Best Wedding Reception Dresses for 19 Different Bridal Styles

wedding reception dress for the bride with sequins
photo by Logan Cole Photo from this Seaside Surfer Wedding

It’s your party, you can wear a reception dress (or jumpsuit! or romper!) if you want to! More and more, we’re seeing brides rock a second look for the reception. Often with a shorter hemline, maybe a sparkle or two, and always stand-out and stunning. If you opt for an afterparty wedding dress, chances are you’re planning on dancing all night, so it has to be easy to move in above all else. Maybe you go for a two-piece wedding dress and change it up with a sequined top or palazzo pants for the reception? Or maybe you change into something else entirely and let your party-bride alter ego take over. Either way, we’re here to help.

Should I have a reception dress?

It’s up to you but a reception dress is definitely a good idea if you’re hosting a big reception into the night. Alternatively, we’ve seen brides do second looks for their elopement! It’s always your call—and if you want to wear that stunning wedding dress all dang night, you can absolutely do that, too.

When should I change into my reception dress?

Make sure you get all the portraits you want in your wedding dress before you get changed. And if you want photos in your afterparty wedding dress, as well, leave room in the schedule! Your best bet is to change before you’re announced at the reception, but you could also change after dinner and toasts right before dancing.

Does my afterparty wedding dress need to be white?

Not at all! In fact, we’re big fans of sparkles, sequins, color, and big, unexpected details for reception dresses. Go bold and have some fun with this one! Below, we’ve got our favorite reception dresses for each style of the bride. We know—you’re too unique to fit into a box, but as we said, let’s have some fun!

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Best for the Classic Bride:
Poppy Jumpsuit Set by Sachin & Babi

wedding reception dresses Sachin and Babi Poppy Jumpsuit Set
Let’s start with a look that’s already a two-in-one! This jumpsuit features a detachable skirt and it’s just a great look that pairs “classic bride” with on-trend style.

Poppy Jumpsuit Set on BHLDN

Best Reception Dress for the Boho Bride:
Embroidered Floral Trim Long Dress by Rococo Sand

wedding reception dress boho floral trim details

When you know you’ll end up shoe-less before the night is up. This dreamy maxi dress has the most delicate floral designs.

Embroidered Floral Trim Long Dress at BHLDN

Best for the Modern Bride:
Satin Open-Back Wedding Reception Dress by Lebride Atelier

wedding reception dress satin open back etsy
Maybe you want to go a little more minimal and a lot more sexy for the reception? This backless dress has all those vibes.

Satin Open-Back Dress on Etsy

Best for the Glamorous Bride:
Bow Back Jumpsuit with Convertible Skirt by Alexia María

convertible wedding reception jumpsuit and skirt
This convertible look comes in 8 fantastic colors so if you’re looking to make a splash, start here!

Bow Back Jumpsuit with Convertible Skirt from Alexia María

Best for the Non-Traditional Bride:
Won’t You Try Jumpsuit by Zhivago

wedding reception jumpsuit Won't You Try Jumpsuit Zhivago
Imagine, just imagine, being announced at the reception and you walk through the doors in THIS.

Won’t You Try Jumpsuit on Revolve

Best Reception Dress for the Romantic Bride:
Ethereal Tulle Double V Dress by Love & Dress

tulle midi wedding dress
This dress was made for spinning, and that’s just what you’ll do. (Also, love that peek-a-boo bodice under the ruffle!)

Ethereal Tulle Dress on Etsy

Best for the Chic Bride:
Blair Dress by Alexia María

wedding reception dress mini one shoulder bow
All this dress needs is a short, fun veil and a glass of champagne. Ooooh, and maybe some sunnies!

Blair Dress from Alexia María

Best for the Playful Bride:
Elle Mini Reception Dress by Katie May

wedding reception dress katie may elle mini
This bride comes to PLAY.

Elle Mini Dress on Revolve

Best for the Casual Bride:
Sequin Spaghetti Strap Reception Jumpsuit by DB STUDIO

wedding reception jumpsuit david's bridal sequin
Easy to move in, totally made for grooving, and you won’t even need a disco ball—you’ve got the sparkle covered.

Sequin Spaghetti Strap Jumpsuit from David’s Bridal

Best for the Elegant Bride:
Alix Dress by Amsale

mini reception dress off the shoulder back bow
SO here for this drama.

Alix Dress on BHLDN

Best for the Unexpected Bridal Style:
Puff Sleeve Metallic Mini Dress by Rococo Sand

silver metallic short wedding reception dress

We love a short, short dress. This dreamy silhouette has long romantic puff sleeves and a delicate ruffle trim – perfect to tear up the dance floor!

Puff Sleeve Metallic Mini Dress on BHLDN

Best for the Alternative Bride:
Tomorrow Gown by Zhivago

lace white dress for wedding reception
It’s the shoulders, honey! And that lace overlay with the sinched waist. So many classic bridal themes here yet done in a totally unique way.

Tomorrow Gown on Revolve

Best Reception Dress for the Trendsetter Bride:
Pearl Bustier Satin Mini Dress by Nasty Gal

wedding reception mini dress pearl satin bustier
We’re getting ‘Sour’ vibes and we like it.

Pearl Bustier Satin Mini Dress on Nasty Gal

Best for the Fashion-Forward Bride:
Corset Bodice Reception Dress by V. Chapman

corset bodice wedding reception dress for the bride

Love wearing the latest trends? This corset bodice afterparty wedding dress is sure to create a WOW moment on the dance floor.

Corest Bodice Reception Dress on BHLDN

Best for the Timeless Bride:
Poppy Silk and Wool Midi Dress by Alexia María

Poppy Silk and Wool Midi Dress
This off-the-shoulder dress says, “I’m here to have fun but I’m also chic as all get-out.”

Poppy Silk and Wool Midi Dress from Alexia María

Best for the Feminine Bride:
Penny Pearl Mini Reception Dress by Sister Jane

mini white reception dress for the bride with puff sleves and dainty pearl details

An afterparty wedding dress with an über feminine vibe. Hello, puff sleeves and lovely pearl details!

Penny Pearl Mini Dress on Shopbop

Best for the Party-Ready Bride:
Emerie Cutout Dress by Love & Lemons

lace fit and flare wedding reception dress for the bride

Be honest, did you just fall in love with this fit and flare lace dress?! We sure did. The lace details are super romantic and short hemline is perfect for dancing the night away with your love…

Emerie Cutout Dress on Shopbop

Best for the Sustainable Bride:
Nikita Dress by Reformation

nikita reformation short wedding dress
This dress will always be a fave. And, dare we say, you could wear it again?

Nikita Dress by Reformation

Best for the Vintage-Inspired Bride:
Gilded Grace Lace Dress by Chi Chi London

lace vintage reception dress
Grace Kelly vibes, anyone? If you’re going vintage for the wedding day, keep the theme going for the reception!

Gilded Grace Lace Dress on ModCloth