Second helpings: budget-friendly reception wedding dresses that could also double as a white dress for you hen party

Ballgowns and trains bring the drama, but as the evening wears on, it’s time to slip into something a little more comfy. Olivia Simpson picks the best options for your second head-turning bridal look on a budget

So, you lived the Say Yes to the Dress fairytale: you headed to the bridal boutique with all your besties, sipped some fizz and finally found The One. Job done. Well, maybe not…

In recent years, there’s been a marked rise in brides opting to change into something a little more danceable as the evening sets in. Of course, this makes perfect sense if your first gown features a cathedral-worthy train, but even if you’ve opted for something simpler, two dresses are better than one, no?

Plan on donning your knockout frock for as long as possible? Don’t worry: these picks would work just as well for your hen do, whether it’s an elegant dinner or a big night out with the gals. Read on to see our favourite styles that won’t break the bank, from the whimsical to the oh-so-cool.

Bows, polka dots and lace appliqués keep things cute

A collage of images of women wearing short white dresses with ditsy details
From left: Amelia dress, around £280, Gaâla; White lace midi dress with cowl neck and lace-up back, £45, PrettyLittleThing; Luxe curve satin oversized bow-back mini wedding dress in white, £80, ASOS; Daisy white dress, £275, Nadine Merabi

From sleek suits to slip dresses, these looks are for the It girls

Aa collage of woman wearing minimalist white outfits, including suits, jumpsuits and dresses
From left: Annie wedding trouser, £229, and Annie wedding blazer, £299, Whistles; Tie-back maxi dress in ivory, £199, Whistles; White cut out one-shoulder jumpsuit, £75, River Island; Shape cream rib strappy cup detail midaxi dress, £25, PrettyLittleThing; Holly dress in beige, £90, Stine Goya

Up the glitz factor as night falls – it’s a party, after all!

Clockwise from left: Sequin-embellished slip dress in cream, £29.99, H&M; Lara ivory sequin bow-back mini dress, £395, RIXO; Amelia white jumpsuit, £450, Nadine Merabi; Silver sequin tasseled midi dress, £200, River Island