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Guide to Choosing Your Bridesmaid Rehearsal Dinner Outfit

BRIDESMAID GUIDE: THE REHEARSAL DINNER
What to consider when choosing your rehearsal dinner outfit and our favorite picks.

Bridesmaid rehearsal dinner outfits
Find a suitable bridesmaid rehearsal dinner outfit


Remember the movie 27 Dresses? Hopefully you haven’t been a bridesmaid quite as many times as the film’s main character—and even if you have, there’s no denying that there’s a lot that goes into being a bridesmaid. From arranging the most epic bachelorette party ever to accompanying the bride on all her dress shopping and fitting appointments, there’s plenty to organize. When it comes to preparing and dressing for the rehearsal dinner, however, that tends to be left entirely up to the bridesmaids.

WHAT DO BRIDESMAIDS WEAR TO REHEARSAL DINNERS?


Rehearsal dinner outfits for bridesmaids tend to veer on the formal side: men typically wear a suit and tie, while women’s options usually range from a cocktail dress to a floor-length gown. However, these days, traditional rules are often broken, so there are a few considerations that you should bear in mind when planning your bridesmaid rehearsal dinner outfit.

What is the Bride Wearing?

Comfortable bridesmaid rehearsal dinner dress


As a bridesmaid, the number one rule is to always check in with the bride—to see if she needs any help planning or preparing for the event itself, but also to ensure that your rehearsal dinner outfit doesn’t outshine hers. If the bride plans on wearing a gown, your bridesmaid rehearsal dinner attire can be equally formal; if she intends to wear a jumpsuit or cocktail dress, make sure you choose a dress that won’t steal the show. If you can, help her prepare her outfit so you can really ensure your ensemble complements, rather than competes, with hers.

The Rehearsal Dinner Program


Will you be giving a speech at the rehearsal dinner? Will you be sitting with the bride at her table? Or will you simply be attending and enjoying the evening? These are a few of the questions to think about when planning your bridesmaid rehearsal dinner outfit. If you’re giving a speech or are likely to be near the bride and groom throughout the evening, for instance, you’ll want a dress that’s elegant and chic for all the photos—but also comfortable, as you’ll likely be ‘on duty’ throughout the dinner. If you’re able to enjoy a relaxed evening, you can opt for a style that’s a bit more fitted (as well as heels that are a little higher).

There’s a Time and a Place


Will you be giving a speech at the rehearsal dinner? Will you be sitting with the bride at her table? Or will you simply be attending and enjoying the evening? These are a few of the questions to think about when planning your bridesmaid rehearsal dinner outfit. If you’re giving a speech or are likely to be near the bride and groom throughout the evening, for instance, you’ll want a dress that’s elegant and chic for all the photos—but also comfortable, as you’ll likely be ‘on duty’ throughout the dinner. If you’re able to enjoy a relaxed evening, you can opt for a style that’s a bit more fitted (as well as heels that are a little higher).

OUR FAVOURITE BRIDESMAID REHEARSAL DINNER OUTFITS

 

Bridesmaid rehearsal dinner velvet outfit
Shop our velvet dresses!

Draped Velvet Bias Dress in Antique Rose


Velvet is a naturally formal fabric, and there’s something simply gorgeous about this mid-length style. With elegant draping across the bodice, a modern, asymmetrical neckline, and a graceful skirt that offers ease of movement, it’s a chic and contemporary bridesmaid rehearsal dinner outfit option. Finish the look with simple heels or strappy sandals, delicate gold jewelry and a black satin clutch.

 

Bridesmaid rehearsal dinner beaded gown
Shop our beaded blouson gowns!

Petite Art Deco Beaded Blouson Gown in Black


While black is an acceptable hue for modern weddings, many people still shy away from it on the big day due to its more traditional, somber connotations. Not so for the rehearsal dinner. A black dress—little or otherwise—is a chic option and perfectly appropriate as bridesmaid rehearsal dinner attire; we love this beaded version for its blouson bodice (which is extra forgiving if you really, really enjoy the menu), elegant, thin straps and flowing, straight skirt. A slick of bright red lipstick and a pair of chandelier earrings that glint in the light are the only extras you need.

 

Bridesmaid rehearsal dinner mock neck dress
Shop our mock neck dresses!

Satin Crepe Mock Neck Dress in Dark Jade


There’s nothing better than a dress that you know you’ll wear more than once or twice. This mock neck dress is not only an ideal wedding rehearsal dinner outfit for a bridesmaid; it’s an excellent option for future weddings and other formal occasions. Cut from a silky satin crepe in a stunning hue, it has a soft, fluid feel, with a modest, draped mock neckline and elegant long blouson sleeves with delicate buttons at the cuffs. Gold heels and colorful statement earrings will make this a truly unforgettable look.

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