…Or “Tips for a Successful Wedding Rehearsal”
Planning your wedding with its intricate details can all be for naught if it falls to pieces when being run through your “dry run”. Your wedding rehearsal allows you to get yourself, bridal party and necessary vendors acquainted with what you plan to do for your wedding. At the worst of times however, a wedding rehearsal can be stressful for some brides and like herding cats.
Even if you are working with a wedding planner, here are some tips that will make your wedding rehearsal run smoothly and efficiently:
Tell your participants to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the “real” start time. Depending on the complexity of your ceremony and size of your bridal party, your rehearsal should last anywhere between 30-60 minutes. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of the rehearsal, and finding out that your bridesmaid isn’t there. Give yourself some cushion time so that even if people arrive late, they are still on time to get the rehearsal started.
If possible, rehearse where your wedding will be. If your wedding is outside, rehearse at the ceremony site. Only use a second location as your worse case scenario. If you have to have a backup for your ceremony, make sure everyone knows where it is and if any changes must be made in order to have the ceremony there.
Have everyone that is participating in the ceremony at the rehearsal. This includes all readers, soloists, members of the bridal party, grandparents, etc. Again, you cannot have a successful rehearsal if people are missing. Moreover, be sure to walk though with all mothers and grandmothers and their escorts so that they know where to be, walk and sit prior to the ceremony. People will be able to confidently perform their duties when they’ve had an opportunity to practice them first.
Have a partial setup for prosperity. If you are having large arrangements, tables for a unity ceremony as well as seating. If you have a special entrance, rituals or layout, it is much more helpful to have some of these items in place to assist for good practice.
Meet your bridal party the night before or earlier in the day before the rehearsal. Also, do not invite non-participants to the rehearsal. This is another way that your rehearsal can double in time. People will want to meet and greet, reunite and hang out at the rehearsal. Because everyone is so excited and being social, it is much harder to get everyone to do what they are supposed to. Meeting for lunch, tea, beer, or whatever, helps everyone to come ready to rehearse and comfortable with the rest of the bridal party. Likewise, avoid having non-participants congregating at the rehearsal for similar reasons. They will want pictures, hugs, and conversations and while this is fine, it is not the place for the rehearsal. Ultimately, it could cause you to run over your time at the rehearsal and into your time for the rehearsal dinner.
All of these tips will help you have a successful rehearsal and avoid the many pitfalls and time wasting activities that can draw out the process.