If Your Goal Is to Be a Cool Bride, These 31 Chic After-Party Dresses Are *It*



Six months into 2023, we already have a prediction. This year is all about the cool bride. With the launch of Who What Wear Weddings and the sudden flood of celebrity weddings transforming our definition of chic, our hearts and minds have been set on one thing only dominating the bridal world: brides with a unique, funky, and stylish perspective.

Earlier this summer, Canadian retailer Ssense dropped its jaw-dropping bridal collection featuring a slew of "if you know, you know" designers we've been championing for years. Its release brought fashion people out of the woodwork, most of which were on the hunt for a nontraditional, fun reception dress that completely went against "traditional" bridal fashion—often a pillowy, beautiful tulle gown that you'd wear once and never again. Even the chicest brides we know confirmed this unequivocally, meaning it has to be true. But don't just take our word for it. Our full wedding-season breakdown delivers the exact confirmation you need to know. Cool brides are here to stay.

The result? More and more brides opting for after-party dresses that feel more in tune with what they are loving at the moment, not something they'd look back on in 40 years and cringe at. Enter the chic after-party dress, which is usually cheaper, more comfortable, and 10 times cooler. I've noticed more and more brides opting for styles with pearl embellishments, feathers, tweed, and corsets to dance the night away in.

It's not just dresses that brides are switching out—it's the whole look, Ring Concierge founder Nicole Wegman told Who What Wear. The jeweler has been consulting fashion-forward brides for years and has noticed an uptick in modern jewelry swaps ahead of receptions and after-party bridal outfits.

If you're looking to swap out your aisle accessories for a more dance-appropriate ensemble, add untraditional gems or bezel-set pieces into your repertoire. "For the big day, our latest pearl collections have been super popular with brides and the entire bridal party," Wegman explained. A lot of brides have been looking to add a bit of drama to their look, so our Pearl Station Drop Earrings and Organic Pearl + Diamond Drop Earrings are the perfect addition to an updo or a romantic, beachy hair look."

All in all, the era of the second (or third or fourth) wedding dress is here to stay. Below, shop some of our favorite after-party bridal looks and accessories to add to them. 

Shop after-party bridal looks:

Not only is this dress incredibly chic, but it's also offered in extended sizing.

This would look gorgeous with some simple white sandals and a tennis necklace.

Okay, this technically isn't a dress, but it's too dreamy not to include.

If you're looking for a sophisticated take on sequins, look no further.

If you're looking to wear your after-party dress more than once, this adorable white long sleeve number is perfect for any other occasion.

For under $100, this has to be the best high-joy, low-cost option on this entire list.

The iconic dress makes a comeback to a wedding near you.

Camille Charriere's incredibly chic wedding has inspired nearly every bride we know to look into a slinky all-white lace gown for their big day.

This dress is runway approved thanks to its long, sheer paneling reminiscent of Tory Burch and Helmut Lang collections.

Reformation has never done us wrong, and its simple white dresses are the prime example of that.

If you're looking for something a bit more alternative, this Shushu/Tong mini is an incredible find.

This adorable, vintage-looking dress has a cool-girl feel that's basically indescribable.

This off-white Helsa dress is perfect for a low-key, minimalist bride.

Ever since our editor Eliza put us on to Liberowe, we've been dreaming of peplum jackets. Plus, this ivory satin version is definitely cool bride approved.

Nothing says "dance the night away" like a giant back bow.

For the bride who prefers a classy eggshell.

Okay, we've been convinced to be jumpsuit brides when the big day comes.

Our editor who already owns this classy Reformation dress says it fits like a glove.

For the bride who spends all her time at the Sandy Liang store on the Lower East Side.

If you take this to any tailor, they'll be able to dye it for you after your big day, and who doesn't love having two dresses for the price of one? Score.

Mara Hoffman's sculptural dresses live on our mood board.

Another Rotate Birger Christensen design that proves the brand is one of the best for bridalwear.