How to Decide What to Wear to Your Rehearsal Dinner

The options can be a little overwhelming.
by The Knot

Let's be honest: Your rehearsal dinner outfit might not feel as important as other aspects of wedding planning. 

But the reality is, it's one of the most fun choices you get to make. Unlike your wedding outfit, presumably, your rehearsal dinner outfit can truly be anything (without risking offending your traditional, conservative grandparents). Here's how to know what to wear with a sea of options out there. 

Consider how "fancy" your rehearsal dinner is. 

Naturally, the first thing to keep in mind when deciding on your rehearsal dinner outfit is what type of rehearsal dinner you're actually having. 

Are you having a casual BBQ or an elegant soirée at a country club? A dinner in someone's home or at a steak restaurant? Is it an intimate gathering, or a free-for-all with all of your out-of-town guests? These are the questions to ask yourself. The type of party you're having should set the tone for what you wear—for example, cocktail attire for a country club, or a breezy sundress for a backyard BBQ. 

Choose a different vibe than your wedding outfit. 

You might want an outfit that helps you express yourself in a different way than your wedding outfit does. If your wedding dress is traditional (lace and long sleeves, for instance), go for something more contemporary for your rehearsal dinner (like a sleek pantsuit) to show off a different side of you. 

Add some color into your look. 

White or off-white is a safe choice for your rehearsal dinner—you look every bit the part of the bride that way, of course. But if you want to have a little fun, feel free to inject some color into your rehearsal dinner outfit. 

We'd recommend steering clear of basic black—it's a little too safe and ubiquitous, and won't make you stand out as much as you should. Instead, try a pastel (like sage), a bold shade (like red) or a chic neutral tone (like gray). 

Go for comfort. 

This will likely be your first time in the weekend greeting some of your guests and mingling with out-of-town family members. Not only do you want to make sure you can move around in whatever you're wearing, you're better off making sure your outfit isn't too low cut or short—we're all for sexy outfits, but you definitely don't want to have to worry about awkwardly adjusting your dress every time you walk past your Great Aunt Sally's table. This is the time for something easy and relaxed, not fussy and annoying. 

Just make sure you love it.

Most importantly, don't wear it unless you absolutely love it. It's basically science that when you feel confident, you look confident—so if you feel amazing in what you're wearing, your body language will show it. You'll smile and stand up straighter (which will be a relief when your mom doesn't have to nag you to "stop slouching" all night long). 


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by The Knot3 min read