Wedding Rehearsals- Necessary?

The wedding rehearsal- Is it necessary?

In short, the answer is yes! Practice makes perfect is a matter of importance when rehearsing your ceremony. There are little details that are hard to predict the day of and you have many key players that may not know what they need to do so building some muscle memory the day or two before helps. You only have one shot to get the wedding ceremony right, and with the bridal party, parents, and officiant all having unique roles to play, practicing is the only way to make sure everyone’s on the same page and ready to execute on your wedding day!

What if not everyone can come?

Last minute flights, bridal party members working late, officiant not available, DJ not able to attend, etc. There are a lot of reasons why a few key players in your ceremony won’t be able to attend, but it’s not a reason to not plan a rehearsal. Make sure all who can be there, will be there and anyone who is absent find a fill-in just for the night. Make sure only key players are invited, the less people in the space the better (either kindly ask bridal party members to leave boyfriends/girlfriends at home or provide another place for them to hang out until the rehearsal dinner). If the officiant isn’t able to be there, ask for a copy of their speech/sermon and have someone act as the officiant. If your DJ isn’t able to be there, bring a Bluetooth speaker and have someone cue the music from Spotify or Apple Music from a phone. If you aren’t able to use your ceremony location for the rehearsal, use a friends house, backyard, or pavilion at a park.

Who’s in charge?

There should always be one specific point person for the rehearsal because everyone will have an opinion, but there needs to be one decision maker. If you have hired a wedding planner they will most likely take the lead, but if not your officiant can fill the role. At the beginning make sure everyone understands who is ultimately in charge and has final say in decisions. This is also an opportunity for you and your fiancé to make some decisions as well, add things you may have forgotten or cut out things that don’t work or fit.

What do we do?

The rehearsal itself should only take an hour to an hour and a half at most.

  1. The first 10 minutes gather everyone in their seats, introduce people quickly, and quickly go over timeline. Make sure everyone knows who’s in charge and has the last say in decisions, and who questions should be directed to.

  2. The next 30 minutes practice the Ceremony cue by cue, have everyone walk down the aisle, Groom and the officiant, parents and grandparents, note where flower girl and ring bearer’s parents are seated, where the father of the bride will be standing, the handing off of the bouquet to the Maid of Honor, etc. Anytime a physical action takes place practice several times.

  3. Have the officiant read the beginning, ending, and key moments in the Ceremony, not the entire thing. Make sure Bride and Groom practice when to hold hands, who will be collecting the rings, practice placing the ring, when to turn to the crowd, etc.

  4. If you have any timeline printed out distribute it to everyone, make sure everyone knows their role and if there are any lingering questions this is the time to answer them! Don’t forget to inform greeters/ushers on their roles even if they don’t attend the rehearsal. This is also the time to offload all of the stuff you may have brought, including toasting flutes, card box, sign-in book, signs, etc. Also, make sure the officiant or whoever is responsible for your marriage license and rings have them and are ready to look after them with their life! After all that, pop open the champagne, and enjoy an evening of food and laughter before the big day!

You may be tempted to forgo the rehearsal but after reading this article my hope is that you’ll see the value of rehearsing before your wedding! I believe you can offload a lot of confusion and stress by simply following these steps and getting everyone on the same page.

If I have forgotten anything or you have some tips and tricks to putting on a rehearsal leave a comment below!

-Adam Robb