February 1, 2024

Navigating the Wedding Rehearsal Wardrobe Dilemma


Your big day is around the corner and all your bases are covered. The venue is secured and the menu has been decided on. So what’s the next step? As much as you might be tempted to skip it, the rehearsal dinner marks the transition from pre-wedding anticipation to celebration. Your attire should reflect this shift, honoring the occasion’s significance while distinguishing it from the wedding ceremony. In this guide, we’ll help you navigate the wedding rehearsal wardrobe dilemma. We’ll help you figure out what to wear to wedding rehearsal events while striking the right balance between being underdressed and overdressed without taking away the excitement of the occasion.

As the premier wedding venue in Indiana, we have the expertise you need to nail down the wedding rehearsal wardrobe so your day is smooth sailing and like a dream! From small, cozy outdoor get-togethers to large barn celebrations, our wedding venue can be decorated with a variety of colors and aesthetics, creating unforgettable memories for all.

Decoding the Dress Code

What you want to wear is really up to you. We only suggest that you consider the venue, time of day, and overall vibe as you decide what to wear to wedding rehearsal events. Err on the side of being slightly dressier than casual.

Casual Chic

Think effortless sophistication with a touch of personality. If you’re aiming for a daytime or outdoor event instead, opt for lighter fabrics and shorter hemlines. Midi dresses, elegant rompers, or tailored pantsuits work beautifully

Men can lighten up with chinos and a dress shirt or a casual blazer. Accessories can elevate your look and express your individuality. Statement jewelry, a chic clutch, or a playful scarf can add personality without clashing with the overall tone.

Cocktail Attire

Cocktail attire strikes the perfect balance between formal and festive, making it ideal for evening events, weddings, and semi-formal gatherings. For semi-formal settings, cocktail dresses in rich fabrics, jumpsuits, or dressy separates like a silk blouse and skirt are elegant choices. A classic little black dress is always a safe bet, but feel free to experiment with bold colors, patterns, and textiles. Men can shine in dark suits with statement ties or pocket squares.

Formal Elegance

Black tie, black tie optional, gala…all fall under the umbrella of formal elegance, calling for your most refined and glamorous attire. For black tie events, a full-length gown is the epitome of elegance. You should choose rich fabrics like satin, velvet, or chiffon. Men can opt for a classic tuxedo or a dark suit with a bow tie. No matter what you wear, the most important accessory is your confidence. Own your look and radiate. But even the most formal attire should allow you to move and mingle freely. Choose pieces that flatter your figure and make you feel your best.

Considerations for Venue and Season

Navigating the perfect outfit for what to wear to wedding rehearsal get-togethers goes beyond what your preference might be. The venue and season are also important and should be factored in when deciding on your ensemble to ensure both comfort and tailored elegance.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Rehearsals

Indoor vs. outdoor rehearsals offer distinct atmospheres and attire considerations, both literally and figuratively. Let’s explore a few:

Garden Soirees

Outdoor rehearsals, particularly garden soirees, call for outfits that are both breezy and elegant. Opt for slacks and fabrics that are light, and breathable fabrics like chiffon, lace, or georgette. A maxi dress with a slit or a midi dress with flutter sleeves would be perfect. Ditch the stilettos for comfortable wedges or sandals. They’ll navigate grass and gravel with ease, while still adding height and sophistication. Evenings can get chilly, so pack a shawl or light jacket for a stylish cover-up.

Ballroom Affairs

Think black tie affairs, crystal chandeliers, plush carpets, and the rhythmic sway of conversation. Indoor rehearsals, especially in grand ballrooms, demand something more formal and glamorous. Channel your inner Gatsby with a classic little black dress, a tailored suit, or a combination of rich colors and statement accessories. High heels and polished shoes will complement the refined atmosphere.

Why Not Both:  Indoor-Outdoor Spaces

Indoor-outdoor spaces like barns and courtyards offer the best of both worlds. The beauty of the outdoors coupled with the comfort of indoor spaces calls for a balanced approach to your wedding rehearsal wardrobe. Consider wearing layers, such as a chic jacket or stylish shawl over your outfit. Accessories like statement earrings and necklaces can elevate any look while keeping it refined.

At The Sixpence, we offer the natural ambiance and convenience of an indoor-outdoor wedding venue. We understand the importance of creating a beautiful and memorable experience for your wedding rehearsal event.

Summer vs. Winter Rehearsals

Navigating summer’s golden evenings versus winter’s crisp air requires distinct wardrobe considerations for rehearsals. Let’s explore a few:

Lightweight Options

In the warmth of summer, opt for pastel-colored dresses, jumpsuits, or separates with playful floral prints. Strappy sandals or wedges are perfect, allowing a minimalist approach for comfort.  Men can try linen suits, short-sleeved shirts, and loafers. Light colors reflect sunlight and help keep you comfortable while sunscreen, hats, and lightweight scarves can protect without compromising style.

Layering for Cooler Evenings

In contrast, winter rehearsals demand smart layering with luxurious but warm fabrics like velvet, wool, or satin. Men should consider wool suits, turtlenecks, and dress boots. While midi dresses with sleeves, tailored pantsuits, or jumpsuits paired with statement jackets exude sophistication for women. You can enhance winter ensembles with ankle boots for warmth and style, and accessorize with scarves, shawls, or gloves to combat the chill, ensuring a stylish and seasonally appropriate rehearsal look.

Dressing for Roles

The wedding rehearsal dinner is a joyous celebration, bringing together families and friends as the big day approaches. There’s no need to take all the planning on alone.  But when it comes to attire, the specific roles of your party can come with certain dress expectations and what to wear to wedding rehearsal dinners.

Bridal Party Attire

Ensuring a harmonious yet individually expressive bridal party ensemble involves thoughtful coordination for both bridesmaids and groomsmen.

  • Bridal Party Attire: Bridesmaids can achieve a cohesive look by discussing color schemes with the bride, opting for complementary hues, metallic accents, or coordinating patterns. Semi-formal attire such as cocktail dresses or jumpsuits is ideal, allowing for personal touches through unique accessories.
  • Groomsmen’s Fashion Tips: Groomsmen can exude dapper charm in suits and ties, considering color coordination with bridesmaids or opting for timeless neutrals like navy or gray. Adding a touch of elegance with pocket squares and lapel pins allows for personalized flair, aligning with the overall theme. Prioritizing comfort, well-fitted suits, and comfortable shoes ensure the groomsmen can effortlessly celebrate and mingle throughout the evening.

Guest Etiquette

When attending a wedding rehearsal dinner, guest etiquette revolves around thoughtful choices to honor the couple. Respecting the occasion, maintaining comfort for mingling and dancing, and showcasing support for the union are equally as important when deciding what to wear to wedding rehearsal dinners. Balancing individuality with appropriateness allows guests to express their style while participating in the joyous celebration of the couple’s upcoming nuptials.

  • Avoiding White (Unless Advised Otherwise): We strongly suggest that guests should avoid wearing white as it traditionally belongs to the bride, unless expressly permitted.
  • Complementing the Theme: To enhance the celebration, guests can consider subtly incorporating the event’s theme into their outfits through a touch of color or a playful accessory. However, it’s important to not overshadow the couple or go excessively thematic unless specifically requested.

Budget-Friendly Fashion

Fashion doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag! With a little creativity and savvy shopping, you can build a wardrobe you love, all while staying within your budget.

Smart Shopping Strategies

Explore smart shopping for a chic, budget-friendly wardrobe from thrift stores, online platforms, or consignment shops. You can even score unique vintage finds at a fraction of the cost from flea markets or online vintage stores.

  • Affordable Finds for Men: Elevate your wardrobe affordably with well-fitting basics like shirts, jeans, and chinos. Mix and match for versatile outfits. Opt for stylish cargo pants in neutral tones, paired with a button-down or graphic tee. Invest in timeless footwear like Chelsea boots or sneakers. Scout for deals at outlets or online for budget-friendly essentials.
  • Stylish Deals for Women: Revamp your wardrobe affordably with timeless staples like black dresses, wraps, and shifts. Embrace budget-friendly statement print dresses for a stylish addition. You can also elevate with unique, affordable accessories from flea markets, vintage shops, or online stores—jewelry, scarves, belts, and hats add flair to simple outfits.

DIY Personalization

An easy way to step out of the fashion cookie-cutter mold is through DIY personalization. We’re not talking full-blown sewing marathons, but adding your creativity to existing pieces for a one-of-a-kind look. Your decor shouldn’t be the only thing that sparkles!

Customizing Accessories

Personalizing accessories by swapping gems in jewelry with affordable beads or charms or customizing chains with reflective charms can go a long way. You can enhance earrings or keychains with vibrant tassels and revive shoes with fabric patches or patterned duct tape as well.  Replacing laces with ribbons, patterned shoelaces, chains, or embellishing flats or sandals with sequins or pom-poms can create haute statements. Using durable materials can help you maintain balance and embrace imperfections for a unique charm.

Don’t be afraid to extend customization to hats, scarves, or bags using paint, embroidery, or fabric glue for a distinctive, trend-defying style.

Trendy vs. Timeless

The fashion world is a fickle beast, constantly throwing new trends our way

So do we chase fleeting trends or invest in wardrobe staples that stand the test of time? 

Ultimately, the best approach lies in finding a balance between trendy and timeless. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds as you plan what to wear to wedding rehearsal dinners. Allowing you to express your unique style while staying up-to-date with fashion’s ebb and flow.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Embracing Current Trends

Following trends injects freshness and excitement into your wardrobe, which allows you to experiment. On the downside, while trendy pieces can help you to express your personality at affordable prices they can also lead to impulse buys and environmental impact. The short-lived nature of trends poses the challenge of potentially overshadowing your unique style. You should try to balance trend adoption with quality and personal expression for a mindful approach to fashion.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Investing in Timeless Pieces

Investing in timeless pieces offers unparalleled versatility, durability, and sustainability. Classic pieces can seamlessly transition between casual and formal occasions, thus retaining value over time. While initial costs may be higher, there is an undeniable long-term cost-effectiveness. However, we don’t suggest that you rely solely on timeless pieces as they may limit the excitement of experimenting with new trends and hinder personal expression. Balancing classics with occasional trendy additions can create a well-rounded, expressive wardrobe.

The Power of Colors

Color can set the mood, tell a story, and allow you to express yourself – even at a celebratory gathering like a rehearsal dinner. Choosing the right color palette when deciding what to wear to wedding rehearsal get-togethers can elevate your outfit and contribute to the overall ambiance of the occasion.

Matching the Wedding Colors

At wedding dress rehearsals you and your guests can aim to skillfully match colors without overshadowing the couple. You can subtly incorporate wedding hues through complementary or contrasting shades and also align with the theme while maintaining individual style. Using accessories like shoes, jewelry, or a scarf for tasteful color participation, can help you to balance coordination with personal flair.

Timeless Neutrals for Versatility

You can choose timeless neutrals like black, white, beige, and navy for an elegant, versatile foundation. Neutrals serve as a sophisticated canvas, complementing any wedding color scheme. Their effortless versatility allows you to build a look with various textures and patterns. The beauty of neutrals lies in their ability to transcend trends, offering repeated wear without feeling limited. You can then infuse personality with pops of color or metallic accents through jewelry, a vibrant clutch, or patterned shoes, striking a balance between timeless appeal and personalized flair.

Outfit Coordination for Couples

Navigating couples’ outfits for a special occasion like the rehearsal dinner can be tricky. You want to achieve a coordinated look without resorting to “matchy-matchy” territory. When deciding what to wear to wedding rehearsal get-togethers, here’s how to turn heads in the best way possible.

Coordinating Colors and Styles

You can coordinate couples’ outfits by selecting complementary colors and styles. Choose hues from the same color family in varying shades for a cohesive yet distinct look. You can also aim to mirror textures with similar tactile elements in different colors. Feel free to explore pattern play by coordinating through shared patterns with variations, but avoiding identical ones. You should embrace elements like stripes or floral prints with a shared color palette for balance.

Individual Flair within a Unified Look

Couples can infuse individual flair into a unified look through personal touches and style staples. You can express uniqueness with accessories like a patterned pocket square or contrasting jewelry. Play with complementary silhouettes, and balance cuts without mirroring. Then anchor outfits with personal style staples, whether a classic fedora or signature earrings, for harmony and distinct aesthetics.

Makeup and Hair Considerations

Your outfit is chosen, and the accessories sparkle, but your look isn’t complete without the perfect hair and makeup! Remember, makeup and hair are about enhancing your natural beauty and expressing your confidence. So, relax, have fun, and enjoy the magic of pre-wedding festivities with your loved ones! Let’s explore how to tailor your hair and makeup to complement your chosen attire and the occasion’s setting.

Hairstyles for Different Necklines

Your hairstyle is a great way to bring character to an outfit. Here are a few hairstyles to consider after deciding on what to wear:

  • Off-the-Shoulder Flair: Opt for loose waves or braids that cascade down your shoulders, highlighting the romantic appeal of the neckline.
  • High Neck Elegance: Updos like chignons or sleek ponytails create a sophisticated balance for this formal neckline.
  • Strapless Stunner: Play with half-up styles or soft curls that frame your face without hiding the neckline’s beauty.
  • V-Neck Versatility: Experiment with side braids, cascading waves, or loose buns that complement the elongated silhouette.

Makeup Tips for Day and Night Rehearsals

Makeup can tie most looks together but the knowledge of what works during the day vs what works better at night can be great to have in your back pocket. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Daytime Glow: Focus on a natural, dewy makeup look with light foundation, creamy blush, and a subtle highlighter. Opt for neutral shimmery or matte shades to add depth without overpowering your daytime look. Then complete your natural glow with nude or soft pink lipstick or lip gloss.
  • Nighttime Glam: A subtle smokey eye can add drama and elegance to your evening look. However, keep the rest of your makeup neutral to maintain balance. You can make a statement with a striking red or berry lipstick while applying eyeliner and mascara for extra definition. Aim to highlight your cheekbones and cupid’s bow with shimmer for a touch of nighttime glam.

Comfort and Practicality

While celebrating the upcoming wedding is the top priority at the rehearsal dinner, nobody wants to be hobbling around in excruciating shoes or struggling with an impractical outfit. When deciding what to wear to wedding rehearsal get-togethers, striking the balance between comfort and style is key to enjoying the festivities to the fullest! Dancing, mingling, and celebrating for hours deserve footwear that prioritizes comfort without sacrificing style. Remember to break in your shoes beforehand, consider the venue, and always have a backup.

Stylish Flats for Women

Here are some options for stylish flats for women:

  • Ballet Slippers: Chic and comfortable, ballet flats come in various materials and embellishments to complement any outfit. Opt for leather or satin for a dressier look or metallics for a playful touch.
  • Kitten Heels: Want a little height with ultimate comfort? Kitten heels offer a slight lift without causing fatigue. Choose pointed-toe styles for a polished look or embellished options for a statement touch.
  • Wedges: Combining style and comfort, wedges offer elevation without the pressure of stilettos. Opt for cork or platform wedges for a casual vibe or suede or metallic wedges for a dressier look.

Dapper Loafers for Men

Here are some options for dapper loafers for men:

  • Leather Loafers: Classic and versatile, leather loafers add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. Choose penny loafers for a casual vibe or tassel loafers for a dressier touch.
  • Driving Moccasins: Comfortable and stylish, driving moccasins offer a relaxed yet polished look. Opt for neutral colors for maximum versatility or suede for a touch of texture.
  • Monk Strap Shoes: For a unique and dapper look, monk strap shoes offer a stylish alternative to traditional loafers. Choose double monk straps for a formal touch or single monk straps for a relaxed vibe.

Weather-Proofing Your Look

The joy of celebrating a wedding can be dampened by unpredictable weather. But fear not, with a little foresight and creative planning, you can weather any storm at the rehearsal dinner. Remember, the weather shouldn’t dampen your spirits or your style when deciding what to wear to wedding rehearsal get-togethers!

Umbrella Etiquette

Navigate umbrella etiquette with consideration for others and style. You should steer clear of large, obtrusive umbrellas that block views in favor of compact, collapsible options or sharing a larger one with a companion. Exercise manners by holding the umbrella downwards when entering or leaving a building to prevent dripping on others, and avoid propping it up in ways that can obstruct pathways. 

You can elevate your rainwear with stylish solutions such as clear bubble umbrellas for a chic statement or opt for colorful, patterned umbrellas to add a playful touch to your rainy-day ensemble.

Stylish Rain Gear

Elevate your rainy-day style with chic and functional rain gear. A classic trench coat brings drama and protection while offering breathability. You can opt for versatile neutral tones or make a statement with a bold hue. Explore lightweight jackets or blazers treated with water-resistant coatings to stay dry without sacrificing style. Don’t hesitate to transform rain boots into a trendy accessory by choosing fun colors or patterns that add a splash of personality to your ensemble. 

You can then complete the look with waterproof hats and stylish scarves for extra protection and flair, ensuring your rainy-day attire is both fashionable and weather-ready.

Elegant Solutions for Hot Weather

Beat the heat with elegant solutions for event spaces in hot weather. Choose breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton, or silk to allow your skin to stay cool, steering clear of heavy synthetics that trap heat. Embrace light and loose silhouettes, opting for flowy dresses, jumpsuits, or airy separates to enhance air circulation and keep you comfortable. You can also incorporate sun-smart style with wide-brimmed hats and breathable scarves that not only protect you from the sun but also add a touch of elegance to your ensemble.

To complete your stylishly shaded look, add sunglasses featuring UV protection. This ensures both comfort and sophistication in hot weather.


We’ve underscored the importance of letting your style shine through when deciding what to wear to wedding rehearsal get-togethers. The tips, strategies, and ideas provided are just appetizers – the main course is you. So, don’t be afraid to mix and match, experiment with trends, and infuse your personality into every outfit. The rehearsal dinner is a celebration, and your unique fashion flair is the perfect way to contribute to the joy and excitement.

The Sixpence wedding venue is here to accommodate your special events. Featuring a customizable bar, inviting fire pits, and various lounge spaces, we provide you with everything you need to craft a memorable wedding rehearsal. 

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