Essential Tips To Help You Decide What to Wear to an Engagement Party

Sep/03/2021 / by Nancy Amon
what to wear for an engagement party
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Engagement parties are exciting for the bride and groom-to-be, as well as the guests. What to wear for an engagement party is the question every guest asks themselves in the days leading up to the event. Before you can tackle the what, you need to know some key factors to help you decide the perfect options.

What do engagement party outfits look like? 

So, what makes the ideal engagement party outfit? If you’re tying the knot soon, then you’re keen on getting the perfect outfit for the party. 

The bride-to-be would usually wear white to mimic her wedding dress in the near future. Most choices of engagement attire are cocktail dresses and cocktail attire. 

Engagement party attire depends entirely on the venue, the time of day and even the theme. Think formal attire which applies to you and your plus one. 

A lot of information is given in the invite, so you don’t have to worry about the attire. 

The 101 Expert Tips to Help you Learn What to Wear for an Engagement Party

Don’t choose white

If you’re not the bride, then don’t opt for white. This will be a sign of respect for the future bride. Along with white, also steer clear from bride colors like soft pinks, champagne, cream and other colors that could pass for bridal gown hues. 

Private property event (someone’s yard)

When an event such as this delightful affair is on the cards, the location doesn’t mean you don’t have to care about what you wear. Even when the engagement party is at a family members backyard and the invite reads “casual attire” that’s not an invite for sneakers and full-blown casual wear. 

Engagement parties always have an elegant flair to them and this shouldn’t be taken for granted. While you might not need to wear a tie, or bow tie and ballgown, you and your plus one should still go for semi-formal or smart casual. 

What do you wear to an engagement party like this? Cocktail dresses work. A pants suit and blouse will also suffice. 

What about an engagement at the poolside?

The poolside engagement party is probably the only exception to trade your heels for flip flops, and your dress for a beach sarong. You can do your hair according to your outfit and pool party vibe. 

Remember the time of day

The invite would indicate when the party is taking place. Dinnertime reservations differ vastly from luncheon banquets which are usually more elaborate and fancy.  Daytime luncheon may require a suit for the man and a day dress for the woman. 

For the engagement dinner, it’s more of a party and a sports jacket could work for the man, while the woman can wear a short-length party dress. Accessories help to spruce up any look for any occasion.

What to Wear for an Engagement Party #Bride #Groom 

Everyone has to abide by the dress code for an engagement the couple to wed and their guests. 

Engagement party attire for the bride-to-be 

The engagement party preparation can bring on some wedding jitters, but don’t worry. The bridal couple sets the pace for the event. You can decide where the event will take place, what theme and what you want from it. 

When choosing an outfit after establishing the where, what, time, etc is easy, experts suggest picking something that reflects personality. Maybe you’re the type of bride that is a bit of a tomboy, then going with a semi-formal attire could count in your favor. Perhaps you don’t want to wear a white dress, then a tailor-fit white pants suit or jumpsuit works too. 

You also want to use the engagement party as the place to see your beautiful engagement ring, so make sure that your outfit works with it. 

  • Glamour picks – From head to toe, go for glam and fine embellishment jewelry to complement your outfit. 
  • All in white – Dressing in all white from head to toe works well for the bride-to-be. A white suit or dress works well here. 
  • The vintage look – This is a good opportunity to choose retro designs like ruffle frill dresses, a hat and even gloves if you want. It’s all about vintage charm. 
  • Go for gold – The color gold is bold and glamorous. Go for something sparkly and choose delicate jewelry to accompany the dress. 

Engagement attire for the groom-to-be

For the guys, it’s a bit easier on the dress front. He follows the lead of the bride. Both parties can decide on the theme, venue, time and so on. Once that is figured out and the bride has her outfit sorted, the groom can match her. 

If you don’t want to do the “matchy-matchy” move, making sure colors and items don’t clash is critical for great-looking photos. 

  • Beach vibes – Choose linen pants that’s cuffed to prevent it from getting wet or sandy. Pick closed shoes in this instance because sand in your toes while fully dressed isn’t always a great idea. A mandarin collar shirt could work great with the outfit. 
  • BBQ casual – A bold colored chino shorts works here. Think bold green, burnt orange, and bright shirts. Loafers or boat shoes can accompany this BBQ casual outfit.
  • More formal – Crisp white shirts work great with trousers and a jacket. You may need to add a tie to complete your look. 
  • Drinks at the bar with the guys – A good pair of slim-fit jeans with Chelsea boots and a nice shirt (stripe, or plain) works for this look. You can also add a sports jacket to this look. 

What do you Wear to an Engagement Party if you’re a Guest?

Guests may want to pull out all the stops for the engagement party, but remember, there’s still the big wedding day to attend. That said, engagement party outfits for the guests still need to be on point without overshadowing the bride and groom.

Dress with the season, and take your cue from the venue and the time. Chino shorts and a button-up shirt and moccasins work well for men at a casual barbecue. Ladies can wear an above-the-knee dress and wedge shoes. A shirt dress that isn’t too casual could work perfectly too. 

  • Black and white – While careful to steer clear from white, choose to combine it with black. Less on the white and more on the black is fine. 
  • Print or floral outfit – If the theme is summertime or spring, then florals and prints are perfect. 
  • Color block – Color block items are on trend this year so wearing this to the engagement could work well with the theme. 

Remember the Dos and Don’ts for Engagement Parties 

  • Do check whose hosting the party – In this way, you’ll be able to learn any additional information so that you’re properly prepared on the day. 
  • Do keep it casual – A casual event is much better to allow the families to meet and greet as opposed to a formal ado. 
  • Do create a virtual experience – With regulations, permitted guests are limited. A virtual party will cater to the other guests who cannot attend the actual in-person engagement party. 
  • Do keep things minimal – The engagement party is only the forerunner for the actual wedding day. It should be based on the fact that you want the different families to meet and talk to each other. 
  • Do thank your guests – After all is said and done, you don’t want your guests to leave without thanking them. This is the couple-to-be’s opportunity to thank everyone who attended. You may not do the wedding favors at this time, but a thank you speech can work perfectly well. 
  • Don’t let your parents only meet at the engagement party – How awkward would it be if the parents only met at the engagement party for the first time? have them meet a few times before then so that they’re already acquainted with each other and comfortable. 
  • Don’t shy away from the guests – It’s easy for families and friends who are already acquainted with each other to keep to themselves. The future couple must take this opportunity to encourage the guests to mingle and get to know each other. After all, these families will become one. 
  • Don’t invite people if they’re not invited to the wedding – You don’t want these two to clash. When guests are invited to the engagement party, it’s assumed that they are invited to the wedding too. 
  • Don’t expect gifts – Traditionally, no gifts are brought to the engagement party. But instead for the wedding day. Some guests would bring gifts though, so the gift registry should be ready sooner than later. 


How should you dress for an engagement party? 

The way you dress depends on the event, venue and season. 

What should you not wear to an engagement party?

If you’re going as a guest, don’t wear white. White and other bridal colors is off-limits.

What do you wear to an engagement party 2021?

Most engagement outfits are the cocktail look. Regulations in 2021 may not be the same as it was for other years, given everything happening in the world. You can take your cue from the invite and theme. The event planners would have already made certain to check any protocol requirements. 

Which dress is best for an engagement for a girl?

There are so many options when it comes to dresses for a woman. The bride-to-be sets the tone for the event and whatever she decides on will influence the rest of the options. Traditional engagements may require specific elements depending on the culture, but each engagement party shares similar aspects. 

Can you wear jeans to an engagement party?

We don’t recommend jeans to an engagement party, even the casual type. Semi-casual options are better. For example, chino pants for men, cocktail dresses for women, short dresses and no flip flops unless its a pool party. If you don’t want to wear a short dress, then a longer maxi dress, or trousers and blouse will be excellent choices for a semi-casual look. 

Conclusion for What to Wear for an Engagement Party

If you keep these pointers in mind as a guideline, the rest will be easy. Remember that if you’re not one hundred percent certain about the attire requirements, then don’t stress; simply ask. You can ask those involved in arranging the party if you don’t ask the couple directly. 

When it comes to the couple to wed, you should avoid asking them about the party attire on the day of the event. That’s probably one of the worst things a guest could do, along with wearing white or being appropriately dressed. 


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