What To Wear To A Rehearsal Dinner: The Guest List

February 24, 2021
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The question of what to wear for a rehearsal dinner for a wedding occasion isn’t always easy to answer, especially if there is very little information about the invite and no etiquette has been issued. In this post you will find out how to assess the occasion and make outfit choices that won’t let you down.

What do bridesmaids wear to a rehearsal dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is a fair casual affair designed to ensure the big day goes to plan. There is no need for everyone to turn up in their wedding outfits, however, it does make sense to have a certain standard of formality.

Since your bridesmaids are close friends and relatives, you should be able to rely on them arriving in something suitable. Smart casual is fine. If in doubt you could issue a memo to remind them it’s a semi-formal occasion.

reception dinner photo by Alex Hines photography

What do guests wear to a rehearsal dinner?

If you are a guest invited to a wedding rehearsal dinner, you may not know what to wear for it unless it’s expressly stated on the invite. You can take some clues from the invitation and the season, but ultimately it can be challenging to know.

Sometimes rehearsal dinners can be very formal, other times they are super casual. If you can’t find out from someone attending, opt for something in the middle and hedge your bets.

What to wear to a casual rehearsal dinner?

Many times, the rehearsal dinner for your friend’s wedding will be a casual affair that doesn’t require any investment or special outfit. Unfortunately, etiquette for casual rehearsals isn’t always given out, meaning it can be hard to know what to wear.

If you know it will be a casual event, then make yourself comfortable. Remember, however, it is still a dinner even with a formal feel, so consider this when choosing your outfit. Comfortable and relaxed are practical guides.

reception dinner photo by Alex Hines photography

What do males wear to a rehearsal dinner?

If the rehearsal dinner is a formal process with strict stage directions, it’s advisable for men to wear a formal suit. Perhaps something similar to their wedding outfit but not the same one.

In the case of a casual event, men can wear some smart-casual, perhaps a comfortable suit without the tie or a smart shirt and trousers combination. Remember it is a rehearsal for a formal event, and dress down appropriately.

What do females wear to a rehearsal dinner?

In the case of a formal wedding rehearsal, you may or may not need to dress up for it. If you are required to dress formally, choose a dress that compliments that one you will endear but doesn’t upstage it. This is a run-through, so simply give the impression of the future date.

For casual wedding rehearsal dinners, the advice for women is much the same as it is for men. Find out as much as possible about the event before you go and dress down appropriately. Make sure your outfit suits the occasion and your role in proceedings.