Transforming Wedding Dresses

Transforming wedding dress

One of the newest trends in wedding attire is for brides to have a wedding dress with some transformative aspect to it. This can provide an added excitement and versatility factor, as well as a fun surprise for you to reveal to your guests—and maybe even your spouse—on the big day. The idea can take many forms, whether that be a top piece with sleeves for the ceremony that comes off to reveal a strapless number for the reception or a removable full tulle skirt that reveals a fitted mermaid silhouette underneath. These fun and fabulous two-for-one numbers are making a big splash in the wedding world right now. But would something like this make sense for you and your wedding dress needs? What are the pros and cons of choosing such a gown?


transforming wedding dress short

As stated above, having a dress that has a removable piece or provides some other such transformation gives you the “wow factor” of having two different (sometimes very different!) looks for the ceremony and the reception, which in itself is an exciting aspect to add to your big day. It can be super fun to surprise your guests with a brand new look when you and your new spouse enter the reception for the first time, too! But another obvious bonus to this idea? Cost! Since you’re not actually having to purchase two separate gowns, you essentially get two wedding dresses for the price of one! If you’re unsure about whether you’d prefer a strapless or a sleeved look, having a dress that’s able to achieve both can give you BOTH of your dream dresses in one piece. This way you don’t have to break the bank to get the exact look you desire.

A double-duty dress can also fulfill a practical purpose. If you want to have a traditional church wedding, which may require a certain dress code for yourself and your sweetheart, but you also always wanted to wear a sexy, strapless, mermaid number, having the ability to transform your dress might be the perfect solution. A sleeved bolero will be a great option for the Cathedral, and it can be easily removed for a sassier, strapless look for the reception. Or do you love the idea of a classic “princess” ball gown silhouette but dread the thought of having to get it bustled to prep for your dance moves at the reception? A removable tulle skirt with a sleek shape underneath will fit the bill to let you have the princess look you desire while still allowing you to easily bust a move on the dance floor later.


One potential con to the transforming dress look is that there is simply less time for people to see you (or for your photographer to take photos of you) in each look. If you’re using one look for the ceremony and one for the reception, it’s likely that you’ll spend much more one-on-one time with guests in your reception attire. So if you’d prefer for them to see you in the other style, you might not be happy with having transformed before you were able to hug everyone and have them admire your gorgeous skirt or stunning sleeves.

wedding budget

Another thing to consider is the potential extra cost for alterations. My wedding dress had a beautiful lace A-line overlay for the ceremony, which was able to be removed to reveal a trumpet style bottom for the reception. Although the price to make the overlay removable was far, far less than it would’ve been to purchase a whole new dress, there definitely was an added expense to creating this aspect since it was a custom addition and not a part of the original dress design. And if your look requires an additional piece such as a bolero with sleeves, there will certainly be a fee for that item to be added to your dress. At the end of the day, the amount to add a custom feature to your dress isn’t likely to be comparable to a separate gown, but if price is a large factor in your planning, it is important to remember that anything that isn’t a standard alteration will have to be factored into your budget.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you as to whether you’d like to stick with one look for the day or choose a dress that has some form of a transformation factor involved. If the cost of alterations or the potential lack of time in each separate look isn’t going to fit into your vision for the day, then this might be a trend for you to skip. But if the versatility and “wow factor” of a two-for-one dress seems up your alley, then definitely talk to your bridal consultant or seamstress about the potential options there. With the right tweaks or additions to your gown, you might just end up with two perfect wedding day looks in one!

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