The format of a wedding is one which is pretty standard. It usually involves two lovers, one dress, a ceremony and then some form of a reception. However, with times changing there is a new trend emerging… the second wedding dress!

Imagine the following scenario; the bride is wearing a traditional ivory strapless floor length gown and veil. She looks stunning for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. Sometime later, ready for the first dance, all of the guests crowd on the dance floor waiting for the happy couple to take their place and then, WOW! All eyes on the bride, she has unsuspectingly sneaked away and replaced her wedding dress with a second dress; the most beautiful pink creation of silk and feathers. The women whoop, the men gawp and the groom doesn’t get a look in – she makes quite an entrance and steals the show!

If you too would like the double ‘wow’ factor of an second gown there are many affordable routes to take as the high street has some great occasion dresses. Just remember to follow the five Cs:

1. Create a theme

Sometimes your evening venue will dictate the dress style. For example, choose a pretty floral frock for a country wedding barn dance or an evening gown for five star hotel glamour. Don’t worry about changing the theme between venues either. For example by wearing a demure long, silver 1920s gown for the church, followed by a 1980s disco gold sequined number for the disco, you can create a fun contrast.

2. Colour

With the traditional wedding dress choice being white, ivory or cream, you may want to make a bold statement for the second gown, with a simply structured dress in your favourite colour. Victoria Beckham championed this trend by wearing a champagne Vera Wang creation for the daytime and a beautiful couture, purple tiered gown for the evening.

3. Comfort and practicality

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A wedding dress, although beautifully structured in its design, may not be the most comfortable outfit you have ever worn. Corsets are not designed with a four-course banquet in mind, nor are underskirts suitable for shaking your booty to The Three Supremes at 2 o’clock in the morning. If you are worried about your movement being restricted on the dance floor you may want to opt for a shorter gown or something more flexible. If you’re not going for statement colours, you could experiment with texture and shape for your second dress.

4. Co-ordinate accessories

If you’re wearing a shorter, prom-style dress in the evening you could have fun with bright or fabulous shoes. Or, if you want to wear one beautiful gown all day, why not add a stole or different accessories to dress it up for the evening? It could be time to ditch the veil and opt for a sparkly head piece to up the glam stakes for the reception.

5. Contours

Whatever gown you choose it’s important to get your underwear right or you could be uncomfortable all day. Shapewear lingerie can be a saviour as it helps to smooth over any lumps and bumps a dress could cling to, as well as adding support or even curves. There’s a huge range available, from body suits to waist cinchers, and even padded knickers. Visit Marks and Spencer for the full collection.