The Wedding Rehearsal is actually a walkthrough
of what will happen on your wedding day during the ceremony. The
purpose of this exercise is to get everyone comfortable with how the
ceremony will go, what will happen when and everyone's specific
responsibilities on that day to make the wedding ceremony go as planned.
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Usually the wedding rehearsal is done the night prior to the wedding.
However, there are some cases where this is just not possible. For
instance, if the place you are going to be wed in is a very popular
place for weddings and other events, the space may not be available at
So the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment. When scheduling the appointment there will be some questions you need to ask. You will need to know how long you can be on site, if you can arrive early or stay late, and what other events are taking place that day.
You will also want to find out if there is an additional charge for using the facility that night, if someone will be walking you through the rehearsal and whether or not if someone is walking you through if they have some kind of print out of helpful guide they can give you so you understand the steps of the wedding and the steps of the wedding rehearsal.
Ideally, everyone who has a part to play in the wedding should be there. This will include the couple, the wedding party, the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom, any other people involved such as the flower girl, the ring bearer, ushers, the officiant, the musician and the wedding planner.
The ceremony site will probably not be setup exactly like it will be on
your wedding day. You need to be able to envision what it will look like
or even bring props or rope off areas to make sure you are aware of
what kinds of things will be in each place.
For instance, if the seating is not setup you will want to at least setup a front row so you can see how it will look and how much space there is between where the wedding party will be and where the guests will be. You will also want to rope off the other rows so you can better envision the ceremony.
Also keep in mind where any big decorations, centerpieces or bouquets will be. Do not forget to envision where people like photographers, videographers, wedding consultants, musicians and the officiant will be standing. These are all important things to keep in mind during the wedding rehearsal.
It is very important that you use this time to do a walkthrough from
start to finish. You really need to understand exactly when and where
everything happens and who is responsible for each action.
When we say every detail, we mean every detail. A good wedding rehearsal will let you feel comfortable with not just the ceremony but everything that happens from the time you arrive to the time you leave. So you should discuss who is arriving when and with whom. Do they know which entrance to use and where to go from there? How much time do they have between the time they arrive and the time the ceremony begins? What needs to be done during that time?
The next bit of details you should make sure you are aware of involves
wedding vendors and decorations. You need to make sure all the details
on who is delivering what and at what time is taken care of. You should
know who is receiving deliveries and who is responsible for setting up
the ceremony site including placing decorations, setting up seating,
delivering bouquets to the bridal party and everything else. Do not
leave details unattended to.
Once you get through those details you will then need to understand how the procession works. We know the bride will walk down the aisle, but will the bridesmaids? Will the groomsmen walk with them or will they already be up front with the groom? Practice the processional until you are comfortable with it.
Once everyone is up front and you are comfortable getting there it is
time to go through the rest of the ceremony. Wedding ceremonies range
from super simple to very elaborate. So how long this takes will depend
on what you have planned. You should cover everything that will happen
including vows, readings, any religious service you have planner, any
music you have planned, unity candles or other special events that will
occur through the ceremony. Walk through the ceremony right up until the
At your wedding rehearsal you should practice the recessional and get ready for the receiving line or whatever other customs you plan on following. Do not forget to also include time for formal photographs at the ceremony as well as throwing birdseed or blowing bubbles of whatever else might be done outside the ceremony.
Make sure when doing the wedding rehearsal you also have a good idea of the timeline in your head so you know how long the whole ceremony should take and how much time is allotted for each portion of the wedding ceremony.