What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as the Bride (2024)

Style-wise, the most important thing on a bride's checklist is, of course, finding the perfect wedding dress. Once that's done, the true fun begins, and you can concentrate on every other ensemble you're expected to wear; one being, your bridal shower look. Whether you're celebrating your upcoming nuptials at a champagne brunch or keeping things casual at a backyard soiree, a bridal shower outfit should feel comfortable, look great in photos, and fit within your wedding vibe.

However, it's sometimes difficult to find a bridal shower look as this event is oftentimes planned by the maid of honor, close friends, or bridesmaids, so you may not exactly know what to expect. Additionally, many brides question whether or not they should wear white, and don't necessarily know the general style rules to follow for this celebration. Luckily, we spoke with expert stylists who filled us in on exactly what is sartorially needed for this soiree.

Read on to learn exactly what a bride should wear to a bridal shower, along with answers to a few other questions you may have about the expected outfit requirements for this event.

Meet the Expert

  • Erika Cartledge is a personal stylist and style educator who runs the brand Your Chic Is Showing. She has styled a number of brides and grooms for their weddings.
  • Lesley Brickman is a wedding gown scholar and fashion stylist. She offers concierge services for the luxury bride under her brandThe One Gown.

What Is a Bridal Shower? All the Planning and Etiquette Advice You Need to Know

How to Decide What to Wear

There are a few things that should always be considered when searching for a bridal shower look. Personal stylist Erika Cartledge, of Your Chic Is Showing, says, "I'm pretty squarely on team 'wear what you want, it's your day' but there are some things that can help inform that decision."

To start, consider what the weather will probably be like first, as you'll want to wear something that is appropriate for the temperature and season. A sundress isn't going to work for a winter shower, and a chic pantsuit likely won't fell right in the heat of July. "For a spring bridal shower at 2:00 p.m. at a country club, the bride may feel more comfortable in a flowery summer dress, while a 10:00 a.m. brunch at a private home during the fall would call for something a bit more cozy," says Lesley Brickman, owner of The One Gown.

The venue, dress code, and overall theme of the shower are other considerations to keep in mind. A bridal shower at a fancy restaurant or country club is going to call for a different outfit than a soiree at a relaxed location. If a specific dress code has been set, the bride should also adhere to that as any other guest would. Lastly, it's important to factor in the theme into your attire selection. "I like to talk through the theme and colors of the party with my bridal clients so we can incorporate any of those details as well," Brickman says.

Once you've narrowed down these factors, the other details come down to the color and style of outfit you feel most comfortable wearing. After all, in order to look and feel your absolute best, you need to wear something that makes you feel confident, and that means staying true to who you are. "A bride should also think about what she feels most comfortable wearing and not use the bridal shower to invent a new persona," Cartledge advises.

Selecting a Color

While white seems to be the shade most brides choose for a bridal shower, both Brickman and Cartledge agree that there is no rule on what color you should wear. "A lot of my brides don't opt for white at all, instead choosing a color that makes them feel confident or matches their wedding," Cartledge says. "Others go for pretty prints or fun patterns. Dressing for your bridal shower should be fun and express your personality." In other words, wear white if you want, but it's totally okay if you'd rather opt for a different hue.

Even so, Brickman does note, "that being said, I think it’s nice to have a 'bridal moment' whenever possible during the engagement and have the [person] of honor wear white of some kind, even if it’s a white-based print or accessories."

Selecting a Style of Outfit

There's no specific style you should follow either. Cartledge encourages brides to stick with their personal style and taste, and notes that she's pulled everything from white pants suits to white midi dresses for clients. Brickman notes that it can also depend on where you live, saying that clients in the South usually go for dressier outfits, while clients in places like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles look for edgier and more relaxed styles.

Dresses are usually a go-to, but they're not the only style a bride has to wear. Cartledge recommends jumpsuits, which are flattering, comfortable, and versatile. "There are so many styles and options [of jumpsuits], you can really glam them up for your special day. Think: Lace, sequins, rhinestones," she says. Brickman also recommends matching sets, like a top and skirt, shorts, or pants.

Who Traditionally Pays for the Bridal Shower?

How to Make Your Bridal Shower Outfit Special

Now that you understand the basics, the next step is to really make your bridal shower ensemble stand out. Here are a few ways to personalize your outfit and make it feel extra special.

  • Incorporate your new last name into the outfit. "If the bride is going to change her last name, the bridal shower may be a fun venue to try out her future monogram on an accessory such as a clutch or piece of jewelry," Brickman says.
  • Wear heirloom jewelry. "Your bridal shower is a great time to wear something that has been in your family," Cartledge says. This can also be a nice way to honor a family member you've lost.
  • Play around with a veil. "Pop on a fun, short veil at some point during the shower for Instagram-worthy photos with your friends," Brickman suggests.
  • Add bridal touches to accessories. Whether you're wearing white or not, you can add extra bridal touches to smaller details of your outfit. Opt for pearls or rhinestones on a belt or bag for something that is fun without being overwhelming, Cartledge suggests.

Bridal Shower Outfit Ideas

Ready to begin the search and start shopping? Below, Cartledge and Brickman provide a few outfit ideas that you can follow to find something perfect.

  • A co*cktail dress and heels. This is a go-to look for a reason, as it's versatile and looks dressed up no matter how you style it. "A-line and wrap dresses are versatile, and you can easily add interest to these silhouettes with an off-the-shoulder detail or sleeveless option," Cartledge says.
  • A pantsuit or jumpsuit. This can be a chic and unique option that works well for most types of celebrations and themes. "They're so unexpected in the very best way," Cartledge says.
  • Luxe fabrics. "Think a satin slip dress paired with a great pair of statement earrings and a faux fur crop jacket," Cartledge says, while also noting that this is perfect for a glamorous bride.
  • A sun dress. "If the venue is a friend or family member’s home, a more casual sun dress can fit in perfectly," Brickman says. If the shower feels more casual, keep your look simple with sandals or flats.
  • A blazer dress. This trendy option is a favorite for Cartledge. "There are so many options in different lengths, colors, and with amazing details like bold buttons or cut-outs," she says. "Another unexpectedly chic option."

The 17 Best Bridal Shower Dresses for Every Style, Season, and Budget

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as the Bride (2024)


What does bride to be wear to bridal shower? ›

While white seems to be the shade most brides choose for a bridal shower, both Brickman and Cartledge agree that there is no rule on what color you should wear. "A lot of my brides don't opt for white at all, instead choosing a color that makes them feel confident or matches their wedding," Cartledge says.

What should bride do for bridal shower? ›

The bride will open her gifts in front of the guests and often express her gratitude with a short speech. And opening gifts isn't the only thing the bride does at this event. In addition to gift giving, bridal showers may also involve playing games, eating great food, and having the bride's favorite drinks.

Does the bride bring anything to the bridal shower? ›

Throwing a bridal shower is an especially generous act on part of your family and friends. While a handwritten thank-you note is acceptable, the bride-to-be may want to give a gift to the host—for example, tickets to a show or a gift box full of small luxuries.

Can I wear jeans to a bridal shower? ›

Jeans might be appropriate for a very casual bridal shower, especially if it's a relaxed gathering at someone's home. If you decide to wear jeans, choose a pair that's well-fitting and in good condition. Elevate your look by pairing them with a chic blouse or a smart blazer, and add some classy accessories.

What is an appropriate amount of money for a bridal shower gift? ›

The average you should spend on a bridal shower gift is around $50 to $75. If you're especially close to the bride, you may spend upwards of $100. But no matter what, the amount you want to spend is up to you! Since there are no hard-and-fast rules for gift-giving at bridal showers, items can range in price.

Does it matter what you wear to a bridal shower? ›

It's up to you to choose the vibe of the party—and since it's your day, you can wear whatever you want. With that said, having endless options to choose from can be overwhelming, especially when you have multiple events and need an outfit for each. Many brides go for an all-white look, but you definitely don't have to.

What color does the bride wear to the bridal shower? ›

Many brides choose to wear white to all of their pre-wedding events. That includes their bridal shower, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner. You can't go wrong with a pretty white dress — no matter the fabric or silhouette!

Does the mother of the bride pay for the bridal shower? ›

Although once upon a time it was expected that the bride's family would foot the bridal shower bill, modern society has changed the rules. Nowadays, the person (or people) hosting the bridal shower are responsible for covering the costs associated with the shower.

What is expected at a bridal shower? ›

What Happens at a Bridal Shower? "Depending on the taste of the bride, the host can have some entertaining games for the guests to play or skip the games altogether," says Gottsman. The general outline is usually the same: food, drinks, and an opportunity for the bride to open gifts surrounded by guests.

How long is a bridal shower? ›

Bridal showers typically last 2-4 hours and are not considered an all-day event. Although, depending on the type of shower you are hosting the time can vary. Most showers will either take place in the morning and serve as a brunch, or in the afternoon served with lunch or finger foods.

Who is supposed to give the bride a bridal shower? ›

When it comes to the question “who hosts a bridal shower,” the most popular answer is usually the maid of honor. One of the most important maid of honor duties is leading the charge to plan the bridal shower, from choosing a venue to sending out bridal shower invitations, planning games to choosing favors.

Can you wear jeans and heels to bridal shower? ›

While jeans are seen as too casual for a typical bridal shower, if the dress code is casual, you can totally wear jeans. We recommend elevating with a dressy top and heels.

What should a guest bring to a bridal shower? ›

Common bridal shower gifts include kitchenware, from small appliances or utensils to towels or dishes. Shower gifts tend to stick to the event's specific theme if it has one. A cooking class shower might require a gift of your favorite cookbook, while the hostesses of a lingerie shower will ask for, well, lingerie.

What do you buy for bridal shower? ›

"A few go-to's for me are a custom bag with the bride's name or monogram, a hand-painted watercolor of the wedding venue or couple, or a Champagne bottle personalized with the couple's name and wedding date." Pretty lingerie, jewelry, and self-care gifts like scented candles and beauty products are also excellent ...

What does a mother in law give the bride for the bridal shower? ›

Consider heirloom-worthy serveware or a handmade book featuring your family's secret recipes. Alternatively, opt for items she'll likely need for the wedding. Think: a luxurious getting-ready robe, something blue or travel essentials for the honeymoon.

Who normally goes to bridal shower? ›

A bridal shower is a more intimate gathering than a wedding and the guest list usually consists of the bride-to-be's closest female friends and relatives, including close relatives of the soon-to-be-bride's spouse.

Does the mother of the bride attend the bridal shower? ›


Traditionally, the mother of the bride doesn't host the bridal shower (the maid of honor typically assumes the chief shower-planning role), however, your daughter will likely want you to be a part of the celebration.


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