Some brides like to get a separate dress for the reception. It can be a more playful look to match a party atmosphere or a simpler number just to be rid of the pouf and train. Even the most mainstream bridal designers have caught onto this need and offer tons of options for short dresses.
Walk down the aisle... (source)
... then dance the night away! (source)
However, having a seamstress put in a bustle — in which the train is lifted up onto the back of the gown via ribbons, hooks or buttons — has become the norm in solving the moving-around issue.
In my case, the main reason for getting a second dress is cultural. The traditional Chinese wedding dress is called a cheongsam/qipao (or some variation on those spellings) and is usually worn today by brides during the reception. The dress usually features red and gold, and some pretty phoenix or floral design.
An example of a cheongsam. (source)
A Weddingbee blogger decided on a cheongsam for her wedding and describes the experience very well (complete with lots of photos!). Formerly a co-host of "The View," journalist Lisa Ling even put a modern spin on the look for her wedding.
Making the dress change has been done in about half of my family's weddings (the few I've been alive for). Two aunts and a cousin decided to make the switch out of their white dresses for their Chinese banquets (sorry, no photos since they happened in the days of non-digital film and they're at my parents' house).
And that brings up another question: How often does a bride wear something so traditional if she's not having a Chinese reception? (The traditional-ness of the reception is a whole other issue, but as of now, we're looking into other options.) I wonder if it would look out of place or cheesy.
For now, I'm shying away from getting a cheongsam, but there's also something to be said for keeping some tradition in such a big celebration.
Do you think I should get a second dress and why?
P.S. There is another reason why a two-dress bride you may be, but that's usually a matter of shopping, hehe!