How to Dress for a Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal dinners are usually held the day before a wedding as a way of getting the wedding party together ahead of the big day. They are a great way to unwind and for the bride and groom to thank everyone who has helped to the wedding, but what do you wear to a rehearsal dinner? Here’s our guide to getting your look just right for the night before the big day.

The first thing to do is check your invitation for a dress code. Here are four of the main categories you may come across and what they mean:

White Tie/Black Tie

This is the most formal option. Men should wear a tuxedo, and women either a cocktail dress or evening gown. Make the most of the opportunity for some full out glamor!

Rehearsal dinner dress black tie

It’s not often you get the chance to wear a full length evening gown, so make the most of it!  This vintage 50s ball dress is perfect for a sophistictaed evening look when teamed with rhinestone accessories like this cute fish necklace  and some diamante heels.

Formal/Black Tie Optional

Men should wear a suit and tie for a formal event, and women can wear either a suit, a cocktail dress or any other tailored smart dress.

Rehearsal dinner dress formal

Don’t forget you can dress up any smart dress with some fabulous accessories. This 1960s flapper-style dress doesn’t need any extra embellishment, but add an amazing clutch Bag and some elegant shoes and you’ll look fabulous!

Semiformal/Dressy Casual

This is always a tricky one to get right. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so I would recommend a polo shirt or smart shirt with some nice pants for men, and for women a party dress or or smart trousers and a top. Definitely  no trainers or flip flops!

Rehearsal dinner dress smart casual

This dress could be dressed up or down. By adding a pretty pink cardigan and some flat shoes it hits just the right balance for a dressy casual do.

Casual

You might think casual means that anything goes, but even if the rehearsal dinner is a BBQ in somebody’s garden you might be pushing it to turn up in cut-off shorts. Jeans should be fine, as are sundresses and tailored shorts.

Rehearsal dinner dress casualThis sundress strikes a great balance between relaxed and chic. Casual don’t mean zero effort, so it doesn’t hurt to still look great! Team a sundress with some sandals and a straw tote bag.

Don’t forget – if in doubt then give the bride or groom a call and ask!

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Vintage: The Perfect Mother of the Bride Outfit

Choosing a Mother of the Bride (or Groom) outfit is a tricky thing to get right. You want to look fabulous – let’s be honest your outfit is the most important after the wedding dress itself.

You want to look smart, elegant, and you certainly don’t want to risk wearing the same suit as someone else at the wedding! Because of this you can end up spending a fortune on an expensive outfit that you’ll probably only wear once. After all, your killer Mother of the Bride outfit may well be too grand to wear as a guest to another wedding, you want to let the next Mother of the Bride have her moment too after all!

My answer is to wear vintage. If you get it right, vintage really can offer the perfect solution. Not a hippy 70s kaftan, or 1920s flapper dress, but cocktail dresses from the 1950s and 60s which really lend themselves to a beautiful mother of the bride outfit because of the smart tailoring and beautiful fabrics.  You probably don’t want to look like you’ve stepped back in time, but you can dress a beautiful piece of vintage up with modern accessories and bring it bang up to date. It also means that nobody will turn up to the wedding wearing the same outfit as you, and it’s also a dress which will be very wearable to parties afterwards!

Metallic 1960s Dresses

Metallic fabrics were really popular in the 60s and add lots of glamor to an outfit. This vintage 1960s brocade dress is elegant and flattering with it’s tailored silver and gold fabric. Team with modern silver accessories like this Philip Treacy hat and a glittery Lulu Guinness lips clutch bag for some real statement style.

Vintage mother of the bride outfit

Block colors were really popular in the 1960s, whether bright jewel-toned colors or pretty pastels, like this pink silk dress below. To convert a beautiful vintage cocktail dress into an outfit worthy of Mother of the Bride team it with a stunning hat, like this cream rose-embellished hat and some beautiful pink shoes. I love these Jimmy Choo slingbacks with their metal heel and shiny patent pink leather.

Color Block Cocktail Dresses

Vintage mother of the bride outfit

1950s Wiggle Dresses

To add a touch of sophisticated sex-appeal to your outfit you could go for a 1950s wiggle dress, like this silk floral dress below. This style of dress gives you a fabulous hourglass shape and makes you look like a glamorous extra from Mad Men! Team it with a fabulous wide-brimmed hat, and if you fancy a bit of a rock ‘n roll touch how about this amazing knuckleduster clutch bag in matching jewel colors?Vintage mother of the bride outfit

So, vintage is a great choice for your mother of the bride outfit! Take a look at our vintage cocktail dresses for some more inspiration!

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