Mother of the Bride

What to Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner

Next to the wedding day, the rehearsal dinner is one of the most important events in a couple’s wedding journey. It’s a time to celebrate, and if you’re the Mother of the Bride or Groom or a family member from out of town who has been asked to share in the joy, you’ll want to look your best so you can focus on the happy couple and time with family and friends.

To look your best, here are some tips to help you when you’re deciding what to wear to a rehearsal dinner.

What to wear to a rehearsal dinner - dress


1. Do Dress Classy

You don’t want to dress up to the same degree as you will be on the wedding day, but you do want to dress up for this very special dinner. Unless the venue is very informal, I think a pretty dress or a classy pair of dress pants with a chic blouse is the best way to go.

Classic, feminine, and romantic are the buzzwords to keep in mind when deciding what to wear.  Steer clear of anything too short, tight, or revealing, and instead go with an outfit that is less sexy and more sophisticated.

It’s a happy occasion, so don’t want to dress in something too serious or severe. Keep things modern but soft.

The dress above is a nice example of what you might want to aim for.  This flowy, ruffled pink wrap dress is super romantic and is a fabulous way to accentuate your womanly curves and make you feel pretty.

2. Don’t Feel Pressured to Blow Your Budget on an Outfit

If you already feel like you’ve blown the budget with wedding-related expenses, don’t feel pressured to go crazy when it comes to spending money on a rehearsal dinner outfit. These days, there are many lovely and current dresses and dressy tops and pants available from retailers like Loft and Macys at an affordable price point. Weddings are expensive, so save where you can!


What to wear to a rehearsal dinner pants and top

3. Don’t Wear Anything Too Stiff

It’s a rehearsal dinner, not a work conference. A wedding is a romantic event and what you wear should reflect that in some way. Add an element of romance with a ruffle, a pretty bracelet, or a feline detail or two. For this event, formal business clothes are definitely not invited.



4. Look for Classic Pieces with Modern Details

I hear from so many over-40 gals who tell me they want to look on-trend but not dressed like the 20 & 30 somethings who will be at the wedding with them. An easy way to do that is by selecting classic pieces that have a modern twist. The navy blue sheath dress above is a classic, but do you see how the airy ladder stitching breaks up the panels and gives it a modern update?


5. Do Dress for Ease and Comfort

Being uncomfortable is never classy. Make sure you dress in something that is comfortable and that you can move in. This is particularly important if you’re the Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom and you’re running around all night greeting guests and giving speeches.

Make sure you don’t wear anything so tight that it’s binding, heels that you can run around comfortably in, and that aren’t hot or clingy.


6. Do Think About the Next Day

Remember that the Rehearsal Dinner is just the warm-up act, and if the wedding is the next day, you want to make sure you don’t overdo it the night before. Drink lots of water, watch what you eat, so you’re not feeling bloated the next day, and do your best to get a good night’s sleep.


7. Do Be Ready for Your Closeup

Whether or not you hire a professional photographer for the rehearsal dinner, there are sure to be plenty of pictures taken, and you’ll want to look your best.

Take care with your hair and makeup. You may even want to consider getting this done professionally.

And choose a flattering color when selecting your dress or top. It’s one of the best ways to give your face a lift and a bit of a healthy, vibrant glow. After all, you want to look as great on the outside as you feel on the inside.

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