Why The Second Wedding Dress Has Become A Wedding Must

Photo by Alex Bramall/PA Wire/Shutterstock

When Princess Eugenie stepped out on to the steps of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in her stunning Peter Pilotto gown, we knew this dress was the first of two that would be worn by the royal bride. No we didn’t have an inside tip, but it’s has become a royal tradition since Kate Middleton changed into her second Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress in 2011; Meghan Markle also did the same, swapping her elegant and demure Givenchy for a sexy Stella McCartney halter gown.

Royals, it turns out, are just like us as the second dress has become an essential for many brides. We hailed the trend as one of the biggest bridal style stories for 2018 and it has increasingly gained momentum with famous just-marrieds like Eugenie, Meghan and Chiara Ferragni (she wore three dresses!) We asked Andrea Anastasiou, owner of White Toronto and White Montreal, for her thoughts on the second dress, why it’s become a trend and how to make the wedding dress switch-up work for you.

What did you think of Princess Eugenie’s second dress for her reception designed by Zac Posen and why was it a perfect complement to the Peter Pilotto gown she wore for the ceremony?
“I loved the softness and fluidity of her second dress. The Zac Posen gown reflects her strong fashion sense and although modest in neckline it was quite sexy and youthful with a 1930s-influenced fitted bodice, which beautifully highlighted her figure. It was a compete contrast to the classic detailing  and structured silhouette of her ceremony gown, which was formal and held up a number of traditional details for that part of her wedding day: a long train, covered arms and a full skirt. It was maybe not a perfect fit for a fun reception but her second dress definitely was and this is exactly the reason many brides today are choosing to go with two gowns.”

Why is the second dress now a bridal essential? Are most brides doing it?
“Second dresses are becoming a big thing for modern brides. I think its a very individual choice. Some brides will choose a fuller ballgown shape for their ceremony and really want to be able to move and dance at the reception. Some are torn between two looks and want to be able to wear both on the day. The second dress is often lighter or shorter.”

What should a bride consider when buying a second dress? Also, what if you want a second gown but budget is tight? Any savvy shopping tips?
“If your budget allows for a second gown I think the gown needs to have a huge wow factor. It should be an obvious contrast to your first dress and perhaps a sexier design to make a style statement. If your budget allows for a spectacular gown change then go for it! I really feel a second dress is about elevating your look and should truly be an incredible, memorable change up from your ceremony gown. A great way to find a standout second dress is to be savvy with sample sales where you can score a great gown for less. Also, more and more short or modern gowns are on offer, which are a great choice and you can wear them after the wedding.”

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