The rehearsal. Necessary? Yes! Fun? Totally! Well, maybe more necessary than fun, but hear me out. There are lots of reasons why a rehearsal is important, and it’s not just to run through the actual ceremony ‘script’. You need to do that, in some way, at a rehearsal, sure. But it’s also super important to gather your VIPs (wedding party, officiant, parents, readers…) and all get on the same page before the big day.
If you want to hear more about rehearsals, why they are important, and how to make yours successful and awesome – please listen to The Big Wedding Planning Podcast! We have an episode dedicated to the rehearsal and it’s one of our best shows, in my opinion.
Elements of a Rehearsal:
- 10 minutes – gather, wrangle, introduce everyone
- 30 minutes – ceremony cue to cue. Beginning with butts-in-seats in the first row or two. If you don’t have seats, have your parents and VIPs stand where they will sit on the wedding day. The flower girl’s mom needs to be in an aisle seat. The reader needs to know which way they will walk from their seat to the altar. Map it out and put people in their places physically, review the ceremony seating chart. (You should write this down ahead of time.) Then you basically go through the beginnings and endings of the ceremony paragraphs…do NOT read verbatim the whole thing. Anytime there is a physical action – like exchanging rings – you practice it. You rehearse, get it? Practice lining up for the processional and walking in, and then practice the recessional.
- 30 minutes – Powow. Share information so that everyone is on the same page on the wedding day. Arrival times, ‘getting ready’ plan, who is doing the first toast and when, etc. Remind the bride to eat and drink lots of water! Also, take time to make sure that ushers or greeters know their job.
- 10-30 minutes – STUFF. It’s your wedding, you’ll have stuff! Probably about a trunk-load, give or take. (Including but not limited to – toasting flutes, signage, jars filled w candy, your marriage license in it’s utilitarian manila envelope…). It takes some time to unload everything and get organized. If you have a planner, your planner will take everything from you at this point.
What if the venue isn’t available for a rehearsal? What if your officiant can’t come to a rehearsal? I still suggest you have a rehearsal – you need some space, and as many VIPs as possible. Have it at the time that the most people can come. Others can be brought up to speed on the wedding day. If possible, it helps to have 8 or so folding chairs to outline the space, the width of the aisle, and mark where the first row people will sit. All you need for a rehearsal is space and people!