When I started planning my wedding I never at any point thought I would end up buying two wedding dresses. But I have. And before you start questioning my sanity or wondering which bank I robbed to pay for these dresses – hear me out. I did have a practical reason in mind when I bought my second wedding dress, and I didn’t blow our wedding budget to do it.
The benefits of buying two wedding dresses
I decided to buy two wedding dresses because we’re having a ceilidh at our reception. I managed to get my absolute dream dress for my wedding and the more I thought about dancing in it (especially ceilidh dancing in it!) the more I started to panic about it getting damaged. Now I know loads of people manage to ceilidh dance in long dresses every year, and I also know that it’s my wedding dress and I’ll only get one opportunity to wear it. However, the thought of ripping, staining or somehow damaging the dream dress I never thought I’d be able to buy in a million years (more of that in a minute!) makes me break out in a cold sweat.
Yes I know it’s only a dress but this one dress turns into a huge deal in a wedding. It’s what you’re wearing when you marry the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with. It’s what you wear as you leave your single life and enter your married one. Of course this doesn’t just apply to a wedding dress – it’s whatever you’ve decided to wear to make that commitment. I realise I’m completely romanticising this whole thing, but I put a ridiculous amount of sentimental value on clothes. It’s really stupid. I can tell you exactly what I was wearing on my first date with Chris, and I still own it. Hell, I still have a pair of trainers I got when I was 15 out of my dad’s sports shop just because it was the last thing I bought from there before he died. I’m now beginning to sound like a crazy person. Moving swiftly on.
Apart from being a slightly deranged romantic who will clearly never be able to put her wedding dress into storage, I’m also incredibly clumsy and my drink of choice is red wine. Combined with ceilidh dancing in a long dress it’s really a disaster waiting to happen. So I opted to buy a fairly inexpensive, shorter (and very fun!) dress for our evening reception.
Of course there are other perfectly good reasons for opting to buy two dresses. Maybe you’re wearing your mother’s wedding dress, or a dress passed down through the family for your ceremony, but want something that reflects your style a little more for the reception. Or maybe you don’t think you will feel entirely comfortable in a long heavy dress all day (although you should really attempt to be comfortable in what you’re wearing for your wedding!). Maybe you’re in the lucky position where you can’t decide between two dresses and have the budget to buy both!
At the end of the day it’s you and your partner’s wedding, and you shouldn’t let anyone judge you for doing what makes you feel happy/comfortable.
My ceremony dress
The dream dress! When I first got engaged I saw this dress on some wedding site and fell head over heels in love with it. But it’s a Jenny Packham dress and I’m on a tight budget so I didn’t think for a minute I would ever be able to afford its ivory gorgeousness!
For months I looked through websites and visited a few shops to try and find something I liked as much. In the end I started looking on Preloved to see if I could see anything that caught my eye (second hand wedding dresses do not bother me one bit. If you love it, it’s in good condition and it saves you money – go for it!). And then the miracle happened (dramatic, yes). A shop in England was selling my dream dress, for half its original price.
It was the shop sample dress and had been tried on a few times, but never worn. And it was in my size. Safe to say I got down there as fast as humanly possible to try it on. Must have been fate because it was every bit as perfect as the photographs and I bought it without hesitating!
I’m planning to wear this dress to the ceremony, the meal and for our first dance (neither of us can do anything past a quick twirl so I’m not overly concerned about that dance!). Then I plan to change into my other little wedding dress bargain.
My reception dress
I bought my reception dress from eBay. I’m probably risking judgement from certain friends and family for saying this but I am so absolutely thrilled with my purchase! The woman who was selling it had bought it as her wedding dress, had it altered to fit, and then changed her mind about wearing it.
The measurements she provided seemed to be in line with my measurements so I hit the Buy It Now button. Now I have it, it does need a little adjustment here and there, but nothing major and certainly nothing I’m going to moan about considering it’s a dress from eBay!
It’s actually a Tobi Hannah dress (they are all so gorgeous!) and it cost me over a thousand pounds less than it would have if I bought it new.
The dress is really fun, cute and everything I could want for a reception dress. I think, if you’re buying two wedding dresses, you can have a bit more fun with the second one – especially if you’re going shorter. It’s definitely not something I think anyone would have ever pictured me in!
My favourite short (and inexpensive!) wedding dresses
Obviously I’m not going to post pictures of my wedding dresses here until after the wedding, just in case my supportive fiancé is having a nosy, but while I was searching I did find some really great, shorter wedding dresses that might give you some inspiration if you’re thinking about getting a second dress!