What To Wear To An Engagement Party: A Guide For Everyone

Jennifer Skulski

Published: Jun 7, 2022

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If you’re preparing to attend an engagement party, you’re probably also curious about what to wear! Fear not, fashionistas! This guide is here to help alleviate all your concerns and help you decide on the perfect outfit whether you’re a guest or the bride-to-be.

What Is An Engagement Party?

After a successful marriage proposal, it’s only natural to want to celebrate the good, exciting news with your close friends and family. Well, what better way to do that than with an engagement party? 

Leading up to your actual wedding day, there will be many smaller celebrations along the way. An engagement party initiates it all. This event typically occurs shortly after the proposal, meaning the next weekend or a few weeks later. Traditionally, the bride’s family is the one responsible for organizing and throwing this party, but truly anyone can decide to host the celebration, including the couple themselves.

photo of couple at engagement party

What To Wear To An Engagement Party: For Women

Dress Comfortably

When you’re deciding what to wear to an engagement party, you should ultimately dress for comfort. This isn’t a fancy wedding ceremony, it’s a precursor to the main event. Dress to impress, but don’t overdo yourself.

Engagement parties will take place over the course of several hours. Dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable for that time frame. You’ll also want to take into account the venue as well as any engagement party games or activities you’ll need to dress for.

If the engagement party is outdoors at the beach, for example, dress semi-casually in an outfit that can withstand a windy beach and the hot sun. In this case, perhaps wear a shawl or extra covering to protect your skin from sunburn.

photo of girls in engagement party dresses

Don’t Wear White

When it comes to figuring out what to wear to an engagement party, remember that white is definitely the color every guest should avoid. In a traditional wedding, brides are known for wearing white as it’s a symbol of purity. 

Whether it’s the wedding day or engagement party, wearing white is considered rude as the bride should be the main point of interest and the only one wearing that color. So, don’t forget to avoid white so you don’t take attention away from the bride-to-be.

instagram photo of bride and friends at engagement party
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Ask About A Dress Code

The engagement party invitation might mention a guest attire dress code, but if not, ask the couple if they have a specific dress code in mind beforehand. When in doubt, a nice dress is always a fantastic go-to option for what to wear to an engagement party.

engagement party guest attire ideas

Shoes Can Say A Lot

Once you pick out a nice dress or some slacks and a lovely blouse, it’s time to complete the outfit with your shoe choice. Shoes can say a lot, and they can also help tie your outfit together.

If you’re trying to dress up your dress or outfit, consider going with a pair of rockin’ high heels for a more sophisticated and elevated look. (Pun intended!) If you’re looking to dress down your attire for a more casual appearance, consider wearing a nice pair of gladiator sandals or even a more relaxed look with a pair of solid high-tops.

Prepare for Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual

Unless specifically told otherwise, we advise that all guests prepare for a semi-formal or dressy casual dress code when it comes to what to wear to an engagement party. In general, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed!

photos of outdoor engagement party dresses

What To Wear To An Engagement Party: For Men

What You Shouldn’t Wear

Before we get into what men should wear to an engagement party, perhaps we should begin with what they shouldn’t wear. Try not to wear shorts, especially basketball shorts or athletic pants. You should also avoid wearing sandals as your footwear of choice.

The Go-To Look

To achieve the go-to look when it comes to what to wear to an engagement party, you can’t go wrong with pants and a button-down shirt. This classic look is a simple and timeless way to look dressed up and ready for any event. But should you dress up even more?

photo of girl in dressy engagement outfit

Dress For Success

If it’s cocktail attire, then you should wear a blazer with a tailored shirt, trousers, and dress shoes. This look is an easy way to look dressed up and blend in with the crowd. Now, what about a tie?

It’s up to you if you want to complete your look with a tie. If the event is leaning more casually, the tie isn’t necessary. However, if you truly want to dress up for the engagement party and show off your personality, a necktie can be an excellent way to do so.

photo of couples at yacht engagement party

What To Wear To An Engagement Party: For The Bride

If you’re the bride wondering what to wear to an engagement party, keep in mind this is your party to shine. You’re the one setting the dress code for the rest of your guests. Wear something that makes you feel cute and comfortable.

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Go All Out

As you’ll likely have to be prepared for countless photo-taking opportunities at your engagement party, you may wish to get rather dressed up for the occasion. Find a dress that sparkles or stands out in the crowd.

fiances at fancy engagement party

The Dressy Casual Look

Maybe you enjoy the idea of dressing up for your party, but still are looking to be comfortable. If that’s the case, find a dressy casual outfit that works for you. Complete the look with some fashionable nude-colored shoes.

david's bridal white engagement dress

Or Keep It Casual

Likewise, it’s certainly fine to opt for something more casual such as this lovely bride-to-be for example. A simple white dress can go a long way.

photo of girl wearing a white engagement dress

Engagement Party Attire: Frequently Asked Questions

How much money do you give for an engagement party?

When it comes to how much a guest should contribute towards an engagement party gift, consider spending around one-quarter to one-third of the cost of what you intend to spend on the wedding gift.

Can you wear jeans to an engagement party?

If the engagement party has a more laid-back or casual dress code, then jeans are fine to wear. Otherwise, you may want to opt for nice slacks or dress pants instead.

Is it OK to wear cream to an engagement party?

When it comes to what to wear to an engagement party, it’s best to stay clear of the color white. If you’re hoping to wear a cream color outfit, you also might want to consider a different option. This isn’t a strict rule if you’re truly set on your attire, but it’d be quite considerate to avoid white and off-white tones.

What Will You Wear?

Now that you know some of the dos and don’ts of what to wear to an engagement party, we hope you have the perfect outfit in mind. Let the styles above inspire you whether you’re going to a casual event or a more formal affair. As long as you pick your attire according to the venue and dress code, you’ll be dressed for success!

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