21 Trendy Wedding Guest Dresses for a Welcome Party

From floral maxi dresses to luscious velvet jumpsuits.

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welcome party dress

Photo by Rebecca Yale

For those attending a “wedding weekend”, you may be deciding on the outfits you need to pack for all the festivities. This usually includes the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the send-off, but before those events even start, you’ll likely also attend a welcome party. Typically, the welcome party happens on the same day as the rehearsal dinner and is a casual gathering for guests to meet before the big day.

So, the question is: What do you wear for this occasion? Generally, the welcome party is a laid-back event; and with this in mind, smart casual dresses are the way to go. This can range from maxi dresses and minis to rompers and jumpsuits. When selecting an ensemble, you should also pay attention to the location and overall vibe of the wedding, unless a specific dress code is noted by the couple. However, if you're a bit stuck on what to wear, a good rule of thumb is to always be overdressed than underdressed. 

Whether you’re attending a seaside welcome party or a rooftop soiree, we’ve put together the best dresses that will fit any and every situation. Scroll on to see our top picks we're sure you'll love.

Best Day-to-Night Option: Significant Other Scarlett Maxi Dress

blue and white floral dress

Courtesy of Significant Other

Fits: True to size | Size: 2-12 | Materials: Cotton, Linen

This tiered maxi dress from Significant Other is an elegant option that doesn’t feel overly dressy for a welcome party. It can easily go from day to night depending on when the party takes place.

Most Effortless: La Ligne Anais Dress

mustard yellow dress

Courtesy of La Ligne

Fits: True to size | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Linen, viscose 

We love this maxi dress for late summer or early fall wedding festivities. Pair with lace-up sandals and statement earrings for an effortlessly chic welcome party ‘fit.

Most Classic: Kenia05 Velvet Dress

polka dot green mini dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

Fits: Non-stretch fabric | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Weave

For a more conservative welcome party look, we are fans of this polka-dot mini dress. Pair with heeled boots for a fall wedding or strappy sandals for the summertime.

Best Sleeves: En Saison La Raque Mini Dress

Floral Printed Mixed Media Mini Dress

Courtesy of En Saison

Fits: Non-stretch fabric | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Weave

Kick off the wedding celebrations in this short and sweet dress from En Saison. Our favorite part? The on-trend sheer puff sleeves, which are sure to make a statement.

Best Cocktail Attire: Reformation Arta Dress

strapless baby blue midi dress

Courtesy of Reformation

Fits: True to size | Size: 0-12 | Materials: Viscose 

For a cocktail-attire welcome party, consider this strapless Reformation midi. The dress has a smocked back bodice that makes for a more comfortable stretch fit. Dress it up with a slicked-back hairstyle and gold hoops.

For a Formal Tropical Wedding: Alexis Max Dress

mini floral blue dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

Fits: Non-strech fabric | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Organza  

If you’re heading to a tropical destination for a wedding with formal vibes, walk into the weekend in this floral jacquard mini dress. The bold blue shade is perfect for seaside "I dos."

Most Comfortable: Reformation Ashlynn Dress

a sleeveless, midi dress with double, spaghetti strap details and a scoop neckline

Courtesy of Reformation

Fits: Tight-fitting | Size: XS-XL | Materials: TENCEL™ Lyocell, organic cotton, spandex  

Keep things comfy while still remaining chic in this knit midi. The bodycon style enhances the dress silhouette, while the double spaghetti straps add support to the chest area.

Best Wrap Silhouette: Zimmermann Silk Wrap Mini Dress

wine color wrap dress

Courtesy of Zimmermann

Fits: True to size | Size: 0P-4 | Materials: Silk

Attending a welcome party during the winter season? Try this silky Zimmermann wrap dress. The sleeves are a blouson style, while the hemline of the skirt is cut asymmetrically.

Most Edgy: Alice + Olivia Daven Vegan Leather Mini Dress

vegan leather pink mini dress

Courtesy of Revolve

Fits: True to size | Size: 0-10 | Materials: Polyurethane, viscose, polyester, elastane

Take a risk with this croc-embossed, faux leather mini dress for a nontraditional wedding. The rosy pink color is great for a daytime or evening affair.

For a Garden Party: By Anthropologie Tiered Maxi Dress

By Anthropologie Tiered Maxi Dress azalea and green floral

By Anthropologie

Fits: True to size | Size: 0-10 | Materials: Polyurethane, viscose, polyester, elastane

You can’t go wrong with a sophisticated tiered maxi dress for a garden-themed welcome party. This option from Anthropologie is a look you’ll be reaching for again and again long after the wedding.

Best Slit: Reformation Ledger Dress

Reformation

Courtesy of Reformation

Fits: True to size | Size: 0-12 | Materials: Viscose 

High slits can be a bold choice for weddings, but this midi dress features a slit in the most elegant way possible. It falls right under the waist, which has an asymmetrical cut for a wrap-dress illusion.

Best Smocked Style: Eloquii Smocked Dress

Eloquii

Courtesy of Eloquii

Fits: True to size | Size: 14-28 | Materials: Rayon

This smocked dress features a flounce on the bottom hem for a fun and flirty touch. Pair the midi with tan block heels and dangling earrings. 

Best Jumpsuit: Norma Kamali Rectangle Jog Jumpsuit

mustard yellow velvet jumpsuit

Courtesy of Revolve

Fits: True to size | Size: XS-L | Materials: Velvet

Some welcome parties involve games, a bit of dancing, or just light mingling, and this jumpsuit is perfect for all of it! It’s made from velvet material that is easy to move around in and, with the right accessories, it can easily be dressed up or down.

Best Details: ASOS Design Blouson Mini Dress

asos dress

Courtesy of ASOS

Fits: True to size | Size: 12-26 | Materials: Polyester

This may look like your typical floral mini from far away, but up close you’ll see the blouson sleeves are detailed with silver rings. It’s a small touch, but it will set this dress apart from others at the party.

For a Beachside Location: Miguelina Orange Fatema Midi Dress

belted crochet and cotton-voile midi dress

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Fits: True to size | Size: XS-L | Materials: Cotton

For a beachside welcome party, you can’t go wrong with this dreamy orange number from Miguelina. The crochet embroidery subtly features topical birds and flowers that might be missed at first glance.

Best LBD: Ulla Johnson Eden Dress

little black dress

Courtesy of Ulla Johnson

Fits: True to size | Size: 00-16 | Materials: Cotton

This LBD may fall on the casual side, but it’s still a winner when it comes to welcome party attire. Dress it up with your favorite pair of platform heels and an eye-catching clutch.

Best Romper: Lulus Olive Green Romper

green romper

Courtesy of Lulus

Fits: True to size | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Polyester

If you’re not one for dresses, the welcome party is your opportunity to pull out your best romper. We are fans of this piece from Lulus, and we recommend styling it with gold jewelry and strappy lace-up heels.

For a Casual Event: L*Space Naomi Dress

blue cut out casual dress

Courtesy of Revolve

Fits: True to size | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Lyocell, elastane

Are you heading to a tropical destination wedding with laid-back beach vibes? In that case, we are picturing this L*Space maxi dress at the event with a woven clutch and sandals.

Most Colorful: Farm Rio Animal Collage Maxi Dress

colorful animal print maxi dress

Courtesy of Farm Rio

Fits: True to size | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Viscose

Bring some liveliness to the welcome party with this multi-colored maxi dress from Farm Rio. Keep accessories minimal to let the dress shine for itself.

For an All-White Dress Code: Reformation Cole Two Piece

white two piece look

Courtesy of Reformation

Fits: True to size | Size: 0-12 | Materials: Linen

While this may seem like a very specific scenario, more couples are planning wedding events with a distinct color dress code. The all-white look is a popular choice for summer celebrations, and this two-piece set from Reformation fits the bill.

For a City Wedding: Rick Owens Toga Draped Cotton-Jersey Tunic

mini black dress

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Fits: True to size | Size: XS-XXL | Materials: Cotton

Go uber trendy with this draped tunic from Rick Owens. It’s an unconventional look, but still feels wedding appropriate when paired with heels and a statement clutch.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Welcome Party Dress as a Guest

For the welcome party, you'll want to focus on the setting and the time of day, as this will help you decide on what to wear. And a good place to start is by searching for an ensemble similar to a look you would wear to the bridal shower or engagement party. Ultimately, what's most important is ensuring that you feel comfortable and confident in whatever you wear.

FAQ
  • How do I know what the dress code is for the welcome party?

    Unless the invitation states a specific form of attire, you can most likely assume the dress code is casual. Most welcome parties are held in the afternoon or early evening, so sundresses with heels and dressy rompers would all be appropriate choices.

  • Do I have to wear a dress to a welcome party?

    No, it all depends on your level of comfortability. However, while dresses aren't required, jeans are absolutely not suitable for a welcome party. Instead, opt for flowy pants or skirts, paired with a blouse.

About the Author

Contributing writer Melony Forcier is a recent graduate starting her career path in beauty and fashion journalism. Before graduating, she interned with both Boston Magazine and Foundation PR. Additionally, she served as a fashion editor for Boston University's lifestyle magazine, The Buzz.

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