After all the long preparations and stress of planning the big day, a rehearsal dinner is the final event before the wedding. Rehearsal dinners give the wedding party and select friends and family the opportunity to socialize and spend meaningful time with loved ones. Rehearsal dinners can be formal, semi-formal or casual, which will dictate the proper attire.
Some rehearsal dinners specify that all guests must wear formal attire. These types of dinners are usually held in an upscale restaurant. Men will need a long-sleeved, collared shirt and tie, and either a suit jacket or blazer with a pair of slacks. Women can wear a classy skirt and blouse, a dark-colored pantsuit or a full-length dress suitable for a formal dinner. Black dresses are an appropriate choice. Men should wear dress shoes, and women can wear a pair of heels, classy pumps or any other type of shoes suitable for a formal affair.
Semi-formal rehearsal dinners typically mean that guests can wear business casual clothing. Suitable semi-formal attire for men includes short-sleeved collared shirts without ties, nice sweaters, a pair of khakis and loafers. Women can drape themselves in a classy gown, a shirt and trousers or a nice skirt. Men can wear loafers instead of dress shoes, and women can wear a pair of dress sandals or short heels.
Some rehearsal dinners are casual events, such as a barbecue held in the backyard of a home or dinner in an informal restaurant. Casual dinners often have very relaxed dress codes and are treated more like parties. In this setting, men can wear T-shirts and jeans with sneakers or loafers. Women can wear a nice pair of jeans with a halter top and comfortable flats. If the rehearsal dinner is a barbecue or cookout, knee-length shorts and sandals and T-shirts may be appropriate for men and women, but guests should check with the hosts to confirm that this kind of relaxed attire is acceptable.
For a formal rehearsal dinner, men's accessories include a bow tie, full-back vest, leather belt, cufflinks, a nice watch and a pocket square. Women's accessories for a formal rehearsal dinner include sparkling earrings, clutch bags, pashminas and silk shawls and wraps. Women can wear stylish hats and designer glasses to casual rehearsal dinners.