I found out about this concept from Gone With The Wind
, but apparently it used to be common in the 19th century
for a bride
to have not only a wedding dress
but a special second-day dress
to wear the next day, (and sometimes even special third-day and fourth-day dresses). They were almost as important as the wedding dress itself was to the wearer, and sometimes became a "best dress" for future wearing; several portrait
s shown on genealogy
sites have the ancestor painted in her second-day dress.
One site says that these were worn for a religious ceremony and wedding festivities taking place on the day following the civil marriage service; another that they were worn for a huge dinner at the groom's family's place called the "infare." Pioneers such as the first couple of European ancestry to be married in Illinois managed to have a trousseau of two gowns, the wedding and the second-day dress. The Texas slave narrative of Sarah Allen says that even she, a slave of mixed race had a second-day dress.
I can find only one site which mentions a special second-day suit for the groom, which probably was fine with a century's worth of grooms.
Sources: Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind