Fashion

15 evening wedding dresses for the modern bride-to-be

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Harriet Davey
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As seen on Meghan Markle and Hailey Bieber, switching up your bridal style with a second evening wedding dress is a major bridal trend. Whether you’re planning an alternative wedding or a traditional affair, we’ve found the fashion-forward dresses that will transform your look for the evening reception. 

Your wedding: your rules. Modern brides are saying ‘goodbye’ to wedding conventions and creating their own traditions to celebrate their big day. From more-is-more wedding decor to ceremonies in decadent destinations, in 2020 couples are using their wedding day to express themselves and celebrate their relationship in a more personal way than ever before. 

When it comes to self expression, what better way than to make a statement than with your dress? Indeed, when it comes to choosing your dream wedding dress, why stop at one? Whether you plan on wearing a traditional bridal gown or a stand-out alternative dress for your ceremony, more and more brides are now also choosing a second dress to wear for the evening wedding reception.

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An evening outfit change provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your personal style and wear a more unusual, but no less elegant style. Unlike the gown worn for the ceremony, the joy of the evening dress is that it is typically less restrictive and more casual, meaning you can move freely and hit the dance floor without fear of ripping or tearing your elaborate wedding dress. Why not even switch out your bridal heels and style your evening dress with a pair of trainers for a Hailey Bieber-approved take on bridal-cool.

As we become increasingly environmentally conscious, sustainability has become a huge consideration when it comes to wedding planning. From choosing ethical engagement rings to plant-based menus, we’re finding more and more ways to celebrate love without harming the planet. Though it doesn’t lack in bridal elegance, the perfect evening wedding dress is one that is versatile enough to be worn again and again, and timeless enough to be loved for years to come. 

Meghan Markle wearing Stella McCartney dress
Meghan Markle wearing Stella McCartney dress

Presenting a master class in the bridal style switch up, Meghan Markle choose a sleek Stella McCartney dress to take her into the evening, after wearing a custom made Givenchy dress for her wedding to Prince Harry. The style proved so popular that Stella McCartney has even created a replica dress for brides everywhere - keep scrolling to add this elegant style straight to your basket. 

Feeling inspired? Whether you’re recently engaged or happily sologamous, these are the stunning evening wedding dresses that you’ll want to screenshot now and add straight to your wedding mood board. 

Best evening wedding guest dresses

  • John Richmond

    Best evening wedding dresses: John Richmond
    Best evening wedding dresses: John Richmond

    Are you a bride who’s more likely to describe the wedding reception as the after party? With glamorous chainmail fringing along the shoulders and sleeves, this ivory satin mini dress is what dance floors were made for. 

    Shop John Richmond chain fringe trim mini dress at Farfetch, £351

  • Stella McCartney stretch-crepe halterneck gown

    Image of Stella McCartney dress
    Evening wedding dresses: Stella McCartney halterneck dress

    If you’re thinking that this one looks the same as Meghan Markle’s evening dress that that’s because it (pretty much) is. Meghan’s ivory halterneck dress got so much attention Stella McCartney created a version for us all - now if that’s not a reference worth channeling on your wedding day, we don’t know what is. 

    Shop Stella McCartney crepe halterneck gown at Net-A-Porter, £3,500

  • Johanna Ortiz

    Image of Johanna Ortiz yellow dress
    Evening wedding dresses: Johanna Ortiz cotton dress

    We see this one as being the ultimate summer wedding dress. If you’ve planning a destination wedding then this fitted style with sleek belt and one-shoulder detail will be a guaranteed to stun against a tropical sunset in a beachy setting. 

    Shop Johanna Ortiz eyelet cotton dress at My Theresa, £1,209

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Images courtesy of brands. 

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Harriet Davey

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