Getting invited to an engagement party of one of your friends or family members can be so exciting. It is a chance to catch up, celebrate and see old friends again.
We could just see it now, the look of pure joy on your face when you receive the invitation, but then suddenly, your face drops...as you realize you have no idea what to wear.
No need to call the stylist in, we have all of the best tips for the best outfits to wear to an engagement party. It may seem simple to some people, but others would hate to make a fashion faux pas at such a celebratory event.
It is not actually all that simple, as what you wear to an engagement party depends heavily on the theme, the dress code, where the party is held, and many other contributing factors to consider.
Luckily for you, we are here to assist you with all of the engagement party etiquette tips that you will need.
What Happens At An Engagement Party?
Engagement parties are all different depending on the couple, so you can never really know what to expect unless you ask the bride and groom yourself.
Some couples prefer to have a traditional, bar or cocktail party event, whereas others may have smaller, more intimate home parties or backyard barbecues to celebrate the news.
Your best bet is to consult the happy couple to see what the vibe is for the party. You do not want to turn up to a barbecue dressed in a floor length gown, or vice versa, turn up to a lavish Gatsby themed cocktail party in your shorts and flannel!
For the most part, an engagement party will be a lowkey event. Most couples prefer to save the cash for the wedding, and just throw an afternoon party or evening drinks event together.
The best part about an engagement party is that it is a happy and stress free affair, all of the stress of planning the wedding usually comes afterwards!
So, expect to sit back, relax, socialize, and take some drinks, whilst engaging in excitable conversations about what the wedding may be like. There may even also be fun games, or cakes or even party favours to celebrate the occasion.
Dress Codes For An Engagement Party
To ensure that you have not gotten the wrong impression, make sure that you always ask about a dress code before attending the engagement party.
This should usually be on the invitation itself, or the happy couple will let you know if there is a theme going on, or if it is just a small gathering of friends at home.
Either way, make sure that you are aware of which it is! Just ask. The host is sure to help you out, and will not be offended in any way.
We would recommend that you go for a smart casual look, as if attending dinner, or drinks after work. This way, you can look great no matter what the dress code entails.
Your best bet is aiming for something a little dressy, but not too over the top in case others are not as dressed for the occasion as you.
You do not want to detract from the couple, or stand out too much from the crowd, but you would not want to look underdressed as it may seem like you are snubbing the event. Therefore, always check the dresscode.
Engagement Party Locations
In addition to the theme or dress code of the engagement party, where it is held will also have an effect on the way you are dressed.
For instance, if on the invitation it says the engagement party will be held on a beach, or a rooftop, then remember to pack a jacket for standing outside in the evening.
In addition, you will need to consider the time of the year in which the engagement party is taking place.
This will assure you whether you need thicker layers, or a lighter, flowing outfit depending on whether it is held during the winter months, fall, spring or summer.
A general rule to stick to if the engagement party is outdoors is to keep it casual.
Maybe dress in a nice way, but prepare a jacket, shawl or cardigan that you can use to cover up if it gets colder as the evening progresses. In addition, think about what time of the day the party is taking place.
If it is an afternoon affair, for brunch or for a BBQ, then you may want to wear a cute sundress, or a nice shirt. On the other hand, a cocktail party at night calls for a little black dress, or a nice evening dress/shirt.
Try to prepare for anything! Take a jacket in case of weather changes, and make sure you check the invitation for when, where and what time the party is taking place to help influence your decision.
Engagement Party Outfit Ideas For Bride & Groom
If it is your own engagement party, then you are going to want to look incredible.
Remember that there will be a lot of lovely photographs to commemorate the event, so you will want a killer outfit!
The good thing is, that it is your engagement party, so you know exactly what the theme is and what the dress code is. So there is no risk of a fashion faux pas.
Therefore, you can decide what colors are right, whether there will be a theme, or whether it is a casual event. Finding an outfit for you to wear should be a breeze!
What may be a good idea, is if you are the bride, then you could be the only one wearing white.
You can contrast this with your partner wearing black, and offering your bridesmaids the choice to wear all the same color together for cute group photo opportunities.
However, this party is all about you as a couple, so you can lead the way. Pick colors and themes that reflect your personalities, your love and your relationship.
That being said, there are going to be a lot of eyes on you, and a lot of photographs, so we recommend that you pick outfits as the bride and groom, that complement each other.
This will ensure that you are not clashing, or the pictures turn out too harsh and unplanned.
Again, depending on the nature of the engagement party, you can pick outfits accordingly. If it is a family barbecue, then choose a nice floral summer dress, whilst the groom wears a crisp white shirt and shorts. The options are down to you!
Engagement Party Outfit Ideas For Guests
Even as a guest, you are going to want to look fire for this engagement party! However, save the best outfit for the actual wedding, and use the engagement party as a warm up.
You are going to want to choose an outfit that is in between. You do not want to dress as lavishly as you would for the wedding, but you also do not want to be underdressed. Go for something that is smart, polished and chic, but not too over the top.
Our advice is that black always looks smart. Whether it’s a nice black shirt with some casual trousers on a man, or a chic cocktail dress on a woman, a sleek black outfit will always stun onlookers.
But, again, it depends on the context of the party. Don’t turn up in a LBD for a hawaiian themed luau BBQ!
Engagement Party Outfits For Women
If there is not already a strict dress code or theme for the engagement party, then just go with a lovely dress. You cannot go wrong with a cute dress for a party, but have a little fun with it.
If it is an evening party, then pair with a smart leather jacket and heels, but if it is for an afternoon tea or BBQ, then stick to sundress with flats, and a denim jacket. You really cannot go wrong! Just remember not to wear white if the bride stipulates it!
Engagement Party Outfits For Men
If there is no smart dress code, or need for a tux, then simply dress nicely. Find a nice shirt, and some smart trousers, or even suit up.
However, if it is a backyard party, then maybe try wearing a patterned shirt and some shorts or pants.
An engagement party is all about the love shared between two people, and should be a fun affair.
Try not to stress too much about what you wear, and just remember to smile, and celebrate the bride and groom!