Multiple wedding dresses for Meghan, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears – more people are saying yes to two or more outfits for their big day
- Wearing multiple wedding dresses, common in Asia, is catching on in the West, with Meghan Markle, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears hopping on the trend
- Industry insiders explain why some brides are choosing to wear two or more dresses on their big day, and how you can do it too – no matter your budget
Finding the perfect wedding dress is a sacred rite of passage – so much so that it has been immortalised in a popular reality television show, Say Yes To The Dress.
These days, though, a bride’s search does not have to end with just one dress.
“This is the moment they have been waiting for all their lives, and finding the ultimate dress is a big part of the experience. It can become a problem when a bride discovers that she loves more than one dress,” says Carolyn Chow, founder of Hong Kong-based bridal boutique Central Weddings.
“Instead of being forced to choose, more are opting to buy multiple gowns that they can wear throughout the day. It’s a big trend with celebrities too.”
“There are many things to consider when choosing multiple outfits,” says Caroline Burstein, founder and CEO of London bridal boutique Browns Bride.
“Functionality is the main reason most of our brides are looking for a separate look on their big day; if a bride has chosen a voluminous gown with a long train and restrictive elements such as sleeves, she is quite likely to opt for an outfit that she can move around in more comfortably later in the evening.
“Ultimately, a bride’s personality and own individual style should influence every outfit choice.”
Take Lopez, who recently married US actor Ben Affleck at a private ceremony in Las Vegas.
At the time of press it was still unknown who designed that dress.
The outfits were polar opposites in look and feel. One was elegant and slightly risqué, while the other was more traditional and, dare we say it, demure – perhaps to reflect two sides of the bride’s personality.
She donned a similar version in white for the ceremony that followed but matched it with a more traditional lace veil embroidered with the Virgin Mary.
Spears, meanwhile, chose four ensembles for her wedding to Sam Ashgari. The first gown, designed by Versace, was elegant and conservative and reportedly took a whopping 700 hours to make.
The dresses that followed were in keeping with the singer’s sexy style and party girl persona, and included a skintight red mini dress and black, blazer-inspired mini dress.
“A key thing to ensure when considering multiple gowns would be being able to justify a change of outfit – there wouldn’t be much point in changing into another outfit that is near identical to the first look,” says Burstein.
“If a bride has decided to have an outfit change, our best advice would be to focus on the main dress and let this gown influence the additional looks.”
Chow adds: “It comes down to how the bride wants to look and feel in each gown. It helps if the bride has multiple events during the wedding day. I’ve seen many brides change outfits for toasting or dancing, but honestly there are no strict rules.”
Hong Kong bride Charlene Ng is following in Spears’ footsteps for her wedding in September, and has settled on five gowns, including two different dresses.
“It sounds like a lot, but I really wanted different looks for certain parts of the day. My march-in dress is a lot grander than my ceremony gown, as I wanted to make more of an impact,” she says.
“I chose each dress for different reasons – some reflect elements of my personal style, whereas others are more practical. Some people may think it’s too much, but brides these days are more empowered to wear what we want and feel good in,” says the 30-something bride-to-be.
For those who do not have a celebrity budget, the multiple dress trend can still work if you plan accordingly.
“Playing with different accessories is an easy way to create different looks,” says Chow. “We have also noticed convertible dresses becoming more popular. Brides can play around with the sleeves or even remove parts of the skirt to create a different look without having to fork out on a separate dress.”