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Your rehearsal dinner is the first official party to kick off your wedding celebrations, and your rehearsal dinner dress will likely be the last outfit you wear before saying "I do" (unless you count your getting ready robe). Whether you're having a casual backyard wedding or a formal black-tie affair, your rehearsal dinner dress will set the tone for your wedding weekend.
When picking the best rehearsal dinner dress, let your personal style and wedding venue guide your decision-making process. A summer or destination wedding calls for light and airy fabrics like linen and crochet lace, and winter weddings are all about sumptuous velvet styles, embellished fabrics, and floor-length gowns. If you're more of a minimalist bride, go for sleek and structured dresses or jumpsuits to complement a modern venue and your pared-back aesthetic. We researched various options with these features in mind to help you find the right outfit for your rehearsal dinner. For a simple and sweet silhouette, we love the Lulus Your Sweetie White Tie-Strap Mini Dress. Looking for something more unique? We recommend the Ronny Kobo Astrid Sequined Dress and the Bronx and Banco Saba Blanc Midi Dress.
You can pick any color outfit to wear to your rehearsal dinner. While some brides may still wear white, vibrant colors or prints are also appropriate for this occasion.
Read on for the best rehearsal dinner dresses for every style, season, and budget.
Best Shoulder Details: Lulus Your Sweetie White Tie-Strap Mini Dress
Short and sweet, this tie shoulder-strap mini dress is a stunning option for a warm-weather rehearsal dinner. The square neckline, princess-seamed bodice, and A-line skirt offer a universally flattering look for any body shape. We especially love the tiny notch detail in the skirt for a unique flair. Made from polyester and spandex, it hugs your body comfortably. Wear this with ankle-strap heels for a completed look, and make sure you style your hair up to showcase the eye-catching shoulder.
Most Romantic: Reformation Rachelle Dress
As romantic as it is flattering, this puff-sleeved dress is an enchanting choice for a rehearsal dinner held in a garden or a backyard. The ruched bodice gives this dress a trendy look, while the full skirt will flatter any body type. While we're partial to this stunning crisp white, there's also a whimsical blue floral pattern that's great for spring. Style with grass-friendly wedges and loose wavy locks for an effortless look.
Best for a Garden Wedding: Bronx and Banco Saba Blanc Midi Dress
We love the combination of graphic leaf appliqués and soft tulle on this midi dress that feels at once modern and romantic. Whether you're having a backyard celebration or a garden wedding, this stunning dress would complement a venue full of natural greenery. It's made of polyester and elastane, so you should have a stretchy fit that still molds to your body. The godet skirt gives the silhouette a flattering look, and it pairs well with block heels.
Best Allover Lace: Self-Portrait Grosgrain-Trimmed Guipure Lace Midi Dress
For an all-over lace style that doesn't feel overly stuffy or ornate, opt for this dress crafted from graphic and refreshingly modern lace. The clean floral pattern doesn't feel too busy or dated, and the square neckline is particularly flattering. It has a hidden zip closure on the back for a seamless look, and it's made from lightweight polyester for a cool and comfortable fit. Its midi silhouette makes it a great option for both casual and formal events during the spring and summer. Style this with a dainty necklace, heels, and a clutch.
Best Jumpsuit: ML Monique Lhuillier Doutzen V-Neck Jumpsuit
If you’re searching for a rehearsal dinner outfit that isn’t a dress, opt for this modern and stylish jumpsuit. With a plunging neckline and slits on both of the legs, you're sure to feel confident, bold, and sexy. It comes in white, pink, and black color options, and it's made from polyester charmeuse for a soft and silky feel that works for any season. Style this with shoulder-grazing earrings and classic sandals for a sleek yet glamorous look.
Best for the Boho Bride: For Love & Lemons Temecula Maxi Dress
Ideal for a destination wedding, this boho-style dress is complete with a crochet waistband and lined with a nude bodysuit. While we love the white detailing, you can also choose blue, lilac, pink, and black options as well. The V-neckline and full skirt are super flattering and whimsical, too. Made from nylon, polyester, spandex, and rayon, you won't overheat in this dress—even with the long sleeves. Wear yours with a pair of comfortable yet chic woven wedges.
Best Embellished: Ronny Kobo Astrid Sequined Dress
This party-ready dress is embellished with sparkly sequins for a seriously statement-making look. It has long leg-of-mutton sleeves with an asymmetric-cinched detailing down the front of the skirt for extra glamour. Meanwhile, the keyhole back and center slits add in some serious drama. Its maxi silhouette makes this pick great for a fall or winter wedding. Made from polyester and spandex, it will feel comfortable and lightweight all night.
Most Sparkly: ASOS EDITION Eva Embellished Cami Midi Wedding Dress
Nothing says celebration quite like this dazzling beaded dress. This party-ready style is ideal for New Year's Eve nuptials and can easily be worn to your rehearsal dinner or after-party. The plunging neckline and open back add a sexy touch, while the flared skirt looks great on various body shapes. It's made of polyester, so it has a lightweight and comfortable fit. Pair it with a warm coat if your dinner will be outside in the colder months.
Best Back: Bernadette Sacha Dress
What could be more fun than this satin mini dress featuring an open back lined with an oversized bow? For the bride seeking out a style that doesn't feel overly feminine or overly modern, this dress embodies the best of both worlds. Made of crisp taffeta with an off-shoulder and mini silhouette, this is the ideal pick for a rehearsal dinner on a warm summer night. We also love the floral corsage in the center for an extra unique touch. Style this with vibrant-colored heels for a fashion-forward look.
Best Floor-Length: Fame and Partners Strappy Tri Cup Gown
Get your Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy on with this chic and timeless satin slip dress. With a floor-length silhouette, we think this dress could work for any wedding, from a winter venue to a whimsical beach wedding. This dress is made to measure, so it's ideal for tall brides, petite brides, and every bride in between. The triangle cups and fitted waist give it a tailored look, while the thigh-high slit and open back add in some extra drama. While we're partial to this ivory color, it's available in vibrant summer shades, pastel spring shades, and jewel winter shades, so you can find one that's fitting for any season.
Best Lace: Lulus Absolutely Stunning White Lace Off-the-Shoulder Midi Dress
If you're going for a more casual look, you can never go wrong with a floral lace dress. This breezy number would be right at home at a summer, backyard, or beach celebration. The unique off-the-shoulder neckline is eye-catching and flattering, while the loose-flowing skirt offers maximum comfort.
Most Dramatic: Sachin & Babi Dorien Dress
This dramatic mini dress is begging to be worn to a formal rehearsal dinner. Its asymmetric hem gives way to a cascading sash for an utterly unforgettable look. It would also be remiss not to mention the gorgeous puff shoulder sleeve that adds an air of elegance to the overall design. Pair this dress with pearl earrings and white pointed heels for a timeless spring and summer look.
Best for a Destination Wedding: LoveShackFancy Stassie Maxi Dress
Feminine and lacey, we love this cotton dress for a destination wedding. The ruffled neckline, lace trims, button fastenings, and eyelet embroidery lend a whimsical look that goes with the flow. Its maxi silhouette is ideal if you want something a little more modest. Elevate the look even more by wearing a colorful block heel or a statement earring. A bold-colored clutch wouldn't hurt either.
Most Playful: ELLIATT Harley Feather Trim Dress
Nothing says it's time to celebrate like a feather-trimmed dress! As fun as it is versatile, this Elliat dress works well for all seasons and can easily be worn for a number of occasions. Wear yours with shoulder-dusting earrings to highlight your shoulders and the delicate straps.
Best Slip Dress: BHLDN Cali Satin Charmeuse Midi Dress
What could be more timeless than this elegant slip dress? This style boasts a flattering cowl neckline and side slit and comes in over 10 gorgeous colors to complement any bridal style. You can dress it up and down for both formal and casual affairs, making it a versatile choice that you could use far beyond your rehearsal dinner. Made from polyester, it's lightweight and breathable. Pair it with statement jewelry for a bolder look.
Best Floral Print: V. Chapman x REVOLVE June Dress
This floral-printed dress is as sweet as ever for the bride-to-be with a romantic aesthetic. We love that the bustier top and high slit add some boldness back into this dreamy style. It's made of lightweight satin fabric, and it has a wrap-tie closure for a more customized fit. We're picturing this at a formal garden celebration with a matching pink clutch and sandals.
Most Sexy: Retrofete Gabrielle Sequin Robe
What says sexy more than this shimmering sequin mini dress? The wrap silhouette lends a flattering, plunging v-neckline and an adjustable fit thanks to the velvet waist tie. Although the fabric is weighted and thicker than other options on this list, its short length still makes it ideal for warmer venues. Pair it with a bold clutch and colorful heels for an even more dramatic look.
What to Look for in a Rehearsal Dinner Outift
There are truly so many options out there when it comes to rehearsal dinner outfits. While some brides may opt for something unexpected like a bold print or modern jumpsuit, others may choose an outfit that keeps within their wedding theme. No matter which route you go, your ensemble should reflect your personal style as well as complement the season, venue, and dress code. For summer brides, dresses with shorter hemlines in breezy fabrics like cotton, linen, and lightweight silk always look effortlessly chic. If you're planning a winter wedding, consider long sleeve jumpsuits, crisp tuxedo suits, or beaded dresses. And for more casual weddings? You can never go wrong with simple and comfortable silhouettes like easy-to-wear separates, rompers, or sundresses for laidback celebrations.
Do I have to wear a dress to my rehearsal dinner?
Do I have to wear white to my rehearsal dinner?
Definitely not! While some brides may choose to wear white to their rehearsal dinner, others may opt for dresses in vibrant colors or prints–what you wear is entirely up to you!
Can I wear a formal dress to my rehearsal dinner?
Yes! Formal styles like simple slip dresses, floor-length gowns, and fitted sheath silhouettes are all stunning options for a rehearsal dinner look–especially if you're throwing a formal or black-tie wedding.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal parties, and more.