What Should I Wear To My Rehearsal Dinner?

white cutout jumpsuit rehearsal dinner dress

You’ve picked out all of the special components of your wedding day attire - the dress, the shoes, the veil, the accessories, the garter (obviously!); and then it hits you - you haven’t even begun to think about what to wear to your rehearsal dinner!

Don’t fret! As always, I got you, girl. Not only have I put together the ultimate bridal fashion timeline, which you can get for free right here BTW, that outlines anything and everything you need to know to prepare and pack for your magical wedding weekend, I’m sharing some tips below on how to make your rehearsal dinner outfit stand out.

I want you to feel confident, comfortable and most of all I don't want you to be stressed in the process of picking the right out. Remember, stress never looked good on any bride!

white cutout jump suit rehearsal dinner outfit

Shop this white cutout jumpsuit made by BYCATALFO 

As with all things wedding planning, the key when it comes to what to wear to your rehearsal dinner is planning ahead. 

Now, one of the great benefits of the rehearsal dinner outfit is that you don’t always have to order it months in advance like your wedding dress (If you haven't gotten your dress yet, check out my post on when to order your wedding dress. This will tell you everything you need to know and then some!). You can even get your outfit planned and put together in the final weeks leading up to the wedding.

With that said, I recommend you take the time, thought, and preparations needed to make sure you look just as beautiful at the rehearsal dinner as you do at the wedding! It may be you fall in love with a more informal wedding dress and want to wear it at the rehearsal. If this happens, then you’ll need those months you gave yourself for the rehearsal dinner outfit search to get it ordered and tailored just like your wedding dress.

Beyond planning ahead, Here are some of my tips to help you as you begin searching for her perfect rehearsal dinner outfit!

Wear the opposite of your wedding dress

The wedding day is a woman’s Cinderella moment. You have the big, beautiful ball gown wedding dress, tiara, and hair all done up. You only get to do this one time in your life, right?! But that may not, and likely isn’t!, your day-to-day style.

The rehearsal is the perfect place to let a different look steal the show for the evening. If your wedding dress is a ball gown, go for a more form fitting (and potentially sexy!) dress for the rehearsal. If you're wedding dress is a mermaid cut, maybe go for a shorter 50's inspired dress for the rehearsal.  

The great thing about having another event during your wedding weekend - like a rehearsal dinner - is that it lets you share different parts of your personality and style! Frankly, it is another opportunity for another outfit and who can argue with that!?

Dress for the theme or location

Is your rehearsal dinner a southern bbq? Or a wine tasting at the vineyard you’re getting married at? If there’s a specific theme or focus to the rehearsal incorporate it into your outfit! Your wedding guests will love the thought you put into it and how fun it is you had the idea to do it.

Dressing to a theme doesn’t mean you have to forgo a beautiful and/or formal outfit. Its not a costume, after all! You can give a nod to the theme through an accent piece or by choosing a specific pattern to your look. For example, if your rehearsal is a luau on the beach, try wearing a flower crown instead of a lei. 

Also, don’t forget to dress for the location or weather. Will you be in the grass and should wear wedges or flats? Will you be outside once it gets chilly and should plan for layers?

Have a little fun with your rehearsal dinner outfit and let your wedding design and theme be an inspiration for your rehearsal dinner!

short white lace wedding rehearsal dinner dress

Shop this short white lace dress made by IselleBridalStudio

Have fun with it!

Speaking of having a little fun with it... that’s my next tip for you!

There’s so much stress in wedding planning ahead leading up to the big day. The rehearsal dinner is the official start to everything you’ve planned and the wedding celebrations. You are going to want to enjoy it and celebrate it!

Dress for your happiness, excitement, and the joy of your wedding finally being here! The wedding weekend will be done before you know it! So, don’t spend it sweating the small stuff or being uncomfortable in an outfit that does not feel like you.

Dress to show your happiness and joy as you begin to watch all of your wedding planning hard work pay off! If you are uncomfortable or not happy with your outfit, it will show all over your face! But, if you put a little thought and planning into it and get that perfect accessory to go with your theme or that dress you've had your eye on, you'll feel amazing and your guests will see the happiness all over your face! 

Don’t forget hair, makeup, and accessories!

For the wedding day, you’re likely bringing in a glam squad to make sure every hair is in place, lash is done, and your bridal look is complete. Even though you may not need a wedding's day level of support for the rehearsal dinner, don’t forget to plan out what you want the rest of your look - outside of the outfit itself - to look like.

Remember, you will be having tons of pictures taken at your rehearsal dinner. Even if you don't have a professional photographer, your rehearsal is often times the kick off event to your wedding and the first time any out-of-town guests have seen you in a long time - they will want to take pictures! Selfies, candids, you name it and photos will be taken at your rehearsal dinner, so you are going to want to look your bestest!

Smoky eye, red lip, hair up or down? Think through all of this before you’re in the moment, because you may not have the mental space to decide what you want the night of.

If hair and makeup isn’t your thing, ask a friend who is good at it if she’s willing to help out for the rehearsal. It’s less pressure than the wedding day itself and I’m sure she’ll be glad to help make you feel beautiful for your wedding celebrations. Plus, it is always fun to get read with someone else!

I promise if you give just a fraction of the research that you put into finding the perfect wedding dress into your rehearsal dinner outfit, you'll be all set and you'll feel amazing!


Sometimes it’s the extra special pieces to an outfit that are the most fun to plan for. Enjoy thinking creatively on what you’d like to add to your rehearsal dinner outfit and check out your favorite retailers to see if they have your dream rehearsal dinner look.

If you've had your eye on a fun cocktail dress or a jumpsuit, this is your chance! You already know when you are wearing the next day for your wedding, so take a chance and have some fun for your rehearsal dinner!


Remember, you can shop for bluevintageclassic and modern garter heirlooms anytime in my garter shop or get in touch with me at info@thegartergirl.com for information on custom designing a garter just for you!

If you have any more questions, check out my wedding planning advice here on my blog.

Don't forget to get your free copy of The Ultimate Bridal Fashion Timeline so you don't miss out on looking your best on your wedding day! 




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