Regardless of your role at a wedding, knowing what to wear to a wedding rehearsal dinner can be very challenging. This is particularly so if you are one of the bridesmaids. Determining what to wear to a rehearsal dinner as a bridesmaid is usually challenging because there aren’t many traditions and rules for a rehearsal dinner. So, since there are no rules and traditions to the event, what in the world do you wear to a rehearsal dinner?
What to wear to a rehearsal dinner as a bridesmaid is determined by the outfit code on the invite. However, when this instruction isn’t available, there are several things (wedding theme, season, the weather, time, dinner menu, location, etc.) to consider in choosing what will fit in with the event.
Agreeing to be a bridesmaid doesn’t come cheap. You’ll need to spend money and put in the effort. And apart from the money and effort, you need to look great on the wedding day as a bridesmaid, you still want to look your best for the rehearsal dinner. And with so many options available, it is always pretty hard to find the perfect look. But how do you choose the perfect outfit that brings your style A-game to the official party that kicks off the wedding celebration? This article breaks down for you everything that goes into deciding what to wear to a rehearsal dinner. So, you want to keep reading!
Common Outfit Styles You’ll See on Rehearsal Dinner Invites
Although this is usually reserved for the actual wedding, some couples prefer this style for their rehearsal dinner. As a bridesmaid, put on a cocktail dress or a long evening gown with the right accessories.
Formal/Black Tie Optional
Go with an evening gown, or a dark suit, or a cocktail dress. Generally, these kinds of outfit styles are less formal than black-tie ones.
As a bridesmaid going for a beach formal rehearsal dinner, explore elegant clothing that goes with the weather. You can wear tea or knee-length sundresses.
Rehearsal dinner invites with this kind of style demand that you put on cocktail dresses or a dressy skirt and top.
A rehearsal dinner invite that says “casual” means you should wear skirts/dressy blouse, or simply a dress.
Rehearsal dinners are usually interesting events that are an important part of weddings. Usually, only closest friends and family are invited. So, as a bridesmaid, you will most likely be in contact with these people at the event and you want to dress appropriately.
What to Wear If Dress Code Isn’t Specified
First and foremost, if the code for the outfit isn’t specified, there are a few things you should initially consider in choosing your rehearsal dinner outfit. They include:
- The season
- The venue/location
- Wedding theme
- The dinner menu
- The weather
- The time
- The wedding location
The kind of outfit you wear to a rehearsal dinner depends on the season it is. If it is in the winter you can wear a summer dress with wedges or open-toed sandals. In the winter, your choice would be in the region of a combination of a dress and booties.
The venue or location of the rehearsal dinner is an essential factor to consider when deciding what to wear to the event. Some establishments (especially some fine restaurants) have a dress code while others do not. You may use the location to decide what to wear.
The wedding theme
The kind of theme that has been chosen for the wedding is a good indicator of the kind of outfit you choose for the rehearsal dinner. For instance, while a beach wedding theme is usually relaxed, a traditional wedding is going to require more formal dressing
The dinner menu
If you can get access to the rehearsal dinner menu, you can decide what to wear by simply taking a look at what’s on the menu. A five-meal course will require a formal outfit, for instance.
Depending on the weather, you may need to go to a rehearsal dinner with a sweater or jacket that goes with your dress. Remember that most informal rehearsal dinners take place in an outdoor setting.
Most rehearsal dinners take place in the evening, but some may be scheduled before evening. Keep the time of the dinner in mind when deciding on what to wear. Remember that evening event are often formal. Generally, the earlier the event takes place, the more casual your outfit should be.
The wedding location
Think about the couple’s style when making your decision on how formal your dressing to the rehearsal dinner should be. Have a feel of the overall setting of the wedding.
Depending on your budget, you can decide on what to wear to a rehearsal dinner by choosing what you love and can wear to events in the future. This is better than choosing that you wouldn’t be able to wear again after the rehearsal dinner.
No matter what you decide to wear to the rehearsal dinner, avoid anything that looks too bridal. This particularly means avoiding wearing anything white, as well as any super-soft shades of beige, pink, or anything that could generally be mistaken for white.
The number of dresses you can wear to a rehearsal dinner is endless. Your choice largely depends on the factors discussed above. Below are some of the dresses you can choose when going for a rehearsal dinner as a bridesmaid:
Self Portrait Diamante Dress
Self Portrait Diamante Dress is a velvet and lace mini-dress that perfectly brings together so many trends while remaining elegant. It is perfect for a rehearsal dinner. You can pair it with a pair of plain black heels and statement earrings for a gorgeous look.
Dion Lee Silk-Satin Midi Dress
Dion Lee Silk-Satin Midi Dress is a simple, yet classic dress you can wear to a rehearsal dinner. The color is so amazing and fun.
Alexis Fala Dress
Alexis Fala dress is a lace dress that is perfect for a more formal occasion. You can pair it with a pair of strappy sandals and a low-key hair accessory for a head-to-toe look for the rehearsal diner.
Theory Hammered-Satin mini dress
You can try Theory hammered-satin mini on an on-trend shade of green for the rehearsal dinner.
Topshop Plain Satin Slip Dress
You can never go wrong with a Topshop Plain Satin Slipdress for a rehearsal dinner.
This gown is a flattering off-the-shoulder style that would make you stand out in the dinner.
Celeste Long Sleeve Fit & Flare Dress
Celeste Long Sleeve Fit & Flare Dress is a long-sleeve dress that flatters at the bodice with princess seams and flounces at the skirt.
Edith City Crepe Fit & Flare Midi Dress
You can wear Edith City Crepe Fit & Flare Midi Dress to the rehearsal dinner. It has demure sleeves and a V-neck that will give you an elevated look.
Off the Shoulder Lace Sheath Dress
An Off the Shoulder Lace Sheath dress will be perfectly ideal for a rehearsal dinner. It has a folded, shoulder-baring neckline and sleek pencil skirt.
Lyla Crepe Cocktail Dress
The Lyla Crepe Cocktail dress is a fitted-to-flatter dress that has stylish lengths. It is suitable for a rehearsal dinner.
Ray dress is a unique metallic dress with a bow tie shoulder. For rehearsal dinners, this dress is a winner.
Retrofete Indigo Dress
This Retrofit Indigo dress is a floral sequin and bead-embellished dress with a dramatic neckline.
Acacia dress is a one-shoulder relaxed fit mini dress.
Adena dress is a square neckline dress with a form-fitting bodice complete with stunning silt.
Ganni Crispy Jacquard Dress
Ganni Crispy Jacquard Dress is a dress that always has leopard print on it.
Perhaps you feel a dress doesn’t fit your style and you don’t feel like wearing a dress to the rehearsal dinner. You want something different. Jumpsuits are good alternatives you may want to consider. The possibilities around jumpsuits are endless, but these are two jumpsuits you can try or let inspire you as to what to wear:
Julia Jordan halter wide leg jumpsuit
The Julia Jordan rehearsal dinner jumpsuit is sure to get you a lot of attention. The fabric has sequins woven all over it, so it sure will make you look gorgeous.
Adrianna Pappell flutter one-shoulder jumpsuit
This jumpsuit has a halter neckline that is enhanced with an airy, fluttered fabric. With its wide pants legs, it is perfect for a rehearsal dinner.
Although ‘comfortable shoes’ may mean different things to different women, you must wear shoes that you feel comfortable in when going for the rehearsal dinner since you’ll be practicing walking down the aisle. Consider shoes such as flats, sandals, and heels to find the best fit. A few sandals you may want to consider are:
Gucci Leather Sandals
With a Gucci Leather sandal, you can’t go wrong on a rehearsal dinner!
Giuseppe Zanotti Roll crystal-embellished metallic leather mules is a comfortable, low block heel that will make you stand out.
NEOUS Venus Faille Sandals
The NEOUS Venus Faille Sandal will make your dress stand out.
Topshop Wide Fit SUSIE Two Part Sandals
These sandals are classic black heels that will give your rehearsal dinner dress an elevated look.
Explore mini bags for the rehearsal dinner. This is because they help you hold all the essentials and always look trendy. You may want to consider gold clutches or silver clutches bags. Of course, something sparkling adds to your outfit, and you may want to sparkle with your jewelry at the party but ensure you don’t take the shine off the bride!
Bridesmaid Rehearsal Dinner Outfit Tips
Go for dark colors
Stick with dark colors, if you want to be on the safe side of things. This is not to say that you have to wear black, although you can choose to wear black attire. You can also go for colors with patterns that are on the darker side.
Choose an outfit that is appropriate for the dinner location
Although this has been mentioned above, it is worth emphasizing again. Research and find out where the rehearsal dinner is taking place to decide between casual cocktail and semi-formal outfits. This will help you choose the most appropriate one.
Don’t wear what is too flashy
You mustn’t wear anything that is very flashy that would take the spotlight away from the bride. Since it’s her weekend, you want her to be the center of attraction.
Wear family-appropriate dress
Since you will be meeting a lot of the couple’s family members at the rehearsal dinner, you must wear a family appropriate attire that is classic and beautiful. Generally, stay away from anything too revealing.
Don’t’ wear anything white!
Completely avoid any attire that has white. Even an outfit with some white undertones can be considered inappropriate. Stick with darker colors.
Don’t forget hair and makeup
For your hair and make-up, even though you may not need the kind of support you will get on the wedding day, it is important to look your best. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be having lots of pictures taken at the rehearsal dinner. Even if a professional photographer won’t be there, you still want to come out in those selfies that look brilliant!
Think through everything about make-up and hair before you get in the moment, when you may not have the mental space to decide what you want again. If make-up (or hair) isn’t your thing, simply ask a friend who is good at it to help out for the rehearsal dinner.
Being a bridesmaid can be very stressful. There’s always so much planning and assisting with the bride. The rehearsal dinner is the official start of everything you’ve been involved in, so you are going to want to enjoy and celebrate it.
Dress for your happiness, excitement, and the joy of being a bridesmaid. If you are uncomfortable or struggling with what you wear, it will show all over your face. So, choose what you feel comfortable in and have fun at the rehearsal dinner!