Skip to main content

 

Finding the right outfit for any important event can be stressful, but when you’re coming together with friends and family to celebrate your own engagement or the engagement of a loved one, the stakes can feel even higher. If you’re the bride-to-be, you’re tasked with finding a stand-out outfit for the (first) occasion where all eyes are on you. If you’re a guest, you’ll be looking for something with the goldilocks effect — not too casual, not too formal, but just right. In this guide, we explore what to wear to an engagement party and how to make sense of those ever-confusing dress codes.

 

Dresses To Wear To Your Engagement Party | For The Bride 

So, it’s the big day before your big day. All that planning, booking, organising, and preparing can be overwhelming. Picking an outfit on top of that? Just thinking about it all feels like cause for a lie-down. The main thing to remember if you’re the bride-to-be is that you hold the power. Well, you and your partner of course! Maybe your idea of the perfect night is a cocktail party, complete with a lively dancefloor and extravagant decor. Or, maybe a relaxed backyard barbecue or picnic is more your speed. Go with what feels right for you — that goes for the dress code, too. When you’re working out what to wear to your engagement party, consider what makes you feel most confident and comfortable.


The Bride In White

If you’re keen on sticking with tradition, slip into something white. At cocktail engagement parties, a statement white midi dress is always a good idea for the bride. These dress styles are ideal if you’re wearing a white dress to your wedding and want to mix things up a bit for the engagement party.


Nookie Adore Two Way Dress

The Nookie Adore Two Way Dress is a gorgeous mini dress that exudes luxury and elegance. This showstopping dress is made for that iconic moment - perfect for a bridal or engagement party where everyone is celebrating you. This dress features a structured bodice and removable bow. A fun and flirty, yet sophisticated style, making it the perfect engagement party dress.

 


House Of CB Lulu Drape Midi Corset Dress

The House of CB Lulu Drape Midi Corset Dress is a beautiful one shoulder corset dress in a beautiful duchess satin. This dress is the perfect style for cocktail events, as it is elegant and meets semi-formal attire. Corset dresses are also super trendy at the moment so why not jump on the trend while you have the chance!

This style is available in pistachio green and white.


Rebecca Vallance Calla V-Wire Midi Dress

The Rebecca Vallance Calla V Wire Midi Dress is crafted in an Ivory/White crepe fabric. This dress embodies femininity and style that exudes elegance. Featuring an A-line silhouette and wide supportive straps, this dress is made for comfort which is all you want in a cocktail outfit. We love this style for bridal parties as a classic style that will not take away from your big day wedding dress.


Consider Colour

Alternatively, you could go with something in a bold colour. You could even inverse the traditional engagement party style code by asking guests to wear white or neutral hues. Really lean into colour by opting for neon colour blocking or vibrant prints, even a sequined style. As for silhouettes, it’s really up to you. For cocktail parties, you can look at structured mini or midi dresses with statement features like puff sleeves or a ruffled hem. In more relaxed settings, floaty midi dresses or a chic top-and-pants set will work well.


Nookie Smoke Show Mini Dress

The Nookie Smoke Show Mini Dress is a gorgeous sequin mini dress that features a sexy halter, drape along the bust and open back. This gold mini dress is the perfect statement outfit for an engagement party. This dress will guaranteed have all eyes on you and still leaves curiosity for your wedding day outfit.


Aje Myriad Cut Out Mini Dress

The Aje Myriad Cut Out Mini Dress is the perfect fun and flirty mini dress to wear for an engagement party event. The puff sleeves, intricate ruching detail and voluminous skirt make this unique style a statement piece. This dress will have all eyes on you, so step out of your comfort zone with this gorgeous mini dress.


What To Wear To An Engagement Party | For A Guest 


You’ve received the invitation, and now it’s time to work out what to wear. Let’s start by answering the question that always comes to mind when you’re planning your engagement party look.

Can You Wear White To An Engagement Party?

Our answer? No. We recommend adopting the same approach as you would for the wedding. Unless the engaged couple specifically requests that you wear white, don’t wear it. We’d also recommend avoiding off-white, pale pink, and champagne hues in case the bride-to-be opts for something white-adjacent. If you feel most comfortable in light or pastel hues, consider pale blues, yellows, and mauves instead.
 

Dress Codes

Some engagement party invitations will outline a specific dress code. This is a good thing — it makes sourcing an outfit a whole lot easier. Below, we look at the two most common dress codes for engagement parties and what you can wear for each of them.

Dressy-Casual or Semi-Formal 

These two dress codes are considered interchangeable, in that they basically mean the same thing. For dressy-casual or semi-formal engagement parties, you’ll be looking to pieces that are less structured than what you might wear to a cocktail party. We recommend a midi or maxi dress for both daytime and nighttime events. Look to floaty, relaxed silhouettes rather than bodycon or fitted styled which lend themselves more to formal events. Unless a colour palette has been specified, for daytime parties you can play with bright colours and prints that feel appropriate for the location. Think florals for picnics and bright hues for poolside barbecues.

If dresses aren’t your thing, wide-leg trousers and a blouse will also work for semi-formal parties. You could consider opting for a set too, which we love for ease of styling. It’s always better to overdress than underdress at an engagement party, so keep that in mind when selecting your outfit.


By Nicola Gabriella One Shoulder Midi Dress

The By Nicola Gabriella One Shoulder Midi Dress is a beautiful linen dress. This one shoulder style featuring a flowy skirt is perfect for summer paired with a cute pair of sandals. This gorgeous dress is perfect for daytime events during the summer time and makes the perfect dress when attending an engagement party as a guest.

This style is available in colours pink grapefruit and sunkissed orange.


Sir The Label Rei Knot Dress

The Sir The Label Rei Knot Dress is a gorgeous linen style that features an on trend cut out at the waist with a knotted tie on the waist and shoulder. In a beautiful beige with rusted orange floral print, this dress is perfectly understated for your more casual or semi-formal events. Linen dresses are perfect for more casual events which is why this dress would be perfectly suited for a relaxed engagement party event paired with some sandals and minimal jewellery.


Cocktail

A cocktail party calls for a more structured look. For daytime cocktail parties, a classic midi dress is ideal. You can still work with bright colours and prints for daytime cocktail parties, as long as the silhouette of your dress is a bit more fitted to ensure a more elevated and formal look. We recommend avoiding styles with excessive cutouts or plunging necklines.

For evening cocktail parties, a blazer and pants combo or form-fitting midi dress are our top picks. You can dress your blazer and pants up with pointed-toe heels, slicked-back hair, and statement accessories. As for an evening midi dress, we love tones such as wine, deep green, burnt orange, navy, and dusty rose. Pleats and satin slip designs are timeless and foolproof. You could also opt for an LBD for an evening cocktail party — just ensure the hemline and neckline are sophisticated.


L'idee Renaissance Split Gown

The L'idee Renaissance Split Gown in bright green, is the perfect cocktail dress. With the famous L'idee pleating in the umbrella skirt and halter, you will be looking sleek and elegant with this dress. You can't go wrong with this dress to a cocktail themed engagement party. This statement piece is so versatile as it can be dressed up or dressed down depending on how formal the occasion is.

This style also comes in colours: ballet pink, dusty rose, floss pink, chocolate, sea green, sky blue and hot pink for a look with no split.


Aje Serendipity Reflection Midi Dress

The Aje Serendipity Reflection Midi Dress is a gorgeous dress with a corset inspired waist, made from a glossy linen material. Made mostly from linen, it is extremely comfortable and in colours blush, champagne and navy. This style is suited to all ages and is perfect for those who want more coverage in a cocktail dress. This stunning style can be dressed up with formal accessories to achieve a black tie look, or even dressed down for your more casual events in the daytime.


The Invite Doesn’t Have A Dress Code — What Now?

If the engagement party invitation doesn’t have a dress code, there are three key things that can help to guide your outfit selection.

Firstly, consider the location. Is the party at a rooftop bar or a restaurant? In this case, we recommend going with cocktail party attire. As a general rule, if the event is taking place at a formal venue, you should err on the side of formal outfitting. If the party is taking place in a park or at home, you’ll be safe with an outfit that toes the line between semi-formal and cocktail. Consider a printed midi dress or wide-leg pants, a blouse, and heels.

The time of day in which the party is taking place will also play a part in your outfit. For daytime events, colour and print are welcomed. So, if the event is a park picnic at 2:00 pm, a floaty floral maxi dress or printed skirt and cami will be perfect. For a party at an inner-city bar at 7:30 pm, we’d recommend a satin slip dress in an earthy hue.

Lastly, consider the season and the weather. In warmer months, bright colours, florals, and silhouettes with ruffles will be more appropriate. For an engagement party in winter, you might like to consider opting for jewel tones and more streamlined silhouettes instead.


Zimmermann Aliane Ruffle Midi Dress

The Zimmermann Aliane Ruffle Midi Dress is crafted from linen and cotton. The dress features a self tie bow detail at the front and ruffled trimming alongside the shoulders, leading to a racerback with cut-out details. In the warm orange colour, this dress is perfect for a summer event. We love this linen fabric as it adds a sense of luxury, making it easy to dress up or down. This dress makes the perfect engagement party outfit as a guest when the dress code is unclear.


Nookie Nouveau Midi Dress

The Nookie Nouveau Midi Dress is a stunning midi dress. This dress features a square neckline with pearl detailing along the bust and straps. A super comfortable and easy to wear style that is made from a form fitting scuba crepe material. A classic and modern look that is perfect for any event, especially a cocktail party or night time event. Add a little wow to your next event with this gorgeous midi dress.

 

This style is available in black and nude.


Rebecca Vallance Catania Mini Dress

The Rebecca Vallance Catania Mini Dress is made from a linen blend and features a floral print, puff sleeves, side pockets and an open back. This mini dress is perfect for the spring/summer season as it is easy to wear and makes the perfect outdoor daytime event dress. Wear this number to an engagement party with heels to make it semi-formal or sandals to tone it down.


Finding Your Fit

Discover our range of cocktail dresses and day dresses available for hire for your next engagement party. You can find all of the pieces included in this guide here. Our convenient hiring system makes wearing your favourite outfits sustainable and inexpensive. Reduce your environmental footprint and never have to outfit repeat again, its a win-win situation!