When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry married this May, the fashion world–and the world in general–had their eyes on her simple but timeless custom Givenchy wedding dress.
But it was her reception dress afterward–a modern, high neck, open-back Stella McCartney dress–that started an American craze for her style.
You don’t have to be royalty to long for both a wedding and reception dress–but should you go for two dresses?
What are the benefits of having a wedding and reception dress?
There are many reasons a bride might opt for two dresses instead of one. Some brides wear more modest dresses for religious ceremonies and want something that shows their figure more for the reception. Others fell in love with a gorgeous ball gown but also want something sleek to dance the night away in.
Still others simply want to be able to wear both a fitted and princess style, or want something decidedly bridal for their ceremony and to wow with some sparkle at the reception.
What are some downsides to the two-dress option?
The most obvious one is cost. A single wedding dress is an investment; adding a reception dress is just that much more. It’s important to be realistic and keep your budget in mind: are you willinging to cut back somewhere else for a second dress? Ranking things in your budget by order of importance might help you reach your decision.
One way to still score a reception dress too and stay within budget? Shop sample sales and at boutiques that offer scores wedding dresses around $1,000 and under.
The other downside: time. It takes time to change into and out of a wedding dress, which cuts into your time at the reception. Also, if you really love your wedding dress, you’ll have less time to enjoy it.