The big debate – two dresses are better than one?

I have to admit – I’m having cold feet. I love my wedding dress – I really do. But I bought it before I really fell head over heels in love with the vintage theme. I know it’s still the best dress ever and I’ll still feel amazing in it – but there is a small part of me that toyed with the idea of a second dress to fit the theme, something shorter to dance in and more retro.

For logistical reasons (and the fact that I can’t justify spending that much on a dress only to take it off halfway through the night) I’ve decided against it (unless we win the lottery). But the discussion actually brought out some strong opinions on Twitter. So I thought we’d get it all out in the open!

Dress to impress

Batting for the “two dresses” team is Nathalie of Cake Boudoir. She feels that changing dresses keeps your guests guessing for that extra “wow” factor.

During a discussion on Twitter last week about wether or not to change wedding dresses during your big day, when asked what I thought, I instinctively shouted: ‘Yes please, change dress, be dramatic, be glamourous, be different every time, reinvent yourself on your wedding day, literally!’

So Sara asked me if I would be willing to put my thoughts  on changing dresses into a longer piece!

Since then I have had time to think my impulsive ‘shout out’ through and have come up with a number of reasons to go ahead and change your dress during your wedding day.

Show off your personality

First of all, I think changing dresses is a very fun and playful idea. It’s your one and only big day! It’s the day when you’re free to be an exquisite, colourful and adventurous version of yourself, to really show off your style and really be happy!

You can for instance make changing into different frocks an actual part of the theme of your special day, almost as if you are a chameleon, and really keep the ‘wow’ factor going amongst your guests. It will be a continuous surprise for them and it will keep you feeling like all eyes are on you! And they truly will be!

Think about the  budget

This whole changing into different dresses thing obviously raises the budget question: How is this possible unless you have a budget to match your creativity? I think budget proves a struggle for most people organising their wedding! I once made a cake for an Abu Dhabi bride who got married in a castle in Rome. She kept changing dresses all day long and it suited the Preston Baily style decorated venue.

Needless to say these people had a huge budget. But why let a small budget get in the way of what you want? There’s creative ways to solve this! A brilliant alternative for multiple dresses is a convertible gown that will allow you the different looks. There are dresses with detatching train or the ballgown skirt that can be taken off showing a more streamlined skirt underneath.

Comfort and culture

The reason for changing  dresses can also be very practical. It might just be very nice to slip into a very comfortable frock for reception and evening party, especially when the weather is hot or breathing is almost impossible in the corset of your gown.

And last but not least, changing  dresses might just be part of cultural traditions. A Chinese bride changes dress three times: She starts off with a western style white wedding gown, at the tea ceremony she wears a traditional Chinese bridal dress and finally she changes into a cocktail dress, also called a ‘see guests off’ dress or ‘Song Ke”.

Images © PhotoGlow, (@photoglow on Twitter). The rest of the shoot with these lovely Jenny Packham and Ian Stuart gowns at Ellenborough Park in Gloucestershire can be seen in wedding gallery 1 and wedding gallery 2.

Stick with “the one”

And for the “one dress” team, it’s Stef of The Bridal Geek fame, who thinks that less is more when it comes to your special day!

Don’t be greedy

Frills, lace, taffeta, silk, chiffon, netting, beading, bling…whatever you are obsessing over, for the love or hate of it, these are the instrumental pieces to your one and only wedding dress. The only dress in your entire life which will actually cost more than your car, and you will only get to wear this once – well, hopefully! It is an integral part of your day; it is the centrepiece as much as you as the bride are, so why oh why would you have more than one?!

I just can’t get my head around it, why take the most important dress you will probably ever wear and cheapen it by putting another dress on? Is it greed? Is it attention? Whatever the reason, it’s not on. I am totally for ONE dress for your ONE day.

The problem with weddings is that we all tend to get a little carried away. Chair covers for perfectly good seats, a sweet bar because dessert isn’t enough and individually labeled bath bombs for every guest just so they have something. These are extravagant parts of your day to share with everyone, but having more than one dress is a selfish, frivolous extra. This is not something to share with your guests or even with your new husband; it is a blatant attempt to show off, to parade either the amount of money you have or your figure.

It’s about the love

You can be pretty sure that all the guests at a wedding where the bride has more than one dress are thinking – ‘she loves herself’ or ‘it’s more about her than him’ so why belittle your day by making it all about how many dresses you could afford? All you are doing by having a second, third or fourth dress is making your wedding, the ‘bride’ show, when it should be about you as a couple.

I mean, has any wedding where just the bride changed into another dress worked – you don’t want to end up like Kim Kardashian, she changed in the evening, and now she is divorced! Ok, maybe that is a little harsh, but there is a reason why we have one dress for your one day, it’s supposed to be special! By changing, you are taking away all of that magic and just letting your guests judge you.

‘Oh I just want the wow factor again and again’ you may be saying, well you are missing the point of getting married and having a wedding day. It’s about the wedding not about you getting your kicks.

Your dress should be “the one”

Last night I pulled out my own dress for perusal and questioned myself – “would I have liked another”? I let the chiffon spill across my bed as I carefully lifted it from the hanger. I was hit with feelings of happiness and longing. Longing for another day like that and happiness of the day I married my man. For that dress represents what no other object of my wedding can, it encapsulates everything, the beginning of our marriage, the joy of everyone around me and the best day of my life. It is that one dress that pulls together everything for me and this is why we only have one. For there is nothing in the world like pulling on that corset, feeling marvellously beautiful.

Did you change dresses for your big day? Do you think it’s an opportunity to show your personality or that one dress is enough for one gal! I’d love to hear where you stand!

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