“You know what you should do at your wedding? You should….” I have heard this phrase more times than I care to,  but it is par for the course when you’re wedding planning. I’ve had people tell me to wear another veil than the one I plan on wearing. I’ve also had someone tell me that I should get our guest pottery rather than the gift catalogs we plan on giving out as favors. I usually just smile politely and say I’ll think about it and go on my merry way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for any suggestions, but I’m not going to change my wedding just because someone wants it another way.

Or at least that was what I thought. About a month ago I was sitting with a group of girlfriends chatting about the Japanese wedding, and I mentioned that I wasn’t going to change my dress at the reception. In Japan, most brides change into about two or three elaborate dresses throughout the reception. I planned on keeping my wedding dress on the whole night because 1) I love my dress and 2) I though it would be very “American” to do so. I told this to my friends and I got genuine looks of horror.  Mouths open, hands on cheeks, eyes wide with terror looks of horror. They all started to talking at once. “You have to change your dress!” “It would be wasteful not too!” “Your guests will be so disappointed!” I was surprised by the reaction and later went around to a few other friends and told them my plan of not changing my dress.  I got the same reaction every time. “Everyone will want to see you change!” “You have got to change your dress!”  I’ve heard comments like these so many times that I’ve started to break down and consider changing my dress at the reception.


1.It will add a little excitement when I reveal the second dress

2. Guests will be expecting it anyway so no one will be disappointed


1. I will have to leave the reception to get changed

2. It won’t be giving our guests a real American experience (This isn’t necessarily true since lots of brides are two- dress brides nowadays)

Hive, what do you think I should do? Should I change my dress during the reception or keep on my wedding dress?

Lately, I’ve been leaning toward changing my dress. I don’t necessarily see it as giving in to pressure. I see it more as getting a good suggestion and changing my mind about a decision I’ve made, but there is a part of me that is worried that I am conforming to other’s expectations. How does one stay true to themselves and their decisions when planning a wedding when friends, family, and vendors want you to do things another way?

If I were to change my dress it would not be one of the frilly elaborate dresses that Japanese brides usually wear.


A typical reception- change dress Image via Dress Shop Vivien

I would probably wear the dress I was planning to wear to the after-party.

A shot of me trying on my after-party dress in David's Bridal.

A shot of me trying on my after-party dress in David’s Bridal.

Have you ever changed your mind about a decision in your wedding planning, but felt guilty that you may be conforming to someone else’s expectations?

Anyone think I should just go for it and wear one of those elaborate dresses at my reception?!


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