As the wedding day gets closer, then you may start thinking about your wedding rehearsal. If you’ve never been in a wedding or it’s been a long time, you could have a lot of questions about wedding rehearsals.
Do I need to have a wedding rehearsal? What happens at a wedding rehearsal? What should I plan for at my wedding rehearsal?
Look, we know. It’s another thing you need to think about. We have a few tips and tricks for having a stress-free wedding rehearsal.
If you haven’t already decided who is walking down the aisle with who, make sure you do that before the wedding rehearsal. Some brides like to see the pairings to decide, but you’ll need to know at the wedding rehearsal.
Next, you need to think about the order everyone will be entering the ceremony and how they will leave.
Depending on how many people are in your wedding party (and their behavior) wedding rehearsals can become pretty hectic. You want to have someone in charge to keep everyone dialed in.
If you have a wedding coordinator or you’re considering hiring a wedding coordinator, you can have them in charge of the wedding rehearsal (most will include it in their packages). In fact, most coordinators prefer to come to the wedding rehearsal so they understand the order of the ceremony and who each person is. This gives them first-hand knowledge of the day.
If you are not hiring a wedding coordinator, then you should ALWAYS have someone designated as the “leader.” This can be a friend or family member. It doesn’t matter, as long as someone is ready to keep things moving and help answer questions.
Obviously, the final decision the bride and groom will have the final decision, but this leader can help ensure those decisions are followed out. They can also let the bridal party know what’s coming next and when to walk down the aisle.
Now every wedding ceremony is the same. Before the rehearsal, think through all the different pieces and parts of the ceremony. Make sure you have all of the highlights written down. Those are the moments you need to practice.
Aside from the obvious moments to practice, like the recessional and professional, make sure to rehearse any other special moments, like the father of the bride handing off the bride, where you will stand for sand pouring or any other key moments.
If you will have anyone doing any special readings or singing any songs, go ahead and go through those as well. Depending on where you’re having the ceremony and wedding rehearsal, go ahead and test any audio equipment as well. If that’s possible, it can save you some frustration on the wedding day.
Making sure you avoid any technical problems is the obvious advantage to rehearsing special readings or songs. But it can also help those people be comfortable with holding the microphone and making sure they know exactly where they will stand and when their part will be.
If they won’t be using microphones, have them test their speaking levels. Stand at the back of the ceremony spot while they practice their readings and then they can know how loud they should read or sing. You wouldn’t want guests in the back to not hear those special words.
This may not make sense at first, but the best place to start your wedding rehearsal in right in the middle. Yep, don’t start from the beginning.
Deciding where each party member will stand can take up the most time and you can practice the processional until you know where each person’s spot is. So what we’ve seen save time for everyone is to actually begin your rehearsal as if you’re already saying your vows.
Once you have those spots down, then you can practice leaving the ceremony. After that’s nailed down to perfection, you can turn back around and have everyone walk into the ceremony and make sure they know exactly where they’ll be standing.
On the topic of everyone finding their spots. One simple trick is to bring painter’s tape and mark where each person is going to stand. You can also use golf tees if you’re having an outdoor ceremony. Sure, it may not seem like a big deal, but you want to make sure everyone is even and there are no odd spacing gaps between bridesmaids or groomsmen.
If you’re having kids in your bridal party, like a ring bearer or flower girl, the wedding rehearsal can be a HUGE help for them (doesn’t mean they will do it again on the wedding day, but still).
Be sure that someone walks them through the process, what they will be doing, and where (or who) they will stand when they get to the end of the aisle. This is another case where tape can be very handy.