A rehearsal dinner is held after the groom, bride, wedding party, and officiant practice the flow of the ceremony the next day. Rehearsal dinners often take place at restaurants, banquet halls, or the house of the parents of the groom who serve as the traditional hosts for this event.
But many people, especially the bridesmaids are often unsure what kind of attire they should be wearing for the occasion.
So, what do bridesmaids wear to the rehearsal dinner?
The bridesmaids’ outfits for rehearsal dinners often lean toward the formal end of the spectrum. This means that the options of the ladies often include cocktail dresses to floor-length gowns while men usually wear a suit and tie.
Today, however, most of these traditional rules are starting to be broken, which means there are several important considerations you need to know and remember when planning your outfit for the rehearsal dinner as a bridesmaid.
Factors That Affect What Bridesmaids Should Wear to the Rehearsal Dinner
The following are some of the key factors you need to bear in mind before you go shopping for your rehearsal dinner outfit:
The Bride’s Outfit
The first and most important rule that any bridesmaid should follow is to always check in with the bride. This is not just to see if she can use some help with preparing for her big day or planning it itself, but also to make sure that your chosen outfit for the rehearsal dinner won’t upstage hers.
If the bride has plans to wear a gown, your attire for the rehearsal dinner as a bridesmaid can also be equally formal. If her options are a cocktail dress or a jumpsuit, see to it that your chosen dress won’t end up stealing the spotlight from the bride.
If possible, you can even lend her a hand in preparing her outfit. This way, you can be sure that your outfit will complement hers, not compete with it.
The Place and Time
Another important factor to consider when trying to decide on your rehearsal dinner outfit is the venue and time. Will it be on a beach? In a ballroom? A backyard BBQ?
Being familiar with the venue and the time, combined with the weather, location, and vibe will all serve as your guiding light when choosing your outfit.
If it is an outdoor event held during summertime, you can pick something more flowy, lightweight, and casual. If it is a fine dining restaurant in the middle of winter, you will want to take your outfit to the next level for a more semi-formal or cocktail dress. Don’t worry if you are unsure of the dress code. A bit of research about the venue is all it takes for you to be all set and ready to go.
The Program for the Rehearsal Dinner
Will you sit together with the bride at her table? Are you assigned to give a speech during the rehearsal dinner? Or do you just want to attend and enjoy the event?
These are only some of the most important things you need to consider when planning your rehearsal dinner outfit as a bridesmaid.
If you will give a speech or you will likely be close to the groom and bride throughout the night, for example, you will want to pick a dress that looks chic and elegant for all those photos. However, you still have to make sure that your attire is comfortable enough since there is a big chance that you will be on duty during the dinner.
If you just want to enjoy and relax throughout the night, you can pick a more fitted style and pair it with a pair of heels that is a bit higher.
Ideas on What Bridesmaids Can Wear to the Rehearsal Dinner
Now that you know the basics, it’s time for the fun part. If you need some inspiration on what to wear during a rehearsal dinner, here are a few options you can consider.
Comfy and Casual
Not all rehearsal dinners call for upscale dining and elegance. Some brides are contented with a simple backyard BBQ, which means it won’t hurt to dress down a bit. And if you are like any ordinary gal, you might consider it a big blessing. Some good choices here are boho dresses and summer dresses.
The bride will surely give you some heads-up if the rehearsal dinner is a dressy one. If you are still unsure, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the venue first then ask the bride second. Pick a simple one-color cocktail dress if you don’t want to look like you went overboard. A bit of a pattern wouldn’t hurt, too but just make sure you consider what is most sensible and what the season is.
A dress is not always required for most rehearsal dinners. These dinners are a bit more casual compared to the wedding itself, which means that you got some room to change your look and mix up your outfit. Rompers and crop tops paired with skirts are just some of your alternatives to wearing a dress.
Accessories to Complement Your Bridesmaid Rehearsal Dinner Outfit
Accessories can easily make or break your bridesmaid rehearsal dinner outfit. While other attires no longer need accessories, some can be further improved with a few cute accessories. Here are a few tips to help you out.
Simple and Bold
For bold outfits, it is best to keep things simple by completing the look with matching silver, gold, or pearls. Avoid doing anything over the top or mixing and matching colors. Simplicity is where the strength of this look lies so better keep things this way.
Black and white are simple colors to coordinate but using your shoes is one of the best ways to add white to your ensemble. White looks much better than black most of the time as it adds some pop while helping you achieve a classy sailor’s look.
Be sure to remember all these to nail the perfect rehearsal dinner outfit you and all guests will love!