I decided to write this post because I have reached a point in my career where I hear one particular thing from just about every bride or couple I work with; “Oh no I wasn’t planning on having a rehearsal, I don’t think we need that.”
Let me go ahead and stop all of you right there. Yes, you absolutely DO need a wedding rehearsal and no it is not just for the couple. Your wedding rehearsal is for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, your family members, and for your coordinator.
If you are planning on having a large wedding party, you are definitely going to want to have a rehearsal. These friends and or family members will appreciate you for it more than you realize because the bride and groom aren’t the only people who are nervous about walking down the aisle. Oh, and odds are that your groomsmen will be goofing off and distracted, and your bridesmaids will be chatty and giddy, so you will most likely need to practice walking down the aisle a few times at least. It will give everyone in the wedding party a better idea of where they need to be standing on the day of the wedding if you have a rehearsal and make sure to run through things more than once.
Your wedding party won’t be the only people who appreciate a run through of your ceremony. If you are having a more formal wedding and are having ushers seat your family members and any other guests, you will want a rehearsal to give both your ushers as well as your parents and grandparents a chance to figure out ahead of time where they need to be.
I almost forgot to mention the children participants of your wedding. Are you going to have a flower girl or a ring bearer? They will definitely appreciate and more than likely need the practice too!
If you’re planning to do any special candle lighting, sand ceremony, etc., a wedding rehearsal will give the bride and groom the opportunity to figure out where the two of them will need to be and when.
A Few Tips to Remember When Planning a Rehearsal:
- Have your officiant or minister present.
- Have any live musicians present or Prep the correct music on a laptop/tablet.
- Be early so you can reserve the entire hour you are given for rehearsing.
- If you are having a ring bearer or a flower girl make sure they are present.
- Don’t invite more people than are necessary; A crowded rehearsal can make for harder work for your coordinator.
- If you will have ushers make sure they are present.
- If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, make sure your rehearsal is as close to ceremony time as possible. The sun moves and shadows can change quickly.
One last good reason to have a rehearsal is to invite any of your vendors who have yet to visit your venue. For example your photographer, who may want to discuss just how intrusive they can be with your minister beforehand. Standing where the photographer would be beforehand gives you a chance to see how visible the photographer will be, and potentially distracting, on the day of your wedding. Some couples want the photographer to get the shot at all costs, while the minister may have a problem with that. It will all highly depend on the details of your ceremony.
Just remember, you only get one chance to have your dream wedding and it IS worth practicing for.