General Dance Discussion > Wedding Gowns That Allow You to Dance

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by ireniecat, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    (I searched for this topic, but didn't find. Please merge or direct me to the right place if this is a repeat)

    I've just barely started my wedding gown search, and hardly anything appeals to me. I'm especially concerned about being able to dance. I have seen friends struggle with their dresses while dancing, and I don't want that to be me.

    I have considered getting 2 separate dresses, more traditional for ceremony and a short dress for reception. However, that just seems like a huge waste of money for the ceremony dress (would rather spend it on a ballroom dress :p) plus I still want to feel elegant and like a bride during the reception.
    We are likely doing foxtrot for the first dance, and there will be live band playing tasteful, danceable ballroom and latin music for the reception.

    My main criteria for danceability are:
    - no strapless
    - no heavy satin (or similar fabric)
    - no puffy skirt
    - no train that needs bustling

    Anything else I've missed?

    Style-wise, I like classic, timeless, maybe with some vintage flair. This a dress I really like (but have not tried on yet):

    Any help, thoughts, advice would be much appreciated. Should I just get a ballroom dress instead of a wedding dress? :banana:
  2. mummsie

    mummsie Member

    I wouldn't spend a lot of money on your wedding dress. My daughter had the same problem. We bought her wedding dress and spent and absolute fortune (dresses in Aus are about 4 times the price of those in the US). I also made her a dress to change into for the dancing. Looking back, it would have been better just having the one simple dress to use for both. Typically wedding dresses are not that comfortable - they lace you in pretty tight. Since the wedding 3 years ago, she has been trying to sell the dress - not one offer - not even for $50. Mummsie
  3. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Eek. And here I was thinking wedding dresses in the US were expensive. Thanks for the advice. I've thought about getting a white evening gown/cocktail dress. Even an expensive one would still be cheaper than a wedding gown.

    I know that I need to go and see what's out there, but from what I've seen, I have a feeling that I'll just be disappointed. The gowns I've seen at bridal expos just look gross and cheap. And adding danceability to that... :p
  4. TAK

    TAK Member

    Thanks for starting this thread. I'm wondering about your train/bustling/danceability requirement...I am hoping to have a traditional dress, meaning probably with at least a sweep train. I thought the whole point of the bustle was to get it out of your way so you could dance? Sounds like your friends' experiences have made you think otherwise...yes?

    Otherwise, I think everything else sounds right. However, at a wedding I attended recently, the bride had a strapless gown with a huge, heavy satin skirt, and she managed fine, so I guess it is possible...
  5. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    A friend did cha cha for her first dance, in a strapless mermaid style gown. She kept having to yank up the dress throughout the dance, both at the top and the skirt! At the top because it kept slipping down and the skirt so she could actually move her legs. I felt so bad for her.

    I have seen trains unbustle themselves over the course of the evening, and then get stepped on and in the way. So I'm not very confident in bustling. I guess it depends on the length of the train, but I also feel like the added weight in the back would be cumbersome. I do love the look of a train, and was thinking of doing a very long veil to mimic the look of a train, and then ditch it for the reception.
  6. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    removeable train :cool:

    edit to add: Two of my dancing friends got married, and both wore their gowns for the traditional wedding dance (bustled trains - they were still a PITA), and then changed into shorter danceable dresses once the party really started.
  7. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I was reminded of this thread. ;)

    Congrats ireniecat and TAK!
  8. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I had exactly the same goal as you, for the same reasons, but I couldn't make it work -- ended up changing into a different dress for the dancing. It seems to me that weddingy wedding dresses have a stranglehold on the color white -- it's much harder to find a formal-ish danceable dress in white than in any other color. And I never found anything truly danceable at a bridal store. You may be luckier, but don't underestimate the difficulty of the search. I avoided the exorbitant cost of two dresses by getting my lovely designer wedding dress at a consignment shop (and re-consigning it afterwards) and choosing a dress from J. Crew's wedding collection (shortened) for the dancing -- found that one on ebay, good as new. In a slightly less formal ceremony, I could have just worn that one the whole time. I found the dress search more frustrating than fun, but I was very happy with the end result for feeling beautiful, bride-like, and dancer-like.

    Whatever you do, don't get a sweep train and expect to be able to dance in the dress at all. A bustle may be trouble, but a train that can't be bustled is worse. Good luck!
  9. New in NY

    New in NY New Member

    I was at a dance event once where the hostess wore a long dress which looked very much like a wedding dress except it was not white. I was wondering how in the world she was going to dance in it. Turns out the full skirt of the dress really was a skirt - she was able to completely remove it and was left wearing a shorter dress which was perfect for dancing. Perhaps this was something she had custom made and it may be more trouble and/or expense than you are looking to invest, but I thought it was an interesting idea.
  10. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    That's pretty, ireniecat, but I wouldn't dance in it. (And honestly unless I were 5'8" and size 2 with long, light bone structure, max, I wouldn't wear it. That cut doesn't look good on people with wider high and low hip points, short waists, wider shoulders, etc. I'm assuming you're tall and slender.)

    I hear you on 'strapless'. I hate strapless. I wouldn't dance it in. I figure in the unlikely event I ever get married, I will either need something like this:

    Or will just have someone who's a professional dance-dress maker design and construct it, with an eye to being able to convert it to a competition dress later.

    Short is not bad, anyway, for me, as at this rate if I do get married by that time I'll really have to be careful of the mutton-dressed-as-lamb look.
  11. TAK

    TAK Member

    A cha cha? That's courageous. Our first dance will probably be some kind of swing, and fairly casual. I do think it depends on the kind of dancing one intends to do. I think we are just hoping to do social-style swing and maybe basic standard throughout the evening. Strapless seems like a problem, but not mermaid style per se, as long as the flared part starts high enough -- I mean, there are mermaid-style Standard competition dresses, aren't there?

    I have found this too. I guess it makes sense, since we all associate white with wedding dresses so much -- might make people who aren't getting married feel reluctant to wear white. At my high school, we all had to find our own informal white dresses to wear for graduation, and I think even that was a problem. Still, if you are willing to relax the formality I think it is a little easier -- you can start to get into sundresses, Marilyn Monroe costumes, etc. Also, if you find a bridesmaid dress (by a bridal designer) that you like -- and these often seem, at least to me, more danceable -- those often come in white, since they make them in a million colors.

    That makes a ton of sense. Thanks for the tip.
  12. jjs914

    jjs914 Active Member

    There are mermaid style smooth/standard gowns, yes...but they are often in very stretchy lycra fabric. Since you're probably not going to get a lycra wedding dress, you may want to try on some mermaids and see how much movement you actually get in them.

    I had a friend do a ballroom dance for her first dance, and she wore a v-neck, a-line dress. If you like both mermaid and a-line, the a-line would give more room for movement for your legs. I do think it had a bustle, and can't remember how that worked for her, though.

    I've never shopped for wedding just a thought!
  13. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member


    Great thread, thanks!! :D
  14. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I'm really hoping I can find something that works and still lets me look and feel pretty. It seems the path of least resistance is to go with a 2nd dress. Bridesmaid dresses, here I come :)

    I saw a wedding dress like this in a magazine, with a removable ballgown skirt, revealing a mini dress. It's definitely a great idea.

    Ha ha! No, I am 5'0", size 0-4 (depending on designer/style), but my build is anything but slender. My last partner kept saying I am built just like Julia Gorchakova, if that gives you any indication.
  15. Are you a ballroom dancer ?

    Why don't you just make an unstoned simple ballgown and wear it to the wedding.

    If I had competed when I got married that was definitely what I would have done !

    I currently have a ballgown that could pass for a wedding dress.

    PM me if you want to see a picture !
  16. Me

    Me New Member

    Tangoleva makes a... gorgeous... wedding gown.

    Here are some pictures from her Web site:

    With Train.....



    Train removed....


  17. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    So you have a killer build? Lucky! ;)

    Then I'd watch out for dresses with too much...froofy bits, if you have curves and are petite. If you can wear a sorta-mermaid shape, that one Me just posted is GORGEOUS (but I love lace so I may be biased.)

    And for me, my dream would be to marry someone who'd be comfortable doing a cha cha, or a Gold Smooth Fox routine (I could fake it ;) ) or a jive as a first dance. If I'm going to show off, I'm going to SHOW OFF. Plus have fun. I'd hate to have to look back and have done a waltz or something schmalzy. (Bolero would be fun, but a bit....uh...too-too much.)
  18. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Wow, Me, that dress is perfect. I wish I had known to ask DF for advice before my wedding -- I totally would have gotten that one.
  19. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    Beautiful dress, Me!! I love lace :D I've worn dresses similar length/style to this dress (not in white!), and they just look huge and droopy on me in the photos. I think it has to be above the knee to look proportional on me, given my shortness. But I checked out the Tangoleva site and it got me thinking... maybe I can get away with a long dress if it has slits?

    I'm all about showing off, too!! I feel like it's the only day in my life where I'm entitled to do it :)
  20. ireniecat

    ireniecat New Member

    I'm mostly a Latin dancer, and am completely incapable of making my own dress. I was mostly joking about wearing a ballroom dress instead of a wedding dress, but it doesn't hurt to look! I'm sending you a PM. Thanks!

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