Can a Bridesmaid Change Her Dress During the Reception?
Don't put on a new gown without consulting the bride first.
Whether you're a bridesmaid who was asked to wear a dress you don't love or you're a dancing queen who likes to wear a specific cut in order to show off your best moves during the reception, you might be wondering if it's okay for you to change into a different style once the ceremony is over. While everyone has their different opinions on the matter, experts agree that there are certain circumstances where changing might make sense.
If you're on the fence about giving your bridesmaids the option of switching into another dress post-ceremony (or are thinking about asking the bride if she's okay with your changing!), here are some scenarios where experts say it could be warranted.
If the bride is okay with it.
At the end of the day, it should really be up to the bride, who the entire day is designed by and for. "If the bride's desire is for her bridesmaids to remain uniform and recognizable throughout the entire wedding experience, asking to change dresses at the reception is unnecessary," says Lindsey Sachs, a wedding planner and owner of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs.
If the group is wearing very specific dresses.
Leah Weinberg, wedding planner, owner, and executive planner at Color Pop Events, has seen the bridesmaids change at just one of her weddings, but it was due to a very specific set of circumstances. "It was an Indian wedding where the bridesmaids all wore saris for the ceremony," she explains. "The bride specifically told them that they could change into different outfits for dancing so that they would be more comfortable, which I thought was particularly considerate of the bride!"
If it's hot and humid.
Depending on the weather and whether or not the reception is being held outside, it may make sense for the bride to give her bridesmaids the option to change into more breathable dancing clothes. Melanie Tindell, owner and event planner at Oak & Honey Events, says, "I think especially for the summer months when we do plan a lot more outdoor affairs, it's not unusual to us that a member of the wedding party might want to get more comfortable after a formal ceremony, particularly if the weather is warm." Her advice? Ask them to change into dresses that still work with the overall color scheme of the day.
Their dress is uncomfortable.
Traditional bridesmaid's dresses, even if custom tailored, are not the epitome of comfort, explains Sachs. "Bridesmaids live in their wedding-day 'uniform' starting early in the day and often require a special bra and undergarments to guarantee the whole ensemble will look good in photos," she says. "The combination can get uncomfortable quickly, especially after hours of photos, socializing, and the pomp and circumstance of a wedding day." Changing into something more comfortable will help your bridesmaids relax, let loose, and enjoy the rest of the celebration without constraints of their dress.
The fit and style are not complementary.
"For many bridesmaids, the bride hand-selected dresses that suit her personal style and vision for the wedding, however, they don't complement each bridesmaid's body type or personal style," says Sachs. "Being uncomfortable in a dress all day can impact a bridesmaid's mood, self-esteem, and overall ability to truly enjoy the day, so it's no surprise a bridesmaid would look for an excuse to change."