Wedding Reception Dresses to Suit All Styles

Mix up your look by changing into a wedding reception dress to party the night away with. We have 27 beautiful gowns to inspire you

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Have you decided you want two wedding dresses? We’re totally on board with that – the more wedding dresses the better we say. You could always go for a two in one, transformable wedding dress or you could change your look completely by swapping your gown for a new wedding reception dress – we’ve picked out our favourites, whether you want a dramatic, glamorous, flirty or laidback look for your party.

If You’re Dramatic…

Vamp up your look for the reception with a daring and dramatic reception dress. Go for lots of glitter or dark colours for a total contrast and no one will be able to take their eyes off you.

This incredible swirl-detailed dress from Gibson Bespoke on Etsy is completely breath-taking. Take inspiration from the shot below and consider this if you’re tying the knot at a seaside wedding venue.

Green sparkly wedding reception dress from Gibson Bespoke

If the green tones are too outlandish for you, the gold version might be more suitable. This glamorous gown would be a stunning choice to swap a 1920s style wedding dress for as it has that old Hollywood, glamorous feel.

Gold glitter wedding reception dress from Gibson Bespoke

Maybe you want to be your own ‘something blue’ on your wedding day? The Charlie dress from Phase Eight can help you with that. This striking blue ombre gown is perfect for partying the night away.

Blue ombre sparkly reception dress from Phase Eight

Those who still want a traditional feel for their reception dress should take a closer look at the Louise dress, also by Phase Eight. It has a classic bridal feel but the elaborate detailing makes it party-perfect.

Embellished reception dress from Phase Eight

Make a statement with a striking plunge neckline – these gowns from Black by littleblackdress.co.uk certainly have a dramatic flair. We love how it also comes in bridal white, but we’re huge fans of the inky purple shade.

Statement wedding reception dress in purple and bridal white by Black by littleblackdress.co.uk

Brides looking for a bit of gothic glamour will love the Marseilles gown from Phase Eight. The floaty sleeves are super flattering and the dramatic detail means it’s a departure from the traditional bridal look. If this is right up your street, be sure to browse our edit of gothic wedding dresses.

Dramatic gothic style wedding reception dress from Phase Eight

If the party doesn’t start until you walk in, make sure you walk in in style in this glittering, rose gold toned creation, also by Phase Eight. The Raphael has an on trend halterneck and flattering detailing across the bodice. Imagine it shimmering as you do your first dance.

Glittery halterneck wedding reception dress from Phase Eight

This powder blue, sparkly dress from River Island will glitter under the lights at your wedding reception and dazzle your guests. Switch up your wedding hairstyle as you go from day to night – an up do will help to show off all the detailing.

Powder blue maxi dress from River Island

Accessorise It

It’s not enough to just have the dramatic dress, you need the finishing touches too. If you have a classic, nude bridal manicure for the day, sweep some sparkling dark polish like the one below, from New Look, over the top. Lashings of YSL’s Shocking mascara, available from Littlewoods, will give your eyes a smoky feel and a slick of dark lipstick – we love the matte velvet lipstick in plum by Marks & Spencer – will add some night time glamour. Spritz yourself with a distinctive perfume, like Alien by Thierry Mugler (available from The Fragrance Shop), and you’re good to go.

Accessories moodboard for a dramatic wedding reception dress

If You’re Flirty…

Wearing a traditional wedding dress all day is a dream come true for lots of brides, but if you want to mix it up for the evening consider a fun and flirty shorter dress with some cute accessories.

This Essie dress from Forever Unique is so pretty. The floral detailing on the bodice is eye-catching and a great way to work even more flowery ideas into your wedding. Make sure you do plenty of twirling on the dance floor in the flared skirt.

Short, floral wedding reception dress from Forever Unique

If you want a classic bridal feel but still want to get your legs out, the Seraphina from Monsoon could be ideal. The vintage style wedding dress is inspired by a 60s shift and has beautiful beading on the neckline and sleeves.

Short wedding reception dress with neck and sleeve detail from Monsoon

The Faith gown from Dynasty London is a great choice for those looking for a lace wedding dress that isn’t too formal. As well as being a beautiful reception dress, this blush toned gown could be a great wedding dress for a mature bride who doesn’t want anything too traditional.

Blush toned wedding reception dress from Dynasty London

Party girls will love the Izzy from Rent Rock Return – and it’s budget friendly as you can rent the gown for your special occasion at a fraction of the cost price and return it after, so technically you’re not really buying two dresses. Browse our edit of famous shoes to find the perfect ones to pair with it.

Sparkly short reception dress from RentRockReturn

Dance up a storm in this white lace dress from Sonia H. If you’re wearing a wedding dress for the day but want something more comfortable but still stylish to party in, this is the one for you.

Casual white lace dress for a wedding reception from SoniaH

Accessorise It

Have fun with the accessories for your flirty reception dress. We love this pale pink clutch bag from Accessorize; ideal for stashing your bridal emergency kit in. The pretty pastel bracelet from Cielle London is something that you’ll wear time and time again – and it’ll match the pastel tones of the cute T-bar Cliopatra heels from Dune perfectly. Add a bolder pop of colour with a kissable lip gloss, like the Wild Orchid shade from Iconic London. Finally, spray yourself with some Princess by Vera Wang (available from The Fragrance Shop) – after all, you can be a princess on your wedding day!

Accessory board for a flirty wedding reception dress

If You’re Glamorous…

Imagine everyone’s faces turn to look at you as you enter the evening reception. They’re anticipating your big entrance but not a fabulous new dress for the party, even more sparkly than the last. Imagine the gasps and the admiring glances – if this sounds like your kind of entrance, these are the dresses for you.

The figure hugging Arabella from Dynasty London will cling to your curves and look amazing as you sashay into the evening party. Make sure you have lots of lighting at your venue to catch all the dazzling detail as you move.

Arabella wedding reception dress from Dynasty London

If you didn’t fancy a pink wedding dress but you wanted to mix it up for the reception, the pastel pink Belarina gown from Dynasty London could be perfect. The soft pink skirt will flow as you move and the glitter detail will keep all eyes on you.

Pale pink wedding reception dress from Dynasty London

Sometimes less is more, and that’s definitely the case with the Kristen dress from littleblackdress.co.uk. The champagne shade is still bridal but the golden glitter on the neckline takes it to another level.

Glittery plunge neck wedding reception dress from Littleblackdress.co.uk

Want to show off your legs but love the glamour of a full length dress? The Carson from Dynasty London has a sheer skirt so you can flash your pins but still feel dressed up for the evening celebrations.

Strapless sparkling wedding reception dress with sheer detail

The Gladys Sunray dress from Phase Eight is a great choice of reception dress for brides who still want a traditional bridal look but with added glitter. We love the vintage feel of this gown – add bold red lips for maximum impact.

Vintage style wedding reception dress from Phase Eight

Another gorgeous pink toned gown – the Gene from Dynasty London would look incredible when paired with a tan. This dress is a great choice for a wedding abroad, too.

Pink wedding reception dress with gold detail from Dynasty London

TheLoretta from Virgos Lounge at littleblackdress.co.uk is a figure hugging midi dress perfect for a vintage vixen. Keep your accessories to a minimum and let the gold detailing do all the talking.

White and gold midi length reception dress from Virgos Lounge

If you want a glamorous reception dress that will still allow you to keep fairly covered up, the Mirella from Dynasty London could be the one. The sheer neckline and detailed sleeves hide problem areas but still look glam.

Long sleeved, gold hued reception dress from Dynasty London

Accessorise It

Nothing says glamour like Versace, so make sure to walk through a cloud of Bright Crystal perfume before entering the reception. Drop earrings look amazing when paired with an up do – why not try the below from Marks and Spencer? Finally, go for a vintage feel with a matte red lip – the Maraschino lip crayon from Iconic London will match the iconic soles on your bridal Louboutins…

Accessories moodboard for a glamorous wedding reception dress

If You’re Laidback…

Laidback brides might love the idea of a traditional gown but aren’t sure how they’re going to feel wearing it all day – and as for the heels that go with it! If you want something you can move in, eat in and then wear again, keep reading.

The Tonia by Dynasty London is really striking – the lightweight fabric won’t restrict your movement and the glitter detail still keeps it glam.

Tonia wedding reception dress by Dynasty London

Vintage loving brides will adore the cute collar on the Charisse dress from Dynasty London, as well as the flattering nude tone.

Vintage style wedding reception dress with a collar from Dynasty London

If you’re marrying abroad and dancing the night away on the beach, the Immy by Forever Unique is a stunning choice. The subtle animal print adds a cool feel and it’ll look amazing with a tan.

Immy high necked wedding reception dress from Forever Unique

The Dakota by Dynasty London has lots of glamorous, gold detailing, but a relaxed empire line. This also makes it a great choice if you’re searching for a maternity wedding dress.

Gold detailed empire line wedding reception dress by Dynasty London

Make a statement with the Paloma by Dynasty London – the sleek shape is ideal for brides who want to change into something that isn’t too fussy, but the red detailing still gives it some personality.

Gold and red detailed wedding reception dress

Brides looking for a bohemian wedding dress should take a closer look at the Tehya from Dynasty London, a dreamy, floaty gown with beading in natural colours.

Halterneck wedding reception dress with colourful embellishment

Accessorise It

If you’re going for a simple, relaxed dress for your wedding reception, have some fun with your accessories. The JD Williams clutch bag features gorgeous 3D floral detailing. A nude lip colour like the one below from New Look is a great choice for relaxed brides – you can drink, eat, chat and laugh without any smudging worries, and a flat sandal makes sense too – we love these from Accessorize. A spritz of Ghost adds a romantic, ethereal twist to the look.

Accessories moodboard for a laidback wedding reception dress

If you’re looking for more ways to mix up your bridal look, consider reading our round up of the best wedding jumpsuits for more ideas.



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