Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life. After months of planning, everything happens far too quickly from the rehearsal dinner to the ceremony and reception. In an instant, you’ve said "I do," been whisked around the dance floor, and clinked many a champagne flute with friends, only to realize the celebration is already over…but it’s not! That’s what the after-party is for, whether you’re planning to retreat to a hotel lounge, host friends at home, or take it to a dive bar (a fun and low-key way to give visiting guests a local feel for the area).
To keep the good times going, an after-party dress should feel equal parts special and stress-free, but it is an opportunity to show off your playful side—especially if you wore a classic or conservative wedding dress. If you’re of a mind to go glitzy, sequins are a spectacular choice, from multicolored palettes to gleaming gold and sparkling white. Shimmering mini-dresses are a natural choice for after hours, but for more of a fanciful touch, tiered or fringe skirts will feel oh so fun while midi dresses with fluted hems or A-line shapes will have movement but feel a touch more refined. Slip dresses are ideal for the minimalist bride or the perfect change of pace if you wore such a major gown for your ceremony and reception. From super simple ‘90s-style slips to silvery satin styles, this route is equal parts easy and elegant. For a bolder after-party moment, ‘80s-inspired dresses are a so-now look for fashion-forward brides whether you go for a metallic mini with puffy shoulders or a gleaming gold number with dramatic sleeves and shirred detailing.
The best part about shopping for an after-party dress this time of year is that stores are filled with party styles for the holiday season which means lots of sequins, glitter, and metallic fabrics to choose from. And if you need help rationalizing the spend, think about all the future fêtes you can rewear a festive dress for, from the holiday party circuit to an anniversary dinner or birthday.
Ready to shop for an after-party dress? Ahead, scroll through 25 of our favorites from under-$100 options to splurge-worthy styles.