A reception dress can give you a new look and a fun outfit change for your wedding. While you may imagine that a bridal gown is enough of an expense as it is, reception dresses for brides aren’t necessarily expensive. Most brides can find a little white dress to wear to the reception for under $100.
In this blog post, we’ll answer the big question: what is a reception dress? We’ll also share tips on choosing one, when to change into your dress at the reception, and what kinds of styles to look for when choosing yours. Plus, we’re sharing the most popular attire brides are choosing as a reception dress in 2022 with long sleeve, short sleeve, open back, short, midi, maxi, high-low, and extended sizing in regular to plus size reception dresses. Most of these are reception dresses under $100 to prove you don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality outfit for your wedding.
What Is A Reception Dress?
A reception dress is a second outfit the bride changes into for the reception. It is a fun trend for weddings: you get to wear a comfortable and stylish outfit, while giving you the more formal look for the ceremony (and your photos). You can wear a reception dress because you eloped last year and now you’re planning a big reception-only and want a reception outfit; or, perhaps, you just want to wear a different dress to mark the occasion.
Or you may be planning a traditional wedding and wish to change out of your bridal gown into a short reception dress to dance the night away (and let that bustle handle itself, ha!)
No matter your situation, planning a reception outfit for the bride is a fun idea to consider.
Do brides have a reception dress?
A bride can have a reception dress; the choice is hers! As the bride, you’re under no obligation to wear a second dress for the reception… change into a second wedding dress only if you want to.
What are the most popular wedding reception dresses for brides?
The most popular reception dresses 2022 has to offer include fabrics like crepe, satin, or lace; we’re seeing mini, midi, and a few maxi lengths for the bride to wear post-ceremony. You’ll notice a modern jumpsuits or a two-piece dress finds its way into this list, as well as short hemlines and cute flounce style or long length sleeves. We’re rounding up the best wedding reception dresses 2022 has to offer for you to rock as the bride — in every price point. Most of these dresses are well under the $100 mark.
When should I change into my reception dress?
Great question! As a rule of thumb, you should change into your wedding reception dress or second outfit after the ceremony, once your photos are taken. Most brides will change into their reception outfit after they make a grand entrance, enjoy dinner, and after the first formal dances. Or you can change into it before the grand entrance to show off your new frock. The choice is up to you!
Best Reception Dresses for Bride 2022
These are perfect reception dresses for brides under $100 (with just a few frocks over the price point). You’ll find ideal attire for the reception, bridal shower, or engagement party for 2022 and into 2023.
1. White Floral Jacquard Strapless Dress, $89
I love this reception dress for the bride under $100! I can’t believe the price for the quality. It is made with a nice, rich jacquard fabric, floral bodice, and a midi-length skirt. Cute! By Lulus.
2. Cute Off-the-Shoulder Bodycon, $59
Wow, this is a stylish and affordable reception dress for the bride! Love the chic off the shoulder neckline. Get it here.
3. Mini Reception Dress, $59
This dress is a cute mini style and features sheer lace and a scalloped neckline. By Lulus.
4. Modern Bride Jumpsuit, $66
A jumpsuit makes a great reception dress alternative proving you can wear any kind of reception outfit you like! This one is especially stylish, made with stretch knit for endless dancing. It has a strapless bodice and a fluttering tier, hidden V-bar, and high fitted waist.
5. One-Shoulder Ruffle Sleeve Minidress, $62
This mini dress has an adorable ruffled sleeve, along with rounded scalloping on the neckline. It’s the ideal reception dress for brides under $100. Get yours here.
6. Ivory Lace Mini Dress, $69
Wear this cute mini dress with layers of lace, a halter neckline, and sheath shirt. Get it here.
7. Floral Lace Off-the-Shoulder High Low Hem, $30
Go bold with this cute high-low hem dress in white lace. It has a beautiful off-the-shoulder neckline and looks perfect for dancing the night away! Get it here.
8. V-Neck Little White Dress, $64.99
This is adorable: an off-the-shoulder satin dress makes the perfect white reception dress for brides under $100! It looks comfortable yet very stylish. Get it here.
9. Vintge Cocktail White Dress in Ivory, $18.99+
Over 27,000 reviews makes this one of the best wedding reception dresses for brides! In addition, this is one of the dresses on the list that is available in plus sizes up to 3X. Get it in ivory, as shown, or other colors here. This dress has all the vintage charm you’re looking for as you rock out on the dance floor. By BBOnlineStore.
10. Reception Dress with Long Sleeves, $59
Wear a little white dress like this one with fun flounce sleeves for a little drama! Love the long-sleeve short dress look here. Get it at Lulus.
11. White Sparkly Fringe Mini Dress, $79
Get in the mood to dance with this one: a mini dress with white sequins, rows of fringe, and beadwork to form an eye-catching effect across the scoop neckline. Love the flirty hem! Buy here.
Yeah, this dress is definitely made for dancing!
12. White Lace Ruffled Tiered Midi, $92
Go for the ruffles! This cute dress has a nice longer length and a feminine tiered look with lace ruffles all over. Shop here.
13. Full-Skirt Lace Midi, $82
A dress like this is made for reception dancing! The drop sleeves look exceptional with layers of lovely lace throughout. Get it here.
14. Sleeveless Bodycon Dress, $72
Slip into this stylish little white dress made of a soft stretch knit with a sleeveless bodice and tank straps. It has positive reviews by happy brides! Shop here.
15. Strappy V-Neck Midi Reception Dress, $72
A sleeveless cocktail dress with a midi length, a woven fabric, and a stylish curved V-neckline like this is perfect for an evening of celebrating! It has a figure-skimming silhouette and a plunging back. Love this one! Buy here.
16. White Lace Long Sleeve Mermaid Maxi Dress, $99
Wear this beautiful reception dress for brides under $100 in plus size and regular sizing, lace long sleeves, and a maxi length skirt. Love this for fall and winter! Buy now.
17. Ruffled Midi, $79
Get ready to dance in this modern dress, made of layers of pretty lace. This is a fun dress to wear as a second outfit! By Lulus.
18. Elbow Length Sleeve Sheath Dress, $59
This short sheath dress is one of the most amazing styles we’ve seen yet — and you won’t believe the affordable price! It’s one of our favorite reception dresses under $100. By Lulus.
19. Ivory Satin Dress, $82
The results are in: brides love rocking this short reception dress at their weddings! Read the reviews here. If you love a sleek and sassy style, look no further than this minidress made of soft and shiny satin. It’s available here.
20. Reception Dress with Long Sleeves in Lace, $69
This short reception dress is on sale for a limited time! The skirt is short with a sweet ruffle hem. Shop here.
21. Lace Mini Dress, $49
A simple, sweet reception dress for the bride under $50! Get it while you can: it is wildly popular. I love the little lace cap sleeves! Buy here.
22. Sheer Long Sleeve Mini, $58
How about this fun reception dress option? It has sheer long sleeves, a v-neck, and a ruffled hemline. Buy it here.
23. White Lace Halter, $49
Ooh, this is such a fun style! You’ll love slipping into this reception dress when the party starts so you can relax, mingle, and dance! It has a flirty short length and a fun halter tie on the neckline. Buy here.
24. White Lace Button Down Maxi, $99
Ooh, love this classic button-down-the-back look! It’s a maxi dress that fits perfectly for your reception. It is available with extended sizing up to 3X. Get it now.
25. Long Sleeve White Sequin Maxi, $99
Sway all evening in this comfortable yet elegant white sequin dress that sparkles and shines on the dance floor. Buy here.
26. Two-Piece Wedding Reception Dress, $99
This is a popular reception dress under $100 with a cute two-piece style! The top is white lace and the bottom is a white maxi skirt. See it here.
27. White Satin Cowl Neck, $198
This stunning dress is an exceptional choice for the bride to wear at the reception. It’s one of my favorite dresses on the list: I love a classic cowl neck and sumptuous satin. Shop here.
28. Cowl Neck Short Dress, $68
If you love the cowl neck dress above but prefer a shorter length, opt for this one! It’s one of the best wedding reception dresses for brides under $100. I adore the tulip hem! Get it here.
29. Floral Long Sleeve Mini Dress, $67
This is the dress you need for your reception! You’ll admire the burnout floral print, its gauzy and lightweight woven fabric, V-neckline, sheer long sleeves, and a flattering gathered bodice. Shop here.
30. Knotted Long Sleeve Mini, $69
Adorable! This mini dress makes a cute reception dress for the bride. Get yours here.
Here are a few more questions on the topic in case you’re still deciding.
How much does a reception dress for the bride cost?
The dress can be affordable: we’re seeing most wedding reception dresses for brides under $100, with an average cost of around $50 for a quality wedding party outfit.
Do I have to wear a reception dress?
No! As a rule of thumb, you have no obligation to wear a separate dress or outfit to the reception. It is an optional change of outfit. Many brides wear their bridal gown for the ceremony and throughout the entire evening at the reception.
Does the dress have to be white?
While it doesn’t have to be white, we recommend wearing white, ivory, or champagne because you’re the Bride! You always want to stand out at the reception and it’s your color to wear, so rock it! Plus, guests will find it easier to find you at the dance floor or mingling if you’re wearing a white dress or similar shade.
But if you want to rock something different, go for it. It’s your day and you are the bride, after all, so it’s your reception outfit to choose! :)
Why do people get 2 wedding dresses?
Because they can! ;) Most people choose to wear two wedding dresses simply for the fun of it. It makes the reception feel more like a party than a formal event when the bride can swap into a more comfortable — yet elegant and stylish — second wedding dress.
How do I choose a reception dress?
Browse the list of dresses above and see if there’s one that resonates with you. It’s best to keep with the white color scheme or similar;
Here are a few tips on choosing your reception dress.
1. Buy early!
Shop for reception dresses early so you can try it on and make sure it’s a good fit.
You also want to shop shop sooner than other brides because many styles and sizes are selling out quickly, particularly at these affordable price points. I’m seeing a huge uptick in the trend of reception dresse for brides 2022 — and I fully expect 2023 will be just as wildly popular.
2. Dress Comfortably
Make comfort a priority when you choose your reception dress. This is simple: why change out of the first dress and slip into a second one, only to find it more uncomfortable? Plus, you’ll be eating all that delicious food and wedding cake, so give yourself a little extra room! ;)
Most styles are short, above the knee. However, there is no hard rule on this: you can wear a mini, midi, or maxi length reception dress depending on the dress that suits you best.
While a reception dress is more causal than a wedding gown, you are still the bride. Wear something that is appropriate for the occasion yet gives you a fun second look; when in doubt, look to the formality of your venue and dress accordingly.
I hope this list helps you choose the best reception dress for your wedding!
Now I want to know: what dress are you going to wear? Do you have any questions about this reception outfit trend? Tell me in the comment box below!