How to Plan a Wedding Rehearsal
Going through the motions will help your actual ceremony run smoothly
By Jonathan Croswell
The rehearsal is key to having your wedding ceremony proceed smoothly. It gives the bridal party and officiant a chance to walk through the ceremony and communicate their expectations. The rehearsal allows people to ask questions and feel comfortable heading into the next day. Typically, the bridal party, including ushers, and family members are present for the wedding rehearsal.
- What You Need to Know
- Make sure the people involved in your ceremony -- the bridesmaids, groomsman, officiant, parents, ushers, etc. -- know when and where the rehearsal is taking place.
- Make sure to reserve time for a quick rehearsal at the actual venue.
- The rehearsal is an opportune time to give gifts to your bridesmaids and groomsmen, since it is one of the rare events during the wedding festivities that is exclusive to the wedding party and parents.
Check with your ceremony venue to see if it is available for a rehearsal the day prior to the wedding. You will only need the space for an hour or two, but it's best to do a run-through in the setting that will be used.
Make sure your bridal party and officiant, along with anyone else involved in the actual ceremony, are available for the rehearsal. If someone cannot make the rehearsal, recruit a stand-in or have another member of the wedding party track and relay the absentee's responsibilities.
If you have a wedding planner, they will likely coordinate the order of bridesmaids walking down the aisle and tell people where to stand on the podium. If you don't have a wedding planner, it is important to decide these things before the rehearsal, so that you can instruct people clearly on their responsibilities during the wedding ceremony.
The most important steps to run through are walking down the aisle in the appropriate order, telling the groomsmen how to enter the podium (if they are not walking down the aisle), instructing the ushers on when to open the doors and who to reserve seats for, and discussing an exit strategy for the wedding party after the ceremony concludes.
Decide if you want to give your attendants their gifts at the rehearsal. This is common, since it is much less hectic than the wedding day.
Prepare for the rehearsal dinner. Following the ceremony rehearsal, a rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted by the groom's parents. You can do this at a restaurant or banquet hall. Much like the wedding reception, how much you want to spend is up to you.
About the Author
Jonathan Croswell is a freelance writer who has worked on regional wedding publications.
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