Your personal style can play a big part in your choice of a reception dress. Where the wedding gown is all about tradition and the fairy tale, the reception dress can be more flirty and fun. If you're having a themed reception, it can set the tone for the proceedings in a tasteful but creative way. Adding a suggestion of '50s Elvis or bluesy charm can get the reception ball rolling and make you the star of the show. Depending on the style of the reception, the dress can be either short or long, and if you choose it carefully, you may be able to wear it for other occasions after the big day is over.
One effective approach is to incorporate some of the wedding motifs and reception themes into your dress selection as a kind of bridge between the two venues. You can do this with your choice of color, fabric, style or even accessories. Have fun with it. One of the best things about the reception dress is that it's a relatively new phenomenon, so there aren't a lot of rules to get in the way of your creativity.