What to Wear To A Rehearsal Dinner

So you’ve been invited to a rehearsal dinner and you’re not sure what to wear?

Firstly, it’s an honor to be invited! A rehearsal dinner is often an intimate event; a pre-ceremony celebration reserved for the couple’s nearest and dearest, so congrats!

Understandably you don’t want to upstage the bride and groom, and you certainly don’t want to be over or underdressed. But don’t stress, let us help if you’re not sure about the dress code!

A few basic rules to start with include avoiding wearing anything too flashy, revealing, or white – let’s allow the bride to own white!

No matter what your role is at the upcoming wedding, here’s everything you need to know about rehearsal dinner attire! 

What to Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner

Guests

Before deciding what to wear to the rehearsal dinner, you ideally need a dress code.

How do you know what the dress code is? Check your invitation to see if it specifies one- let’s hope this gives you the details you need.

If it doesn’t, then you can ask a member of the wedding party or family if you know them well. 

The time of day will also help you to decide how formally you should dress. An intimate brunch would be a lot more relaxed than an evening sit-down dinner in a nice restaurant for example.

If the event is happening in a parent’s home or backyard, it’s likely to be a little less formal too. 

If you’re still unsure of what to wear, think about the dress code for the actual wedding. The rehearsal dinner is almost always more relaxed than the big day itself, so plan your outfit accordingly.

A nice dress and low heels for women is a good place to start – but leave the fascinators, hats, or headpieces until the wedding day.

For a male guest, a casual suit would work well. A tie is optional and can easily be slipped off if it gives your shirt an overdressed vibe, but it’s best to take your lead from the groom on that one.

If you think it’s more of a casual rehearsal dinner, and you’re considering wearing jeans, we suggest chatting to the couple (or someone close to them) about this.

If you have on good authority that the dress code is casual – and the venue itself too – then jeans and a button-down shirt would be perfect. 

The Mother of the Bride

As the mother of the bride, you’re wedding party royalty! There will likely be a lot of eyes on you, so you will of course want to look and feel fabulous!

If you feel good in what you are wearing you’ll be able to focus on being present and enjoying every second of the wedding festivities. 

The rehearsal dinner gives you the freedom to wear whatever dress best expresses you and highlights your best assets. You have plenty of options, just remember not to outshine the bride! 

Unless the wedding has a specific theme or is particularly informal or intimate, a semi-formal dress or pantsuit and blouse is always an appropriate place to start.

The Bridal Party

So, what should the maid of honor or the bridesmaids wear to the rehearsal dinner? 

Bridesmaids, this is the time you get to pick your own dress as you will not be wearing your bridesmaid dress to the dinner.

Of course, you don’t want to outshine the bride but you do want to look and feel awesome. Think about what your outfit for the actual wedding day is, and then try to go for something as different as possible.

For example, if you will be wearing a dusty pink bridesmaid dress on the big day, how about going for a dark color for your rehearsal outfit? Or a bright multi-colored option perhaps? Mix it up with a pattern or floral print skirt or pants if you feel like it. 

If it’s an elegant affair then you can certainly go for a cocktail dress – again, just make sure it feels different, and probably less dressy, than your main outfit for the wedding.

You should feel confident to talk to your bride ahead of time as she can definitely guide you if you are worried about being too overdressed.

And let’s not forget about your accessories! We all know this is what you can make or break your outfit.

If you’re wearing something loud and bold, then simple gold or silver jewelry may work best. If your dress is fairly simple or one color then you may want to pick larger and bolder jewelry that makes a statement.

Loud shoes and handbags are always encouraged!

The Best Man or Usher

You want to look smart and slick for the rehearsal, but you don’t want to overshadow the groom. Ideally, find out what he is wearing before you pick your own outfit. 

Generally speaking, your second-best suit would be encouraged if it’s an evening dinner at an elegant restaurant.

If you feel overdressed, you can easily lose the tie and maybe also the jacket once you’ve eyed up what other guests and the groom himself are wearing.

You can totally wear the same smart shoes to both events if they work within the dress code.

We hope this has been useful in helping you to figure out what to wear to a wedding rehearsal event. The best advice is to ask around and check in with other people to make sure you get the style and tone right. Good luck and enjoy! 

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