A wedding day costume change is a modern idea that’s executed when a bride wears two (or more) gowns during her wedding day.

The idea of changing gowns during the wedding is meant to show off a few bridal looks while maintaining functionality and comfort during the celebration. A bride might arrive at the altar in her “main” ceremony wedding dress but then change into more of a casual white gown for the reception. According to Brides.com, the reception dress is often referred to as a “second look.”

A bride could change gowns because she wants to dress up and display a few beautiful white dresses on her special day (as she should), or for functionality during the reception.

While this idea may seem like an additional expense (we all know that wedding gowns can put a large dent in the budget), there are many price-friendly options to consider. The second look is typically more simple, chic, less detailed, and overall much less expensive than a bride’s dream ceremony wedding dress.

Fashion sense aside, it’s important to feel very comfortable in your second wedding dress. Functionality and movement for dancing and partying is a priority for this gown, while remaining elegant and bridal.

Before executing the wedding day costume change, here are a few tips to remember…

1. Appoint a right-hand woman

Make sure one of your bridesmaids or your maid of honor will be available after the ceremony to help you slip into your second dress. She will help you properly place each gown without the added stress of needing to fix your hair and makeup after. We all can relate to the pain of discovering a makeup stain on our favorite shirt, and you do NOT want that to happen to your wedding gown.

2. Hair and makeup backup

In the event that your hair and makeup do need to be fixed (it happens!), make sure that your makeup artist/ hair stylist/ a talented friend is around to help you make lip gloss and hair styling adjustments. After all, a makeup touch up may be due by this time anyway.

3. Undergarments

If your second dress requires a different set of undergarments than your first wedding gown, make sure that you have them set out and ready before the ceremony begins. This is a great rule of thumb to make sure that the “costume change” is quick, easy, and painless before you return to partying with the people you love.

4. Fittings

It goes without saying, but make sure that all fittings for BOTH gowns are taken care of before the wedding. This may mean a last-minute fitting in the weeks leading up to the wedding just to be sure that everything still fits exactly how you’d like.

5. Photo opportunities

Make sure to set up plenty of photo opportunities in both dresses. While many snaps are going to be taken during the ceremony and the professional photo hour, you will likely want plenty of snaps in your second dress during the reception.

6. Proper storage

Double check that once you’ve taken off your ceremony dress it is properly hung in a safe place away from any potential spills or mishaps. Also make sure that whoever is responsible for gathering all your items at the end of the night (wedding planner, bridesmaid, family member, etc) knows to grab your first dress (and to handle it carefully!).

If your budget allows a second dress is a great way to really make the best of your bridal moment, allowing you to push some fashion boundaries you wanted to, or offer you more freedom to dance the night away. Afterall, just because you only have one wedding (hopefully) doesn’t mean you should only have one dress.

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