Some brides are saying yes to two dresses

by Jacqueline Mitchell

Finding the perfect wedding dress is a momentous task for any bride. Some women are taking this a step further by debuting not one but two looks on their big day: one for the ceremony, and one for the reception.

“I think it’s a trend, but I don’t think it’s as big as they’re making it out to be,” said Patrice Catan, owner of Catan Fashions, a 6,300-square-foot bridal salon in Broadview Heights. She said about five percent of her customers come to her looking for two wardrobe options for their big day.

“They want to look very formal for the ceremony, and they want to look party-like for the evening,” said Catan.

If a bride chooses to wear another dress at the reception, one advantage is she can wear that dress again in the future, Catan said. Brides often choose a reception dress that is “pretty glitzy,” she said: “And if it’s not glitzy, the jewelry and accessories are pretty glitzy.” She sees brides leaning towards mermaid style or a straight silhouette for their second look.

However, Catan suggested a more cost-effective option for brides who want two different styles: a two-in-one dress.

“I think if you combine two into one, you’re economically better off,” she said.

There are a few options for two-in-one dresses.

“You could have two dresses in one by putting an overskirt on it that billows out for the ceremony, then taking the overskirt off for the reception,” said Catan.

Another option is a slip dress with two parts: a satin dress underneath, and a removable overlay on top. Brides can remove the overlay for the reception for a completely new look.

“Belt it with a rhinestone belt with big jewelry to give it an after-5 look,” Catan said.

No matter what dress a bride chooses, Catan said to make sure to go to somebody who is educated in fashion. Catan Fashions hosts a seminar the last Sunday of every month at 10 a.m. (excluding December due to the holidays) dedicated to all things bridal fashion.

“We talk about everything they need to know about purchasing a gown and accessories,” said Catan.

She recommends brides try on all different styles, as most are not used to wearing formal gowns. Then, with the help of a stylist, they can determine what looks best on their figure.