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Impress Your Guests with these Charming Reception Gowns

A newly married couple holds a wedding reception to celebrate their first moments as husband and wife and both want look their very best. The wedding reception gown has become part of wedding tradition and in addition to a beautiful look, brides want to wear a reception gown that is fun, comfortable and flattering so she can dance the night away with ease.

While not a requirement, reception gowns are an especially good idea for brides with a wedding dress that is voluminous, bulky, or a tight wedding dress you don't want to risk ruining around food and drinks or simply haul around all night. Some wedding dresses are practically impossible to dance in; for instance, a mermaid-style wedding dress is notorious for constricting a lot of movement. Whereas your wedding dress is traditional and formal, the reception gown is meant to be more fun and modern.

Short Dresses

Some brides opt for a more playful and informal look by wearing a shorter, knee-length dress such as the strapless tafetta bubble dress, which often features ruched detail on the bubble skirt. Another sweet, striking style is the chiffon dress with ruffles style gown.

Many of these strapless, short chiffon dresses feature a ruffled top and delicate floral accents. For even more embellishments to the chiffon dress, brides may want to consider a dress with a peek-a-boo hem, which perfectly complements this dress' ruched bodice, which consistently creates and accentuates a flattering shape. A shorter dress generally costs less and often range in price from $100 to $300, but of course, the sky is the limit.

Long Sleeved Gowns

For a winter wedding, there are long sleeved reception gowns available, the shift dress being most popular. A long sleeved shift dress is fashionable and flattering to women of all sizes. Shift dresses are timeless and classic, are often made of soft jersey and often adorned with beaded details. A perfect touch for this dress is to add beaded detail to the sleeves' trim or hem of the knee-length skirt. An extra special touch for this dress is a cowl neck detail in the back.

Many tea-length reception gowns are made of classic satin, but there are certainly many embellishments that can be added to this dress. For example, a bride can choose a tea-length satin gown with 3D floral beaded detail or perhaps add some box pleats, a beaded empire waist or a delicate bow or brooch.

Long Gowns

Long, simple gowns provide a sleek, classic look and come in many styles. The knit jersey gown is a comfortable, more casual look. Especially perfect for a summer wedding, the knit jersey gown is double lined, features a tank bodice and usually comes adorned with charmeuse detail on the straps and under the bust line.

For a more decorous, floor length dress, some popular styles include the satin ballgown or the soft, flowing chiffon A-line. The strapless pick-up ball gown has a fitted bodice and voluminous skirt that creates a modern, romantic look. An especially feminine look, the halter chiffon a-line reception gown is a perfect choice. This gown is made of flowing chiffon and can feature the sweetheart neckline, a neckline shaped like the top of a heart, which is flattering to the neckline. For a very special dress, brides may want to consider the organza gown with beaded ruffle detail.

Sparkle and Color

Many reception gowns are simple silhouettes and almost always white. However, many dresses now flash beautiful beading or sparkling, pailette sequins. Mixing the ball gown style with beaded corded lace, a strapless tulle ball gown is a classic, fairytale dress. Short and sweet, the reception gown with pailettes style is accented with delicate paillette sequins, generally along the bottom the dress for a touch of sparkle.

A bride can also add a splash of color by wearing a colored satin sash or ribbon, which are available in dozens of colors. A great reception gown in which to add a sash, a strapless a-line is the perfect dress. Because a strapless a-line is so classic an elegant, a bride has the perfect opportunity to make it uniquely hers with a colorful sash or ribbon.

Some of the most beautiful reception gowns come with the most subtle of touches. Cap sleeves exude a particularly romantic look. Cap sleeves are very short, often rounded sleeve that barely covers the top of the shoulder and have become very popular on reception gowns. Add a flattering empire waist to an elegant cap sleeved gown and you have one gorgeous reception dress.

Whichever flattering style a bride chooses for her wedding reception gown, it's important to keep one thing in mind: take a breath, let loose and have fun. It's also comforting to remember that any bride can wear her reception dress again, unlike most traditional wedding dresses. Enjoy the party!

Kerry Hutchings is a freelance writer who writes about weddings and specific products such as reception gowns.

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