The time has come—cupid matched two love birds and they’re inviting you to celebrate their new engagement. Is this your first gal pal to pop proposal news and you have no idea what to wear to an engagement party? Or, maybe you’re the bride-to-be and you want to kick off your celebratory events with a stylish bang. Never fear—your fashion friends are here to help you dress to impress this pre-wedding season.
Ladies, keep reading for the scoop on engagement party outfit do’s, don’ts and style inspiration you don’t want to miss.
What to Wear to an Engagement Party: The Three Rules of Engagement
When it comes to knowing what women’s trends and styles to wear, weddings tend to have clearer guidelines. But interpreting what to wear to an engagement party can be a bit baffling. Once you’re feeling ready to safely attend social gatherings again, your closet may feel like it’s a bit lacking. Let’s put on our investigative caps and dig into three key factors to consider before shopping for the upcoming event.
What to wear to an Engagement Party: Decipher the Dress Code
Score—the invitation asks guests to come in evening summer cocktail attire. There’s no mystery here. The perfect little black dress hanging in your closet is ready to make its debut. But what if the dress code is absent on the invitation? There’s no shame in asking the couple as long as you do so in a timely manner. Just be sure not to ask for engagement party outfit approvals on the day of the event. If you need someone to double-check your fashion choices last minute, compare notes with another friend attending the party.
The Two W’s: Where and When
From swanky soirees to backyard barbecues, the level of formality can wildly differ from venue to time of day. Attire worn to brunch at a five-star restaurant will look different than an evening event at the same location. Typically, the later in the day the party takes place, the more formal the event. A floral midi-dress is perfect for a luncheon while a floor-grazing gown is best suited for a black-tie affair. Not sure what women’s engagement party outfit style to wear to an evening pool party? That has “informal” written all over it. Shorts, sandals and swimsuits are all possible contenders for this splash bash. When in doubt, ask for more info.
Stylist Tip: If the engagement party is being held at a specific venue, search for it under ‘Places’ on Instagram. You’ll be able to see posts by other people who have attended similar events at the same venue. Perusing their pictures can offer a helpful frame of reference as well as style inspiration. Save a few of your favorite photos before embarking on your shopping journey. Remember—time of day and party themes matter so keep that top of mind.
Leave White for the Bride
Traditionally, white is reserved for the bride on the wedding day as well as all events leading up to the big day. When deciding what to wear to an engagement party, steer clear of women’s styles that may photograph lighter and appear to be white. Think blush, pale yellow or champagne. On the flip side, have fun with color but skip any head-to-toe ensembles in bold shades. Flashy looks can overshadow the couple and the spotlight should remain on them. Are you a lover of hot hues? Incorporate them in subtle ways with a vibrant headband or slingback flats. Want to play it safe? Say I do to earthy tones like olive and burnt orange or muted shades like navy and dusty rose.
What Does the Bride Wear to an Engagement Party?
The answer is simple—whatever makes you look and feel your best. Calling all newly-minted fiancées—it’s your time to shine. From bachelorette weekends to the big finale, you’ll be the star at each event. Your journey to the altar has just begun with the first of many celebrations. Your guests may be wondering what engagement party outfit they’ll be wearing but for now, let’s focus on the leading lady.
What does the bride wear to an engagement party for a look she’ll never forget? For most women, this is a special time in their lives. The start of many memories to cherish forever, much like how a familiar perfume can transport you back to your first date with your betrothed. Remember, it’s all in the details. Reminiscing on the outfit you wore to commemorate your engagement is a small, yet meaningful piece to the nostalgia puzzle.
As the bride-to-be, you own the color white, so have confidence knowing you’ll be the only one donning this crisp, clean shade. With that said, there’s no need to let tradition dictate what you wear. Let’s dive into three of our favorite engagement party outfits for the bride.
What does the bride wear to an engagement party in a whimsical woodsy setting? If you’re enchanted with bohemian style, this might be the question on your mind. Balance the glow of twinkle lights with a romantic off-the-shoulder dress covered in lace detailing. Opt for a crisp white hue that will pop against the bark and evergreen background. It’s never too early to employ the traditional good-luck charms. Wear something blue by completing your engagement party outfit with a square-toe heel in robin’s egg blue.
What does the bride wear to an engagement party in a garden? Soft ivory is a creamy alternative to bright white without minimizing your bridal status. Choose a floral print in pastel shades to complement the surrounding blooms. A midi-dress with a ruffle hem will add a feminine touch to your engagement party outfit as you cross your ankles during high tea. Accessorize with a rose gold headband for a metallic twist to your ensemble.
Bright and Bold
If you’re looking to ditch traditions, you may be pondering what does the bride wear to an engagement party that isn’t white? Our advice? Go bright and bold with your engagement party outfit. Make a statement in a romantic red wrap dress. You can incorporate a touch of white with polka dot print heels to add personality and playfulness to your look. Now you’re ready to eat, drink and be married!
What to Wear to an Engagement Party as a Guest
As soon as the first couple in your friend group gets engaged, it tends to have a domino effect. You may be double-tapping on diamond ring photos and clinking glasses in rapid succession, so it’s best to be prepared. Having a few go-to outfits is super handy when deciding what to wear to an engagement party as a guest. We’ve narrowed it down to our top no-fail women’s outfit ideas to keep in your closet for these momentous occasions.
Wear a Dress to Impress
Dresses are the most versatile answer when wondering what to wear to an engagement party as a guest. They come in all shapes, styles and levels of formality. A beachside get-together and a flowy maxi dress are a match made in style heaven. Reach for a style in subdued summery shades of creamsicle and coral to keep you cool—literally and figuratively.
Not sure what to wear to a dressier dinner? Evening wear for women has evolved over time and classic silhouettes in black or navy are the perfect canvas to dress up or down. A pair of pearl earrings and kitten heels will give your look an elevated boost for a rooftop gathering at a posh hotel.
Style Tip: Always err on the side of overdressing. The host will appreciate the effort you put into your appearance and you’ll avoid potentially disrespecting the couple by underdressing. You can always keep a backup outfit in your car—just in case.
Romp Around in Rompers (and Jumpsuits)
No need to stress about what to wear to an engagement party as a guest for an afternoon affair. If you love to flaunt your legs, a romper is a playful pick that shows off your favorite feature especially if mini dresses are your usual go-to and you want to shake things up. To elongate your limbs even further, pair your romper with nude pumps for full effect.
Jumpsuits are sleek and sophisticated and look gorgeous dressed up with satin heels and sparkly accessories. They offer the right balance of comfort and refinement. From cropped to floor-length hems, they can cater to your height and perfectly pair with your shoe of choice.
Say Yes to Separates
Picture this—you’ve discovered that a-line skirts in midi lengths are your one true love. You’re not wanting to stray too far from your tried-and-true and luckily, you don’t have to. Instead of switching up styles, explore different materials. Luxury fabrics like silk and cashmere can take your favorite skirt style from casual to semi-formal in a flash. Your options for matching separates are endless when figuring out what to wear to an engagement party as a guest. A lace camisole adds feminine flair to a satin skirt while yellow flats create a summer-ready ensemble. Your look will be shimmering under the moonlight as you take the dancefloor by storm.
Now, you’re officially a pro at dressing for engagement parties. Is the August wedding up next? Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out what to wear to a summer wedding.
Our team of expert stylists are here to answer any and all of your style questions for wedding-related events. Or, explore different engagement party outfit options by requesting a Fix full of dresses, rompers and stunning separates.