Love is in the air for fall the season. What can be a better backdrop for a romantic event than the rich palette of changing, warm-colored leaves and palettes of cinnamon, spice, pumpkin, and everything nice? Don’t let chilly weather confuse you: fall is a prime wedding season. So stay on top of your party planning.
But not all brides opt for fall for a wedding. Others are thinking about a more downbeat event. And before the wedding comes the engagement party. A fall engagement party is ideal because the weather will be a happy medium, not scalding hot and not freezing cold. The changing colors of leaves allows a cozy ambiance, a nice change of pace from summer.
Unlike weddings, engagement party invites don’t usually come with a dress code, so determining what to wear can be quite daunting. The rule of thumb is typically to keep it light. More often than not, engagement parties fall during the daytime, so casual cocktail attire is an easy go-to. But if you’re still confused, worry not, because this is your definitive guide to dressing for a fall engagement party, whether you’re a guest, in the wedding party, or the bride herself.
What are you wearing to your fall engagement party?
For the guest
When you’re dressing for a fall engagement party, something you’ll definitely want to do is keep your color options open. For summer events, color palettes are light—whites, pastels, florals. While the more ethereal tones can definitely work for fall, there’s no need to limit yourself this season. In the summertime, you need airier colors that don’t weigh down on your skin so heavily in the blazing heat. But for fall, you can play around with colors a lot more. A deeper hue or a warmer tone is always well-played as the temperatures start to decline. Try an earthy purple or a mossy green, and don’t forget to get creative with pairing. If chosen properly, a maroon tone can be the perfect accent color to certain shades of purple, green, yellow, or gray.
For daytime parties:
For evening parties:
For the bride-to-be
You might need to wait for the actual big day for the bridal gown, but your engagement party is the perfect time to start getting used to seeing yourself in white. Along with sporting a pretty stone on your finger, endless bubbly, and the comfort of having found your perfect partner, the plethora of little white dresses you get to wear leading up to the wedding is one of the best perks. Use your engagement party, and other pre-wedding festivities, as opportunities to experiment with different types of white dresses.
From maxi dresses to mini dresses, lace to satin, sheath to tulle, and ivory to eggshell, white dresses are a lot more than just white dresses. For your fall engagement party, wear whatever style you want, whether it’s a day or evening event. And have some fun with it—use your white dress as a blank slate and pair it with any color shoe or accessory you want.
Some outfit inspiration ideas for you:
For the bridesmaid-to-be
In recent bridal trends, some brides have been preferring to have her whole bridal party stick to the color scheme of the wedding colors for pre-wedding events. So if that’s the case for your bride, that gives you less choice but still a lot of freedom. Be sure to make your outfit your own by picking a style that best represents you. Pick something a bit less traditional like a skirt-and-top combo or jumpsuit if that’s what you’re most comfortable in. Just opt for a style or material that feels slightly more elevated, because whether the fall engagement party is an afternoon or evening event, as a member of the bridal party, you deserve to feel a bit more dressed up. The most important thing is to pick something comfortable so that you can enjoy yourself at a party with all of your friends.
And for those bridesmaids with more options in how they dress, the guidelines still follow: be comfortable, and show your personality.
Ideas for daytime parties:
And for evening events:
For the mother of the bride-to-be or groom-to-be
This fall engagement party might be a celebration of your child’s exciting plans, but let’s face it: it’s your celebration as well. What can be sweeter than seeing your daughter or son happy in love, and welcoming a new member into your family? This engagement party is a time for you to rejoice in your future, too. So the most important part in planning an outfit is to be comfortable (but you’ll want to look good, too).
If your party takes place in the daytime:
If your party is an evening event:
And last but definitely not least, for the groom-to-be
The engagement party might be the most difficult event for the groom to dress for. Your wedding outfit will likely be selected by the bride, and if not, there are less options with formal wear than there are for casual attire. You don’t want to be too dressed up, but you also don’t want to be too dressed down. And that happy medium is often difficult to pinpoint. When it comes to trousers, opt for laidback chinos, and aim for a color other than black to keep that casual feel. Grey and beige are always good options, but you can even go for something a bit more individualized like navy.
And if you do want to wear jeans, it’s your fall engagement party, so do what you want. Just try to stick to a dark wash or preferably, black jeans, in a skinny or slim fit. If you’re going for the denim route, pair your jeans with a sophisticated Oxford or brogue, and definitely don’t add any more denim into the mix. A crisp button down in either a solid color or light pattern is definitely the best pick, and keep yours untucked if you want to keep things even more laidback. You likely won’t need a tie for this engagement party, but you can wear a blazer if you think it will tie the look together.
Image: Unsplash @ Michał Parzuchowski