We think by now everyone knows what a wedding first look is; a picture-perfect romantic moment where the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. 

But have you ever heard of a second look?

Second looks seem to be becoming more popular every year. Instead of staying in their wedding dress from the ceremony through the end of the reception, more brides are opting for a second look. A second look is an outfit change to reveal at another point in the day.

This second look, or reception dress, can be more fun, stylish, romantic, comfortable, and ready for dancing. 

Brides typically make the costume change at a specific shift in the event.

 – Right after the ceremony

 – After the cocktail hour

 – After dinner at the reception

 – After dinner and switch into their more ‘let’s party’ and dance party-appropriate attire


Here are a few second look styles we have seen at Hardy Farm and loved


Tea Length or Mini Dresses 

A mini dress is ready to dance the night away! It is also a fun way to showcase a fantastic pair of shoes. Switching into a mini dress is a sign to your guests that this is where the reception gets really fun.

Short dress red shoes whitewashed wedding barn

Photo: Maine Tinker Photography

Photo: Callan Photo

Two-Piece Dresses

Bridal gown separates are gaining in popularity; they are versatile and chic. Some can be flirty and show some skin, and others can be mixed and matched for more coverage. Many brides are finding them more comfortable to move and dance in for the rest of the evening.

Bride and Groom in front of Maine beer truck

two piece wedding dress sitting with groom

Photos: Maine Tinker Photography

Super Fun Wedding Jumpsuits

We have seen some stunning statement wedding jumpsuits, some in full sequins or with elaborate ruffles and adornments. A wedding jumpsuit is perfect for the bride who wants to get a party started.

wedding 2nd look jumpsuit

wedding jumpsuit maine tent wedding

Photo: Emily Delamater

Sexy Slip Dresses

If you want your wedding evening to exude total romance, you may consider slipping into a silky slip dress. Slip dresses are elegant, can be super flattering, and perfect for a minimalist bride.

reception slip dress Maine whitewashed barn venue

Photo: Nicole Colwell Photography

Shimmery Pant Suits

second look pantsuit whitewashed barn entrance

Wedding pant suit first dance

Photos: Bill Marshall Photography

Dance the night away in something comfortable, glittery, and fun like this two-piece pantsuit Caroline changed into after dinner and speeches to kick off a fun evening of dancing.

The biggest takeaway on executing a flawless second look is leaning hard into your personal style and don’t be afraid to be bold, glittery, and daring. Your second look is such a fun way to set the tone for the rest of your special day. Have fun with it!