She said yes! The run up to the wedding includes lots of celebratory events. It’s a chance for the bride and groom to make memories with all their family and friends. Yet, there’s nothing quite like a bridal shower to kick off the wedding festivities. If you’re looking for what to wear to a bridal shower, you’ve come to the right place!
Traditionally, a bridal shower is a women-only event that celebrates the bride-to-be. All of her loved ones gather on an afternoon to shower her in gifts for her new home with her future husband. Guests usually gift personal items like jewelry or lingerie. Whereas close relatives wrap up family heirlooms to make the occasion extra special.
The most common showers include lunch or brunch followed by some silly games. However, modern bridal showers have fun themes and include creative activities. This could be a paint class or wine tasting followed by afternoon tea. Some brides even ask their grooms to join them for the party.
There’s plenty of fun to be had at a bridal shower, so it’s no wonder why so many people have trouble deciding what to wear. Whether you are the bride-to-be, a guest, or the mother of the bride. We’ve got plenty of ideas for your bridal shower outfit…
What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as a Bride
If you’re the bride, lucky you! You get to make all the rules and set the tone for what you want your guests to wear to the party. And since it’s your day, you can wear whatever you want. But it can still be overwhelming having so many options to choose from.
Here are some FAQ’s to help…
Do I have to wear white to my bridal shower?
Most brides-to-be opt for white, but a white dress can be a little…expected. While sand, cream, and neutral hues are common colors for brides. You shouldn’t be afraid to be daring and spice up your look. Stand out from your guests in a bold patterned summer dress or mix and match in a colorful co-ord.
Maybe you like the idea of sticking to tradition but want to save a white dress for the big day. You can still wear white while making a statement. Dazzle in a stunning suit or keep it chic with a casual jumpsuit. You could even pair pink satin pants with an elegant creamy top and accessories for a more relaxed vibe.
Should I wear white at an activity bridal shower?
Whatever you choose to wear, you want to dress for the event. Have you planned games or a mucky activity? Maybe you’ve decided on a themed bridal shower. You want to make sure you are comfortable however you spend your day.
Do you plan to get messy but still want to wear white? Don a creamy pair of lace shorts and a polished t-shirt. But if you plan to spend the majority of the day bending over or making moves on the dance floor. It’s best to sport a long skirt or pants. You don’t want to give your guests a preview of the honeymoon!
What theme should I use for my bridal shower?
While a themed bridal shower isn’t a must, having one will make party planning easier and things will be a lot more fun. Whether you like the idea of a Champagne Brunch or a Beach Bonanza. There are plenty of bridal shower dress code ideas for you and your guests to get creative:
- Dress to the nines at a black-tie shower
- Flourish in floral with a tea party theme
- Pick out a ditsy summer dress for a backyard shower
- Be sophisticated in a knee length dress for a Paris themed party
- Get in the spirit with an all-white bridal shower
- Mix and match with a glam pajama party shower
- Make it a coed affair with a Jack and Jill shower
What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as a Guest
Finding bridal shower outfit ideas as a guest can feel daunting. Maybe you’ve never been to a bridal shower before and don’t know the proper protocol. Maybe there’s a specific dress code to follow and you have no idea where to start. Finding the perfect ensemble is almost as unnerving as picking the perfect gift.
Can I wear white to a bridal shower?
The general rule of thumb as a guest at a bridal shower is to avoid wearing white at all costs. The wedding guest etiquette applies to the bridal shower as well. Although, the bride-to-be could specify for her guests to wear white as part of a theme.
You may also want to avoid wearing black to a bridal shower as it can feel somber. So instead stick to pastels, neutrals, or florals to represent the celebratory tone of the upcoming nuptials. If you prefer to wear darker colors, choose a softer grey or something navy that you feel most comfortable in.
Can I wear pants or jeans to a bridal shower?
Ideally, you want to match the tone and formality of the event. If the bride is throwing a backyard bridal shower, it’s ok for guests to wear jeans or pants. A bridal shower at someone’s house is usually low key. But be sure to dress up a little with a chic blouse and some accessories. Avoid wearing stiletto heels but leave your sneakers at home. Alternatively, you could wear:
- A flowing sundress
- A pair of pants with a silk top
- A linen jumpsuit
- Jeans and a boho blouse
- Midi-skirt and a tank top
However, the bridal shower could be held at a country club or a fancy restaurant. In that case, you may want to opt for cocktail attire. A knee length dress or satin skirt is the perfect outfit for the occasion. Don’t wear anything too tight or revealing. A bridal shower is usually tame and formal, so keep things buttoned up. Instead, choose from an array of options like:
- Silk pants and a blouse
- An off-shoulder maxi dress
- Satin jacket and pajama-style pants
- High-waisted trousers and a tie neck top
How to tell the theme of a bridal shower?
If you’re unsure of the dress code, then play it safe with a floral print maxi dress. However, you can usually get a feel for the event from the invite. Checking where the bridal shower is being held is your first clue for whether to dress casual or formal.
Also, see if the host has organized any activities or games. Be sure to dress comfortably and don’t opt for anything too flowy if you’re extremely competitive. Someone is sure to snap an embarrassing picture of you tumbling over your long skirt.
What should I wear to a bridal shower in the winter?
When we think of bridal showers, we picture warm summer afternoons. Yet, some brides prefer to throw their big days in the colder winter months. Here, florals and pastel colors seem out of season. Instead, guests should stick to warm and rich colors like burgundy, brown, or forest green.
Although most showers during this season will be indoors, you can still wrap up warm with heavier fabrics. Dress for the occasion with longer sleeves and hemlines. And feel fancy in dressy boots and layered accessories. You can look snug and stylish with these bridal shower outfit ideas:
- Turtleneck sweater dress with over-the-knee boots
- A long sleeve wrap dress
- Wide-leg pants and a sweater
- A maxi-skirt with a sweater
What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as the Mother of the Bride
Some people may expect the mother of the bride to wear matronly dresses and washed out beige two-pieces. Thankfully, that’s a thing of the past. Now, the mother of the bride has plenty of options when it comes to dressing for the bridal shower. Yet, being spoiled for choice comes with its disadvantages and leaves mothers feeling overwhelmed.
What color should I wear to a bridal shower?
As the mother of the bride, your best bet is to let your daughter be your guide. The bride has set the tone for theme, color, and formality. So don’t be afraid to ask for her guidance on your choice of outfit. You could also take cues from the wedding party’s colors. If the bride has asked her guests to wear cobalt blue, a navy dress would pair perfectly.
The only color you should avoid is wearing the same hue as the bride. Let your daughter shine in her choice of outfit. However, it doesn’t mean you should blend into the background. Be sure to make your own statement away from traditional dreary dresses and basic blazers.
Should I wear a dress to a bridal shower?
There’s no limit to outfits you can wear to your daughter’s bridal shower. You could slip on a floral dress, a block color pantsuit, or a draped jumpsuit. However, it’s best to understand the atmosphere of the event before choosing an ensemble.
Don’t pull out your fanciest blazer or polished sheath dress for a backyard shower. And avoid dressing down at a classier function. Instead, choose an outfit that you feel comfortable in and one that compliments your figure. There’s no need to hide away as the mother of the bride, but be sure to follow common wedding protocol.
What Should the Groom Wear to a Bridal Shower
Typically, a bridal shower is a women-only event. However, the bride may prefer to throw a Jack and Jill shower with the Groom by her side. Sometimes the Groom makes an appearance near the end. While his wardrobe may be the last thing on anyone’s mind, it’s still respectful to plan ahead and stick to the theme.
Should I wear a suit to a bridal shower?
Although a bridal shower can be a formal event, it’s best for the Groom to dress down so you don’t outshine your bride. Suit up in your usual formalwear but leave the jacket at home. Opt for an open neck shirt and fish out your best watch. However, if you’re attending a casual event then dress it down with some jeans and an untucked shirt. You could also don a pair of shorts or chinos for a backyard shower.
What should I wear to a couple’s shower?
A couple’s shower is a whole new trend where anything goes. While a bridal shower typically takes place during the day. A couple’s shower could be a cocktail party or dinner at the bride and groom’s favorite restaurant.
If you and your bride have decided on a couple’s shower instead of a traditional bridal shower, you should dress for the part. The event could have a theme like dynamic duos or maybe you want to match with your partner. A few outfit ideas for a couples shower include:
- Dress to the nines for a red carpet themed shower
- Play dress up as some of the most famous couples in history
- Chill out at a pool party with an open shirt and trunks
- Get competitive with a sports day at a backyard shower
- Test your knowledge in a game night themed shower
The sky’s the limit when it comes to bridal showers. Gone are the days of traditional tea parties and simple floral dresses. Brides can hold off on wearing white for their big day and have fun with fancy dress or silly activities. Guests can save their Sunday best for the wedding and enjoy the celebrations comfortably. And the mother of the bride no longer has to hide her style in lifeless garments.
Remember to check the invitation and always dress according to the formality of the event. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure you are comfortable. No one wants to be the person who looks too dressy at a backyard BBQ. And don’t make the mistake of wearing jeans to a fancy restaurant.
Simply follow wedding protocol, dress to impress, and have fun celebrating the happy couple!
Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.