The day has finally arrived. No, not the big day but rather… the day before the big day! Yes, I’m talking about the rehearsal dinner – that special event just before your wedding where your loved ones get to meet and mingle with one another before you officially tie the knot. As much as your actual wedding dress matters, I think this event deserves a standout dress of its own!
Until I got married last year, I never realized how much time and effort goes into all the little details of the wedding. Not only were there decorations, a wedding dress, the menu, guest list, etc. but there were so many little things I never even thought about. I planned way ahead when I picked out my wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, but a few weeks before the rehearsal dinner, I realized I didn’t have anything special to wear because it just hadn’t been on my mind.
Luckily I found my rehearsal dinner dress online and it was shipped to me with time to spare. My dress was a white crochet lace A-line dress with blush pink lining underneath. I nearly jumped for joy when I found it online in such short notice because my wedding colors were pink and gold. The pale pink lining underneath the white lace was nearly identical to the color of the bridesmaid dresses as well as the decorations at my wedding reception and rehearsal dinner. It couldn’t have turned out more perfect if I had planned it months in advance.
*My dress! Don’t you just LOVE the crochet lace and the blush pink lining?
But anyways, I thought the website was a hidden gem and wanted to share some of my favorite rehearsal dinner dresses with you ladies in case any of you are in the middle of planning a wedding and are thinking about what to wear. I plan on writing about some other sites and stores in the future, but I wanted to focus on Lily Boutique for this post, since I bought my dress from them and had a really good experience. The site was fantastic for several reasons:
Everything I’ve bought from them (I purchased a few other dresses for the honeymoon) has been extremely high quality, but yet the prices are very affordable. Almost every dress I’ve seen is less than $50, and right now EVERYTHING is marked down an additional 50% off! When I was looking on all the big bridal boutique websites, every rehearsal dinner dress I liked was at least $200 and up! And most of it wasn’t anything special, to be honest. After spending a fortune on the actual wedding and wedding dress, the last thing I wanted to do was drop another $300 on a dress, shoes, and accessories for my rehearsal dinner. No way! I was thrilled that the prices on all their dresses were better and the dresses were actually better than most of the $200+ dresses I saw online. That’s what I call a win-win!
They offer FREE shipping within the USA as long as your purchase is over $75- and it was super fast! I ordered my dress in two different sizes because I wanted to make sure I had something that would fit me rather than having to send one back and re-order. I added a few other dresses to my order, so I would qualify for the free shipping. I was worried that “free shipping” meant it was going to take forever to arrive, but the Shipping Information page said 5 business days. I was pleasantly surprised that my order arrived on the 3rd day after placing my order!
They have an entire page of rehearsal dinner dresses sorted, which makes it super easy to find something you like. Although I wouldn’t say it is a ‘bridal boutique’ per se, Lily Boutique does have quite a few options for bridesmaids and rehearsal dinner dresses. Right now they have over 200 rehearsal dinner dresses to choose from, which makes it a lot easier than going to the mall and trying to find something white or ivory that you think might work as a rehearsal dinner dress. I had zero luck any time I went to the mall because most places just don’t stock that many white or ivory ‘rehearsal dinner’ style dresses of good quality.
But back to the dresses! One trend I’ve noticed within the last few years that I decided to partake in is wearing white or ivory for the rehearsal dinner as well as the wedding. It used to be that women wore all different colors and styles to the rehearsal dinner. But now white and ivory is all I see. I love this trend because I think it’s the perfect way to wear the wedding dress ‘color’ in a casual, stylish, and fun way. Truthfully, long white wedding gowns are very heavy and have a LOT of fabric. There’s something flirty and fun about a little white dress the night before your wedding! So without further ado, here are my top picks for rehearsal dinner dresses:
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for – you finally get to introduce your fiancée to your extended family. Make it an event to remember in a tailored shift dress. This classic sleeveless sheath style is ideal to subtly play up your figure without attracting too much attention. It’s slim-fitting and sleek without clinging to your curves – just the right impression to make on your future in-laws! As a bonus, this is a chic style you can wear after the wedding. It is perfect to wear to work or to a networking event.
If you’re looking to make more of a fashion statement, look no further than this body-hugging knee-length number covered in gorgeous white lace. The length of the pencil skirt keeps this design relatively formal while the shapely bodice and midriff fit perfectly in all the right places. The overall effect is one of a strong, confident and uber-stylish bride-to be!
Then we get to something slightly more suave and sophisticated. Here we have a chic sheath dress that would be suitable for any rehearsal dinner, whether it’s a more casual daytime do or a fully formal evening meal. A sweetheart neckline frames the main body of the dress which is composed of classic white lace. This is all framed by an elegant overlay of sheer mesh fabric – pretty and princess-like for the fairytale bride! A slim waistband around the midriff nips the body at its smallest part while the pencil skirt rests elegantly right on the knee. The result? An outfit designed to impress even the trickiest of future mother-in-laws!
How about a dress that feels as comfortable as a cotton T-shirt? This fitted lace dress certainly fits the bill. It has that classic T-shirt shape that is relaxed and comfortable enough to wear through even the most stressful rehearsal dinner scenario. The length sits just above the knee creating a sultry mood and, coupled with a deep V-neck, packs a powerful punch.
If your style references include famous faces like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, do we have the rehearsal dinner dress for you! This sleek white shift dress has that certain royal je ne sais quoi that money cannot buy. The basic frame is sleek and conservative but, thanks to an overlay of white mesh fabric and decadent embroidered beads, the final result is simply sensational!
Boho Bride to Be
This ivory lace dress is perfect for the boho bride! If your style is a little more hippie-chic than princess, this dress is perfect! Instead of the typical rehearsal dinner dress, opt for something fun, flowy, and down to earth- just like you! The dress is made entirely of lace and has a flattering A-line cut. The best part of this dress is the bell sleeves that flare out, giving it that bohemian goddess feel. If you want to go all out, pair this dress with a boho metallic headband.
On the other hand, if you are a complete girly girl and want something fit for a princess, consider this sequin embellished and embroidered A-line party dress. It is fully lined and has a semi-sheer mesh fabric on top with white embroidered designs. Clear sequins on top add a touch of shimmer to this look and will catch the light effortlessly. Don’t let anyone steal the spotlight on your night! It will be all eyes on you when you show up in this white embellished party dress.
When I think of a classic lace rehearsal dinner dress, something like this is exactly what comes to mind! It has a flattering sheath cut and a longer midi hemline that is perfect for a more conservative family rehearsal dinner. It’s also great for taller girls who need a few extra inches to the hemline. I absolutely love the delicate ivory lace that has an antique feel to it. I can’t think of any woman this dress wouldn’t look lovely on!
Did you dream of being a ballerina one day when you were little? Maybe you took ballet or got to dance on stage? Or maybe you just love a girly dress? Consider this gorgeous tulle dress for your rehearsal dinner. It is made of an ivory fabric at the bust and has an attached tulle skirt with a full A-line cut. You can dance the night away (en pointe or not!) in this dreamy dress!
Fall-ing For You
Having a Fall or Winter wedding? As we head into the Fall and Winter months and the temperature starts to drop, finding a suitable white or ivory rehearsal dinner dress can be tricky. Very few stores will be carrying white and ivory dresses after August, and even if you find something on sale, there’s a good chance it will look out of place in November or December. The old “don’t wear white after Labor Day” is a dated rule you’re welcome to break! But if you do wear white or ivory in the Fall/Winter months, you still want to look appropriate- not like you just stepped out of Miami Vice! This ivory/cream lace dress might just be the answer to all your prayers! It is made of a thicker, heavier lace fabric that works year round. It comes in an ivory/cream color that is wedding appropriate, but it has a darker tint to it that makes it wearable in cold weather. Additionally the three quarter sleeves and A-line cut make it appropriate for all seasons.