Sometimes, a wedding invitation isn’t just a single card in the mail: it’s an invite for the wedding itself, an invite for the rehearsal dinner, and another slip of paper with details ranging from the gift registry to travel arrangements. Sounds complicated, right? Yes, it can be—which is why we’ve decoded that invite for the rehearsal dinner here.
WHAT IS REHEARSAL DINNER ATTIRE FOR GUESTS?
If you’ve been invited to both the wedding and the rehearsal dinner, you’re probably wondering how differently you should dress for each occasion. Hopefully, the answer should be stated on the invitation, but if not, you should dress more formally for the reception than for the rehearsal dinner. Formal rehearsal dinner attire consists of a gown or floor-length dress: essentially what you would wear to a black tie event. If the dress code calls for ‘smart casual’ or ‘cocktail’, a midi dress is suitable.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN CHOOSING YOUR REHEARSAL DINNER OUTFIT
What Does the Weatherperson Say?
A rehearsal dinner falls in the evening, but if you’re also invited to the wedding rehearsal itself, chances are, that takes place in the afternoon, when the sun is high and the weather tends to be warmer. Either way, ensure your rehearsal dinner attire is seasonally appropriate and be sure to wear and carry additional layers if necessary: think a slip, stockings, plus an elegant shawl or stole for when the sun goes down.
Where Are We?
Not surprisingly, the venue for the rehearsal dinner will have a big impact on your attire. A fine dining, Michelin-starred restaurant or five-star hotel calls for a more formal dress or gown, while an outdoor rehearsal dinner could mean a cocktail dress or even a jumpsuit is suitable.
Is There a Dress Code or a Theme?
If the rehearsal dinner invitation has a distinct, tropical theme and the whole wedding is, in fact, in Hawaii, you can wear an outfit that suits the theme (and the heat). Similarly, if the dress code is explicitly mentioned, follow it: if you don’t, not only will you look out of place in photos, but worse, you run the risk of appearing disrespectful to the engaged couple.
OUR 3 FAVORITE WEDDING GUEST REHEARSAL DINNER OUTFITS
Shop our knit dresses!
Long Sleeve Metallic Knit Gown in Amethyst
Glamorous and graceful, this shimmering dress is perfect for any season and looks good on everyone. Finish with high heeled metallic sandals and chandelier earrings for a black tie rehearsal dinner, or opt for minimal accessories—just a clutch and a small necklace—for a slightly more pared-down approach.
Shop our midi dresses!
Hand-Beaded Midi Dress With Flutter Sleeves in Cassis
This is the ultimate wedding guest rehearsal dinner dress: flowy and effortless, with a slightly fitted waist so you can sit (and eat!) comfortably all night long. All-over beadwork adds a touch of sophistication to your look, while the midi length works for both formal and cocktail dress codes. Strappy heels and a bracelet or set of dainty earrings offer a polished finish.
Shop our tuxedo dresses!
Sequin Collar Tuxedo Dress in Midnight
Navy and black are more than suitable hues these days for wedding guest attire, but if you’re nervous about wearing such a dark shade for the ceremony and reception, have no fear when it comes to the rehearsal dinner. This faux wrap silhouette falls just above the knee and has a sequined shawl collar for a touch of sparkle. Team with bold red lipstick or colorful accessories and simple pumps.