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Can You Wear White To Your Wedding Rehearsal?

To revisit, briefly, the discussion of wedding dresses.

You all were correct. The Christopher Kane tape dress wasn’t quite right to get married in. It’s cool, beautiful, and fashion-forward. The translucent silk organza is a glorious fabric, and lace appliques and plastic tape as fun as one might expect. But it’s not romantic, and I felt decidedly romantic about marrying.

So I wore it the night before the wedding, at a small rehearsal dinner. No time for cameras, or tripods, or the usual standing on sidewalks with open sky as backdrop. I’d entered the wedding chute, where one says often, happily,  “Oh well!”


On my iPhone, from the St. Regis San Francisco, where we stayed the night before and night after the festivities, in an AllSaints biker jacket, old Rolex Cellini, and Louboutin Simple 70s. I think the Louboutin almond toe navigates the current pointy trend with reasonable dignity.


I also finally succumbed to the lure of Vicente Agor’s Ice Shelf earrings, with their optical quartz disks. Dangling, not small, but transparent. (Similar, here)


Which I chose from amongst a host of options I brought to the St. Regis, to choose from in the last moment. Because I favor subtle jewelry, of the sort that’s rarely more striking than my clothing, I find I never know just exactly what piece I’m going to want to wear until I’m dressed.

The earrings are made originally in yellow gold. With gray hair I find I need to transition to silver tones, and Vicente was kind enough to do these in white gold as a special request.

Earrings for wedding festivities

The coral drops, by the way, were my bridesmaid present to my daughter. My mother gave them to me ages ago, and they are so much better on a redhead of graceful carriage than on a graying Sturdy Gal.

So to address the headline question, about wearing white to your wedding rehearsal? Well, why not? I have little patience for rules of outdated protocol. Rules of courtesy are another matter.

I say that anyone old enough to change jewelry for graying hair, and pass down coral drops to her tall daughter, can wear white to her rehearsal. In fact, I’m going to extend that permission to everyone. Wear white, except to someone else’s wedding. Wear white in the winter, especially this year. Wear white jeans after Labor Day. And go ahead and wear white the night before you get married because, as it turns out, white dresses are like snowflakes. Each quite different under the lens of occasion.

Spectacular Christopher Kane Pieces For 2016

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60 Responses

  1. Exactly the right answer to your question. I hope you had a wonderful time at the rehearsal dinner and at the wedding, and I suspect you did.

  2. I love this dress, and I love that you paired it with a leather moto jacket for your rehearsal. So many women, no matter their age, play it safe for and around their wedding, but you embraced more than a little edginess.

    I’ve definitely noticed that your style is evolving, and I love it. (I’m just full of love this morning apparently, but fitting for a comment on a wedding rehearsal post, no?) Is it appropriate to ask what is/was motivating a more fashion-forward style, especially for your wedding?

    1. Totally appropriate. The short answer is my job – in a company with very casual and experimental style culture – and the time on this blog which has given me the courage to forage afield:).

  3. Though not having gone gray, I too prefer white gold in my jewelry.
    Having been announced ” summer ” in the color palette ( you too ), silver, white gold or platinum suits our skin tone better. And it is true!
    Yes to the almond toe pumps, no to pointy ones.
    Wedding rehearsals? I don´t think that our budget over here could stretch to one of those.

  4. You look splendid, really, surprisingly relaxed and gorgeous and very comfortable in your skin. I’m always happy to see old favourite pieces in an outfit, and I know the Louboutins are that for you — the almond toe is perfect (ditto the moto jacket). And your hair might have been grown and un-coloured precisely for this occasion, it’s so great with the ensemble!

  5. My daughter wore a white mini dress to her rehearsal dinner and I loved the idea of wearing white twice for the bride, in very different ways. As you know, I love that dress, and the earrings are beautiful and subtle. Beautiful gift of coral drops for your beautiful daughter, and yes, perfect for her.

  6. It’s so much fun to see all the little details from the big event! You look fabulous. Love the contrast of the black jacket and heels with the white dress!

  7. Oh, I love the sheer effect of the white dress…and the leather jacket with it is MOST EXCELLENT. I’m trying to remember what I wore to my rehearsal…17 years is a long time to remember. Just lovely.

  8. I love that dress! It’s not fridge white…there is a bit of sand in it and I like the lacework… Very nice… All of the chpices very nice!! Applause.
    On the subject of white apres Labor Day, thumbs up to you my dear. I have always disobeyed that stupid ancient rule… White jeans, red car coat, and navy espadrilles to the America’s Cup!! Will we see you there? Hope so! Leaving Miami on Saturday at nine ET.
    Can’t wait.

    Again, may happiness be with you always!!


    1. You will look GREAT!

      And I don’t know if we’ll wander over or not. My office is close, so, for anything that happens during the week I may make the extra effort.

      Feel free to email me and say, “I’m on the Embarcadero!”

  9. Great dress; beautiful bride!! And, I like your attitude!! Trying to get an understanding of your style with this question: Would you have considered wearing a nude pump with that dress? I understand tying the black jacket with the black pumps, but would the dress have worked with black pumps had you not added the jacket? –continuing my quest for knowledge!

    1. The dress did work with black pumps – jacket or not. I think that’s partly because black and white is a “look” right now. Nude might have worked, but I think more on someone with warm coloring, brown hair, etc. It was also really important to find shoes that were not patent. The dress had complex surfaces, I wanted simple ones on my shoes. Thanks for asking.

  10. I’m really glad you got to wear both, actually. They were both stunning, and you pulled off the tape dress so well. The biker jacket! The Louboutins!

  11. Beautiful! I think you wear whatever you damn well please to a wedding you are paying for. I, shockingly, wore previously acquired Lilly.

  12. Those coral drops! So beautiful in their simplicity.

    I don’t think we have such rules here. We wear white in winter all the time (well, I don’t. I am always afraid of getting it dirty, and worried that it will make me look fat, but other people have gorgeous winter white cashmere coats and look the million dollars that their dry cleaning bill will come to), and we don’t have rehearsal dinners.

    I think not wearing white (or black) to someone else’s wedding is polite, but otherwise, all bets are off. (Oh, but people who think that a slice of buttock below the hem of your shorts is a good look? Please stop. It is flattering to nobody, and offends many).

  13. Oh! and the important bit. The dress is beautiful, and you are in it. I hope that (probably unlike the Romona Keveza) you will wear it again!

  14. Oh, so happy to see another glimpse of that dress. Perfect for a wedding-related party. And the earrings are terrific. (I know what you mean about silver working better with grey hair–but alas, what to do with all my favorite gold pieces?)

  15. Stunning, stunning, stunning. The whole thing from engagement to your Chinese dinner celebration. Love the whole thing. You have given everyone who marries a second time a template!

  16. You look beautiful. No matter what you wore you would have been beautifully radiant and that’s what it’s all about. Love the leather jacket, adding a bit of edge to everything. Around here we won’t need one of those until December of January, maybe. Sending love…..

  17. I think this dress was perfect for your rehearsal and I totally embrace romantic, so I loved your wedding dress for the big day. The black leather jacket was just right too! I can tell you gave it all a lot of thought–and expressed yourself in just the right way. I’m also glad you wore your hair down for the rehearsal–it is so lovely. Best wishes once again on your marriage. Every happiness should be yours.

    The coral earrings are beautiful and I can just see them on your beautiful daughter.

  18. Silver fox with your beautiful mane.So agree life has to move on from the formal traditions.Your wedding has been a natural expression of the total Lisa.

  19. My first wedding, I wore white/ivory all weekend: day dresses for the rehearsal and a wedding breakfast, and then a 1920s-ish tea-length gown. It was a great wedding. The marriage, well…

    My second wedding, we eloped to NZ and got married on a beach. The wedding dress was white and ivory (jersey, to survive in a suitcase) but I think the night before the only white I was wearing was my Havainas. :)

  20. Absolutely stunning!!! Love the entire look. And you picked exactly the right dress to get married in :)

  21. How perfect for the night before a wedding! Gorgeous! I once wore a white and silver jacquard pants suit and silver shoes (looking like the love child of Roy Orbison and Prince – on purpose) to a friend’s wedding. I asked her for advice in advance and gave her options for what I could wear. As every year goes by it seems weddings and funerals have less protocol.

  22. I suspect you could have worn a paper bag and looked amazing. That said, the tape dress & accessory combo was utterly perfect.

    I wore black to my rehearsal dinner and white to our day-after brunch. I think everyone mostly noticed my grins of joy. :)

  23. I love how you rock the gray hair! Lovely! As for white for a wedding rehearsal…is there another color more suited?! I got married in April and I wore a white dress to my bridal shower (casual lace with riding boots) my bachelorette (a silky one sleeve number) and to my rehearsal dinner (Lilly Pullitzer, I’m southern). I never thought about doing anything else and LOVED wearing white to all these special events, made me feel very “bridey”. I think it’s best to just embrace being a bride and own it!

  24. You look smashing! Of course “Why not?” !! I say it more and more with my years.
    I’m reading your post after Labor Day while wearing a white jacket, so bully for white all year long. You look stunning, comfortable and like you are having a wonderful time!

  25. dearest lisa,

    i’ve been taking a blog break for a couple of weeks and so i’ve missed your wedding. just caught up and can say you looked so beautiful. your daughter and son too. truly truly best wishes and congratulations! xo janet

  26. I am quietly worshipping the coral earrings, so glad they are on yet another generation’s lovely ears. And your dress is specially bewitching.

    Saw a woman this summer at a wedding in white pants and a black (sleeveless) top, breaking not one but two rules. She was so pretty that she looked all right.

  27. Lisa I loved this post, and the last two sentences are so beautiful I found myself coming back to read them again!

  28. Superb choices all the way round! I find I am transitioning in attire and accessories as well as I age. Just acquired Lois Hill mother of pearl (read white) pieces with the intention of wearing them year-round. Funny how my eye would not have been drawn to them in the same way were I not graying. The dark brown/white contrast would have created a completely different and more limited look. I have to retrain myself as a shopper, though, since old habits die hard. ; )

  29. Dear Lisa I love that you chose the Tape Dress for Rehearsal Dinner, really perfection! Oh and your hair down is quite beautiful; the earrings, superb choice.

    As I am over 60, my feeling is, well you know, I can do what I want!

    2013 Artist Series

  30. I didn’t have a rehearsal dinner, I can’t take any kind of fussing, I wouldn’t have turned up at the wedding, I was mortified at having to walk up the aisle, and couldn’t bear being looked at.
    Your hair is utterly glorious.

    1. In agreement. We had 9 people at our wedding, including us, and the aisle walk was such a self-conscious space. That part was definitely a gift to my new in-laws

  31. You look wonderful in dress and leather jacket. And I think it is really cool that you are embracing the style culture of your work environment. The earrings are stunning!

  32. I was so enchanted by the blog posted by your photographer of your wedding day. I viewed it with awe and wonder BEFORE I viewed the rehearsal dress and it’s various components. I love that you wore your beautiful, healthy hair down. I hate the concept women after 50 must shear their dresses or they “look ridiculous” in the eyes of my prim Mother-in-Law. (She’s so rigid in her views, yet oddly cares nothing for American etiquette, she would be caught unaware her broomstick had gotten lodged in her derrière). This dress is such a departure from your wedding dress but I knew it was coming because of the write-in contest. But I was wholly unprepared for its marriage with black. I give you great credit for your gutsiness! I could not have gotten out of the suite (with my current man) without an incredulous, “You’re wearing that?!” Thirty years of marriage later, I am still subject to that. I am planning on opening an e-commerce site w/all the fab rejects I can’t seem to wear out of the house bought at great prices but he abhors. I am new to your blog and love it! Congratulations! Wishing you many, many years of good health, prosperity and happiness. Without the first two, the last is so difficult to hang on to in my experience as a seven-time cancer survivor.

    1. Compared to your cancer battle, wearing black leather counts for nothing. Welcome to the blog, and good luck with your site! If it seems daunting to set up your own, apparently there’s an app called Poshmark that many are using the market their closets.

  33. This looks like a dress I’d love to see in person. I love that you wore your two top choices.

  34. Lisa, love the Christopher Kane dress and even more that you wore it with an All Saints moto jacket. (I almost got that one) but I had just bought their plain black zipped one. Love the entire ensemble :)
    xo Mary Jo

  35. A belated comment. Lisa, I envy your hair! Mine is fine and getting
    thinner from the color that been applied since I was in my thirties — I started to go grey very early. I’m not ready to go grey, but have to color every three weeks now! My mother and sister have glorious manes. My mother just went grey at 83 and looks fabulous. My feeling is that grey/white looks best on a fabulous head of hair.

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