What to Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner as a Guest

What to Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner as a Guest

May 26, 2024

A rehearsal dinner typically occurs the night before the wedding, kicking off the party before the almost-newlyweds say “I do.” It's an intimate gathering before the big day filled with shared laughter, a few tears, and heartfelt moments among the happy couple, their family, and closest friends.

If you've received an invite as a guest to this special event, consider yourself a VIP at this wedding! But wait, does this mean you need to choose a second wedding guest outfit? Yes – but no sweat, we’re here to help with that! To relieve the stress, we've curated our top looks, considering the season, wedding venue, and theme to make styling an outfit for a rehearsal dinner as a guest a little easier!

Etiquette for Dressing for a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

First things first - double-check the invitation to see if it’s a casual or formal dress rehearsal dinner. Often, the dress code etiquette for the rehearsal dinner will likely match with what's recommended for the wedding day, even if it's not explicitly stated. For example, if the wedding is black-tie, you should dress formally, if it’s cocktail attire, aim for a balance between formal and dressy-casual, as well as elegant and comfortable!

Dress For the Rehearsal Dinner Venue

You’ll also want to consider the setting. Since rehearsal dinners are typically held at restaurants, you can get a good idea of what to wear based on the venue's dress code. Checking out the location beforehand can really help when it comes to getting a feel for the vibe and atmosphere.

If the establishment seems more low-key, opt for something casual, such as a cute sundress or a matching set. If the venue is at an upscale restaurant, it's best to lean towards something more dressy! And if you're still unsure, it's always a safe bet to stick to semi-formal or cocktail attire for a wedding rehearsal dinner. And it should go without saying, but wearing white is also out of the question unless otherwise stated or requested by the bride or groom.

For an Upscale Restaurant, Hotel, or Country Club

For this setting, opt for simple lines and solid colors crafted from fine fabrics like silk, satin, or velvet. Keep accessories minimal and add a pair of statement heels to complete the look. Sticking to something timeless and effortless is perfect for a formal rehearsal-dinner ensemble!

For a Cocktail Bar, Winery or Tasting Room

The rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity to wear something slightly shorter than what you might choose for the actual wedding itself. Considering a classic cocktail dress is never a bad idea - it’s chic, stylish, and can be perfectly accessorized to suit your personal taste!

For a Backyard or Beachside Dinner

For a more relaxed setting, embrace a semi-casual look that strikes the perfect balance between laid-back and chic. Consider a stylish blazer dress, coordinating matching sets, or adding heels to dress up a skirt or dress pants for an elevated touch. A jumpsuit is also a great option!

Finding the Perfect Rehearsal Dinner Dress

Now that you have an idea of what to wear to a rehearsal dinner, we've curated a few recommendations of our own! Explore these must-have rehearsal dinner dresses, perfect for celebrating life's special moments:

A Seriously Stunning Slip

With its ultra-sleek and super-flattering silhouette, slip into the romance in a silk maxi like the Anderson or the Taylor Tube, guaranteed to sweep everyone off their feet!


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Destination Dressing

When you're looking to add dimension to your look, colors and vibrant prints can elevate any ensemble. This approach works best for destination weddings, especially those set in warm weather climates or tropical summer weddings! Let your dress be the statement piece, and pair it with nude heels and delicate jewelry for a balanced style that lets your outfit shine.


Destination dressing

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Timeless Midi Dresses

One of the most popular styles to wear to a wedding right now is a midi dress. They’re stylish, flattering, and feminine while also being a safe length to wear for almost any type of wedding festivity.


Timeless midi dress

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The Classic LBD

If you’ve ever wondered, “Can I wear black to a wedding?” you’re definitely not alone. While wearing black for an actual wedding may depend on the circumstances, it is always appropriate for a rehearsal dinner. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, black is a go-to color for rehearsal dinner attire. Upgrade your little black dress with chandelier or drop earrings and an embellished clutch for a picture-perfect look!


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A Blazer or Jumpsuit Moment

While you can’t go wrong in a dress, there are plenty of other options to showcase your personal style. Consider a tailored look with a blazer dress, dress pants & a blouse, or opt for a chic jumpsuit for a fun alternative. Choose fine fabrics, rich colors, and something that feels celebratory to dress it up a bit.


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Matching Sets

Wearing a two-piece set instead of a dress is never a boring option. Plus, you can easily mix and match the pieces long after your wedding guest duties are over. Talk about a bang for your buck! This is the perfect choice for when the rehearsal dinner dress code is more casual and you want to keep things understated.


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