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.
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.
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
David Koma’s dresses always strike the perfect balance between feminine and powerful, and this sequinned rose gold midi dress is no exception. The corset detail on the body feels suitably dramatic for evening while an underskirt of champagne-toned tulle adds the perfect bridal touch.
Can’t choose between playful or elegant? Why compromise when you can do both in this chainmail T-shirt dress by British design maverick Christopher Kane. The loose fit may feel relaxed but the exquisite white ostrich feather trim offers some serious old-Hollywood glamour.
Planning a city wedding? This ruched jersey mini dress hits all the right style notes for a chic champagne reception. Cut for a close fit, this dress drapes the body to stunning effect. With padded shoulders and a plunging neckline this dress dials up the drama after dark like no other.
Rotate Birger Chirstensen
A little sparkle never hurt nobody. When the lights dim, get ready to glisten on the dance floor in this silver sequin covered wrap dress by cool Copenhagen label Rotate. Style yours with a classic red lip and gold jewellery for a breathtaking evening ensemble.
A white denim dress brings all the fun to the reception party, but doesn’t feel any less elegant. Though the fabric may feel casual, a structured shape, contrast stitch detailing and puff sleeves give this Alexander McQueen dress all the sophistication that you want to channel on your big day.
Who said wedding dresses have to be white? Whatever colour you choose for your ceremony, go bold with your evening look in this sensational floor-sweeping gown.
Molly Goddard’s dramatic tulle dresses are the stuff of our wildest fashion fantasies. Create your very own red carpet moment in this stunning fashion editor-approved take on the fairytale gown.
London-based label Halpern’s Studio 54-worthy designs are the perfect choice for the fashion-forward bride. The mini length and high neck of this sleek white dress give it a chic 1960s vibe, while the lashings of glittering white sequins will glisten beautifully under the light.
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.
Stella McCartney stretch-crepe halterneck gown
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.
Another colourful option, this fresh green dress is the perfect piece for the bride want doesn’t want to wear white but is anxious when it comes to going too bold with colour. Style with square-toed heels, statement earrings and voilà.
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The silk slip dress is a match made in heaven for a minimalist bride. This lilac hue is the perfect shade for a summer wedding or beachy ceremony. Stick to simple, delicate accessories to keep it super sleek.
Dresses aren’t the only bridal option. A chic jumpsuit can be just as sophisticated, and will get your guests talking for all the right reasons. Case in point, this embellished, low back jumpsuit by the undisputed queen of evening elegance, Jenny Packham.
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.
Images courtesy of brands.