Your engagement party is the first of many wedding-related events, and serves as the perfect opportunity to set the tone for not only your bridal style but also your wedding style to come.
Thinking of a destination wedding in the tropics? Opt for dresses crafted from breezy linen and cotton for your engagement party look. A modern wedding in the city more your speed? There are plenty of chic and striking dresses to make a powerful statement. Or, maybe your wedding will have more of a minimalist aesthetic? "Don’t hold back in adding your personality to your look," says Stitch Fix stylist, Alicia Lloyd. "You are meant to have fun showing off your authentic style."
Meet the Expert
With Lloyd's help, we found the best engagement party dresses for different venues, body types, and budgets. These looks don't compromise on quality or comfort, and certainly show off your personality.
Set the vibe for the rest of your wedding wardrobe (you still have the shower, bachelorette, rehearsal, and, of course, wedding day to contend with) with our curated round-up of the best engagement party dresses for every bridal style and budget.
Best Midi Option: Alexandre Vauthier Wrap-Effect Asymmetric Dress
Size Range: 2-12 | Length: Midi | Materials: Stretch Jersey
A chic city venue calls for a dress that is at once sophisticated and sexy. This daring midi features a plunging neckline, shoulder pads, and an asymmetrical skirt for a striking figure.
Best Two-Piece: Reformation Barcelona Silk Two Piece
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Floor-length | Materials: Silk
This silk set is both sultry and sophisticated—a lovely look for a bride-to-be who's not afraid to break with tradition. Best of all, you can wear the separates again.
Best Bow Detail : Nookie Adore 2Way Strapless Dress with Detachable Bow
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Mini | Materials: Nylon, Polyester, Spandex
Your engagement party kicks off the first of many celebrations, so why not go for a statement-making dress that will leave a lasting impression? This versatile style features a detachable train, perfect for when the party turns into late-night dancing.
Best Embellishments: Retroféte Dolly Sequin Feather Dress
Size Range: XXS-XXL | Length: Floor-length | Materials: Viscose, Ostrich Feather
Give them glitz and glam in this sparkling sequined maxi dress. With a thigh-high split and a feather trim, all eyes will definitely be on you.
Most Size Inclusive: Bridal by ELOQUII Tie Shoulder Dress
Size Range: 14-28 | Length: Mini | Materials: Polyester
Stay on top of the balletcore trend with this chic take on a tutu dress. The back and side boning give you support, while the fully lined skirt ensures nothing peaks through.
Best Lace Option: Bronx and Banco Madeleine Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Knee-length | Materials: Polyester
We love a puff sleeve and this lovely lace style from Bronx and Banco is no exception. This midi dress would be right at home at a backyard bash or a chic city venue.
Best Mini: Self-Portrait Off-the-Shoulder Guipure Lace Mini Dress
Size Range: 0-10 | Length: Mini | Materials: Guipure Lace, Satin
This off-the-shoulder lace look is at once dressed up and effortless. Wear yours with sandals for a more casual vibe, or go with bright accessories for a pop of color.
For the Minimalist Bride: Katie May Pretty Bird Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Knee-length | Materials: Polyester, Spandex
For the unfussy and minimalist bride, a slip dress is a complete no-brainer for any special occasion. Wow in this elegant delicate midi complete with a soft cowl back.
Best One-Shoulder: Whistles Adelaide One-Shoulder Dress
Size Range: 4-16 | Length: Floor-length | Materials: Polyester
This gorgeous gown feels totally Grecian and utterly romantic. For brides throwing an engagement party in the summer, this style is perfect for a garden or seaside celebration.
Best Metallic : One33 Social Foil Jersey Ruched Midi Dress
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Midi | Materials: Metallic jersey with a foil finish
For brides looking to lean into the metallic trend, this style is an exquisite option for you. Keep accessories minimal and let the dress do all the talking.
Best Open Back: Daughters of Simone X BHLDN Kellen Dress
Size Range: 0-5X | Length: Mini | Materials: Cotton, Polyester, Spandex
The back of your dress is just as important as the front, especially when it comes to posing for photos. This sweet lace mini features a gorgeous open back and comes in plus sizes as well.
Best Tea-Length: DB Studio Satin V-Neck Tea Length A-Line Dress
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Tea-length | Materials: Polyester
If your personal style lends itself towards a more classic or traditional aesthetic, consider an unfussy yet structured style like this one from David's Bridal. Not only is the A-line silhouette supremely flattering, but this style also features an essential detail: pockets.
For a Summer Event: Self Portrait Tiered Broderie Cotton-Voile Midi Dress
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Midi | Materials: Cotton
This light and airy number is crafted from 100 percent cotton making it a comfortable and stylish choice for summer engagement party celebrations. Pair yours with wedges and dewy makeup.
Best Ivory Hue: Reformation Alani Silk Dress
Size Range: 14-24 | Length: Floor-length | Materials: Silk
Bring on the glamour in this silk ivory maxi dress. The halter neckline ties at the neck and waist for a customizable fit while the high slit, open back, and fitted waist show off your figure.
For a Formal Event: Erdem Rea Belted Cutout Lace Midi Dress
Size Range: 2-12 | Length: Midi | Materials: Cotton, Polyamide, Acetate, Viscose, Silk
For brides planning to throw a formal wedding, this stunning lace style is a gorgeous choice for a lavish affair. Best of all, the molded underwire cups let you forgo a bra.
Best Jumpsuit: Lulus Power of Love White Strapless Jumpsuit
Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Materials: Polyester
Torn between a dress or jumpsuit for your wedding? Why not have the best of both worlds by wearing a jumpsuit to your engagement party? This strapless design is extra flattering with a V-neckline and high-waisted pants that highlight your waist.
For the Fashion-Forward Bride: Retroféte Olivia Embellished Tulle Halterneck Gown
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Materials: White tulle
Can you say sexy and classy? With its halter neckline and low back, this form-fitting dress is beautifully fierce and fashion-forward. Top it off with the matching gloves for a little extra glam.
Most Fun: MAJORELLE Zelda Fitz Gown
Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Floor-length | Materials: Nylon
While some brides opt for a pared-back look when it comes to their engagement party dress, we love the idea of donning a floor-length gown for the occasion. This style features a sheer lace trim making it a light and easy choice for working the room.
What to Look for in an Engagement Party Dress
"While the wedding dress is often more formal, floor length, and structured, the engagement party outfit can offer a sense of fun and whimsy, while also being more casual and trend-forward," says Lloyd. You can tap into the balletcore trend with Bridal by ELOQUII Tie Shoulder Dress or go for a jumpsuit like Lulus Strapless Jumpsuit. Have fun with your style for this event, and lean into her personal aesthetic.
What do I wear to an engagement party?
According to Lloyd, there are no rules when it comes to dressing for an engagement party as the bride. "One of the more popular requests that I receive from clients are short dresses that have trendy silhouettes, or embellishments such as sequins or feathers," says Lloyd. "Another style that I’m seeing more of are brides opting for two-piece sets in a luxe fabric like silk."
Does my engagement party dress need to be white?
While tradition dictates that the bride wear white to the engagement party, Lloyd is all about breaking tradition, and says it's fine to experiment with different shades.
What accessories do I wear to an engagement party?
Accessories are another area where you can have some fun and make a statement with bold, trendy styles. Throw on some metallic heels or a sparkly clutch for a touch of glam. "Don’t be afraid to use your shoe or accessory selections to add a pop of unexpected color," says Lloyd.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal parties, and more.