Groom Rehearsal Dinner Outfits for Any Wedding Venue

We'll make sure you look sharp anywhere because this actually isn't a dress rehearsal.
Collage of rehearsal dinner outfit ideas for grooms
Photos, From Left to Right: Suitsupply, Dandy Del Mar, J.Crew
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
Associate Menswear Editor
  • Tres writes and edits articles for The Knot, with a specialty in menswear and suiting.
  • He brings over a decade of expertise in the field garnered as a writer, editor, copywriter, and trend specialist.
  • Before joining The Knot he covered menswear for publications including GQ, AskMen, Men’s Health, Sharp Magazine, Highsnobiety, and Spy.
Updated Oct 17, 2023
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Putting together the perfect groom rehearsal dinner outfit often comes down to the intersection of venue, wedding theme, and of course personal style and comfort. Unlike the actual wedding ceremony, there are few hard and fast rules dictating what sort of outfit a groom should don for their rehearsal dinner. Is it a suit-and-tie occasion? Can you pull up in jeans? Do you wear your actual wedding outfit and risk a wardrobe blunder?

Maybe, probably not, and hard no (in that order). A rehearsal dinner outfit for grooms can be any number of things, though it is likely not an occasion for jeans and a t-shirt. It's a special occasion and one for which you'll want to look your best (the photos!) though just what your "best" is depends on a few things, which we'll get into.

What Should a Groom Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner?

Let's start with one of the biggest determining factors: the venue. Rehearsal dinners can take place anywhere from high-end restaurants to outdoor patio cafes and even barbecues. Personally, I've attended them everywhere from hotel restaurants to breweries. The setting should absolutely factor into what you choose to wear, primarily for practicality's sake. If you're headed to a restaurant with a dress code you'll need to abide by it, lest you be forced to borrow one of the ill-fitting jackets or outdated ties that more formal establishments stock in case of sartorial emergencies. Even in the absence of a dress code, you'll want to dress for the vibe. I didn't see a lot of suits at the aforementioned brewery dinner, nor did I see a lot of short-sleeve camp-collar shirts at the hotel restaurant.

Weather will be a factor if your rehearsal dinner is outdoors. A spring or summer rehearsal dinner may be the right time for knit polos, while fall and winter may call for sweaters or thicker suiting fabrics (spring for the heat lamps, grooms, your guests will thank you).

Lastly, if your wedding has a theme or color scheme, by all means lean into it. A dinner for a western wedding is a great excuse to wear cowboy boots and a hat, while a retro beach vibe may call for a vintage or vintage-inspired resort-style shirt. Similarly, if you've made baby blue or dusky pink one of the main colors for your wedding, incorporating them into your rehearsal dinner outfit is a great call. You can do this with shirting, a tie or a simple pocket square–though feel free to get more creative with it.

Casual Rehearsal Dinner Groom Outfit

Even for a casual rehearsal dinner, the groom should set the tone. Casual doesn't mean t-shirt and jeans but rather the fact that a suit isn't required. Unless your wedding theme allows for it (and this has been clearly conveyed to guests, lest you be the anomaly), leave the denim at home. Instead, go with some nice chinos or gurkha trousers. In warmer weather pair either with a knit polo or camp-collar shirt. If it's chillier out, layer on a cozy sweater or cardigan. As far as footwear goes, loafers are your best bet here. Sneakers aren't out of the question but they'd better be fresh–and you may want to go with a more subdued pair. This isn't the time for bright Air Jordans or Yeezys, but a more conservative pair of Adidas Sambas or Reebok Club Cs.

Formal Rehearsal Dinner Groom Outfit

If your rehearsal dinner skews formal, at minimum you should be considering suit separates. A nice sport coat over a sweater or button-down and good trousers is an appropriate place to start. That said, the failsafe formal groom rehearsal dinner outfit remains a suit. To be clear, this doesn't mean the suit you're getting married in. If it's a suit you'd be comfortable wearing to meet the parents (which by this point you presumably have) it's perfect. A tie is always appreciated and you can remove it if it feels like too much (the reverse is trickier as first impressions matter). For shoes, go with loafers or dress shoes and leave the sneakers at home.

For an Upscale Restaurant, Hotel, or Country Club

Formal Grooms Rehearsal Dinner Outfit For an Upscale Restaurant, Hotel, or Country Club
Suit: J. Crew,Shirt: Charles Tyrwhitt,Tie: Ralph Lauren

Elevated venues call for elevated dressing. A simple navy suit in a classic cut like J. Crew's Crosby silhouette is always a good call. Pair it with a white dress shirt and a snazzy tie.

For a Cocktail Bar, Winery or Tasting Room

Grooms Formal Rehearsal Dinner Outfit For a Cocktail Bar, Winery or Tasting Room
Suit: Suitsupply,Sweater: Paul James,Loafers: G.H. Bass

Cocktail bars and wineries might not require a coat and tie, but for your rehearsal dinner it's a good call to set the tone and show up in one. It can be a bit more relaxed though, like Suitsupply's unstructured Roma cut which looks great paired with a turtleneck and loafers.

For a Brewery, Tavern or Pub

Casual Grooms Rehearsal Dinner Outfit For a Brewery, Tavern or Pub
Sweater: Long Wharf Supply,Pants: Everlane,Shoes: adidas

Even in an informal setting, you should still pull up to your rehearsal dinner in an intentional, classic fit. A comfy sweater, nice chinos, and a good pair of sneakers will have you comfy and stylish alike.

For a Backyard Barbeque

Grooms casual rehearsal dinner outfit for backyard barbeque
Shirt: Alex Mill,Pants: Huckberry,Boots: Thursday Boot Co.

If you're going to dress down for a backyard barbeque rehearsal dinner, do it with style. Embrace an elevated take on workwear with a flannel shirt (the better to hide any spills), sturdy trousers and a nice pair of dress boots. You'll overdeliver without actually overdressing.

For a Cafe or Bistro

Grooms Rehearsal Dinner For a Cafe or Bistro
Shirt: Abercrombie,Pants: Percival

A johnny-collar sweater and a straight-leg trouser is the perfect fit for a cafe or bistro rehearsal dinner. You'll look at home lounging about on a patio or cozying up at a favorite table with loved ones.

For a Garden, Beach or Other Outdoor Venue

Grooms rehearsal dinner outfit For a Garden, Beach or Other Outdoor Venue
Shirt: Dandy Del Mar,Pants: Todd Snyder,Shoes: Sabah

A loose-gauge knit sweater polo paired with linen trousers is the perfect outfit for an outdoor venue, be it a beach or a garden. Finish it off with a pair of leather Sabahs for a Riviera-worthy fit.

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