among those who have ornate or fancy weddings, or for those whose receptions will go on for hours and who plan on staying for the duration. If you really want to get down and party, then you may very well find that your wedding dress is more of a hindrance than a help.
The choice of whether or not you decide to opt for a reception dress will depend on a good many things, the most obvious one being, do you need it? If your wedding dress is ornate or has a long train or a bulkiness to it that you find uncomfortable, then a reception dress may be an excellent option.
By choosing a lighter, less cumbersome dress, you can relax to enjoy your party and everything that entails. On the other hand, by not wearing your wedding dress, you may find that you lose out on the traditions that come hand in hand with wearing your wedding dress to the reception, such as everyone recognizing you immediately; the whole tradition of pulling off the garter (which has more impact when it is done with a longer gown) and the elegant flow of a wedding dress as you take your places on the dance floor for your first dance as a married couple.
If your wedding dress is of a relatively simple design anyway, or is comfortable to wear, or if you simply like the dress and want to wear it as long as possible (get your money’s worth out of it) or even if you just like the idea of being the center of attention for the duration of your party, then do not feel obligated to purchase or wear a reception dress, for it is not a requirement, but rather an option that you can chose should you feel like adding a unique twist to your wedding.
Keep in mind that many wedding dresses come with things like detachable trains, dancing loops that will loop up trains to get them out of your way, as well as detachable skirts that will let you transform your long flowing wedding dress into a more manageable number as the evening progresses. The choice, of course, is yours, and you should go with what feels right for you, and which will help to create the wedding of your dreams.