After months, or years, of planning, it’s finally the week of your big day! All the vendors are paid and you’re counting down the hours. One of the last major milestones is the wedding rehearsal. So let’s address a few myths and make some things clear about this wedding related event.
First things first. Not everyone has be there. Sure, it’s nice if the whole wedding party is present, but the fact is, all they’re doing is walking down the aisle and standing next to you. I promise, if they can follow instructions, we can fill them in the day of the wedding if necessary. Now, if you’ve chosen some intricate choreography to get them down the aisle, PLEASE, for the love of all things good and patient, teach them the steps (with the music) before the rehearsal. As a matter of fact, you probably should hold a couple practices to get those two left feet people together.
Next up, time! Starting a rehearsal late can quickly become problematic. Not only does it look bad on the couple and the planner, but it can easily cost you money. Whether you’ve paid for the rehearsal space, have dinner reservations afterward, or you’ve got last minute tasks to complete, there’s simply a price to pay when the rehearsal runs late (don’t get me started on late ceremonies…cha ching!). So when your brother texts saying he’s going to be 20min late or your friend is still on their way from the airport, don’t worry about it! It’s better to fill them in later than to sit around and wait. Plus, it’s kinda rude to those who arrived on time.
Third, location, location, location. Your wedding rehearsal does not have to be held at the venue. Of course that’s ideal because people don’t have to imagine where they would actually walk or stand. However, venues often have other events booked the day before so it can be difficult securing time to rehearse (especially for Saturday and Sunday weddings). That said, be flexible in location and/or day/time. You may have to do a morning rehearsal, host it on a Thursday, or meet up at your parent’s house. Either way, just remember that not everyone has to be present and not being at the venue isn’t the end of the world. Just be sure to notify your ceremony participants as soon as you schedule the rehearsal to allow them ample time to plan to be there.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about what happens at the wedding rehearsal. If everyone is engaged and attentive, a wedding rehearsal should be less than an hour. Yep, I said it. Less than an hour. Find your positions. Assign walking partners. Walk in. Walk out. Talk through the ceremony. Answer questions. Done! It’s not complicated.
I know a lot of couples put pressure on themselves and their planner to make the wedding rehearsal perfect. Trust me when I say, it will be fine. Wedding rehearsals serve as a guide, but they should be fun and easy. Simply stay on schedule. Don’t worry about who’s not there, and focus on the joy that’s coming as you marry the love of your life!
Now, here are a few Frequently Asked Questions about wedding rehearsals:
Who all should be there?
The couple and all those in the wedding party. This include ushers and parental escorts (whoever is walking mom to her seat), flower girls, ring bearers, sign bearers, and any other ceremony participants. This can also include any readers or performers if you want to see/hear them do their piece.
Does my officiant have to attend?
Officiants are optional. Some like to be there to talk through the order of the ceremony itself. Others choose not to and trust the planner to handle it. Talk to your officiant to see what they prefer.
Does the DJ have to be there?
While it can be helpful, your actual DJ does not have to be present. However, you should make sure there is a way for your ceremony music to be played during the wedding rehearsal to allow your wedding party and family members to recognize their cues.
What should I wear?
Wedding rehearsals are typically casual events. So feel free to wear whatever is comfortable. There are no rules.
What about a rehearsal dinner? Do I need to have one & who attends?
Rehearsal dinners often serve dual purpose. Traditionally planned and hosted by the groom’s parents, they are a welcome party for out of town guests, and a nice way to say thank you to all those participating in the ceremony. As with many things in wedding planning, this is optional, but it’s certainly a nice gesture of gratitude for the support and love that’s been given.
Have any more questions? Let us know in the comments.
To learn more about how to make your wedding rehearsal super easy and efficient, check out our 11 tips to make your wedding rehearsal a breeze.
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