What to Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner

I’ve had the opportunity to stand up in three weddings, as well as attend countless rehearsal dinners for family and friends. It’s always a lovely occasion to go through the next day’s big event and say thank you with a dinner to those involved. I do have some tips for both those in the wedding and those attending the rehearsal dinner as to what to wear:

Don’t wear white. This is reserved for the bride for all bridal acitivities, whether it’s her shower, rehearsal dinner, and definitely the wedding. Wearing a dress that has white on it (like my bridesmaid dress above) is OK, but a solid white or overall “bridal” looking dress is always a no. Play is safe and wear a different color.

Wear the same shoes that you’ll wear the next day. This mainly applies to anyone standing up in the wedding. You’ll want to do a test run with your shoes during the rehearsal in case you need any last minute fixes. I would even suggest wearing a similar dress with the shoes to the rehearsal just to get the feel of it. In the wedding above, I wore a maxi dress and I normally am not used to wearing them so I had to get the feel of picking it up before climbing up altar stairs, etc. It’s smart to wear as close to your next day outfit for the test run!

Dress appropriately for the occasion. This may require a little investigating, but you’ll need to be able to tell how fancy of an event it will be to dress for it. Most rehearsal dinners are a step below the “fancy” level of the wedding, but some cultures and families may have just as fancy of an occasion. I would use the invitation, location of restaurant, and personality of the bride as clues on how to dress. A simple dress is always a safe bet.

Have you been to a rehearsal dinner? Do you have any other tips? 


2 Comments on What to Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner

  1. Jennifer
    July 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm (6 years ago)

    I received an invite to a wedding during the summer (~90*F) for a 3 p.m. outdoor ceremony. However, I found out that the bridal party is wearing long evening gowns & the groomsman black tuxes. Do you have recommendations for how to dress for such a circumstance?

    • thedressdecoded
      July 30, 2017 at 12:22 pm (6 years ago)

      It sounds like it’s a pretty formal affair, but you also don’t want to melt! I would still wear a shorter dress that hits at the knee or right above with plenty of breath-ability. There are some fabrics that are “smoother” that would be cooler to wear but still look fancy, think a spandex-type blend. I would probably wear a richer color and then dress it up with statement earrings and a pretty clutch to pull it all together. You can always bring a fancy shawl for the evening reception to make your ensemble even fancier, but I don’t think it’s worth suffering through a hot ceremony. Hope this helps!


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