Why Are Rehearsals Important?
Although it is not absolutely essential to do a wedding rehearsal at the wedding site, if at all possible we would suggest you plan for a wedding rehearsal. It may be more valuable if you have a large wedding party or children in the wedding the party, but we have found that everyone benefits from this time to prepare.
The rehearsal prepares not only for the service but for the emotions and significance of your wedding day. Over the years I can’t even begin to tell you the number of fathers of the brides that have cried walking down the aisle with their daughters during rehearsal.
Where Should Your Rehearsal Be?
If there’s a choice to have your rehearsal at the same location as your wedding that would be our first suggestion. However, sometimes a venue is booked the day before your wedding. Sometimes there is an extra charge for rehearsal time at your venue. If that’s the case we can help facilitate your rehearsal at another location. We have hosted rehearsals at parks, hotel meeting rooms, family backyards and at our church.
Because of our experience and familiarity with many venues, you can still have a rehearsal at another location. Sometimes this can save you considerable amounts of money if you don’t have to rent your facility for another night for the rehearsal. Sometimes this option can actually be more relaxed, giving you more time to spend time with your wedding party and family.
Who Should Be Present?
We suggest that everyone who is in the wedding ceremony, from ushers, candle lighters to the bride and groom, be present at the rehearsal. We also encourage any musicians and/or soloists, readers, or other persons who will play a key role in the final presentation to be a part of the rehearsal. Timing is often critical and this can help lay a foundation for an excellent ceremony.
However, sometimes one or several members simply can’t be present… don’t be overly concerned. We will leave a space for each of them and ask those who are present on either side to cue him and her in on the wedding day. Those present at the rehearsal will pay extra attention, and those missing will get the word, and you won’t have to worry.
Because of the number of weddings we do and the experience we have, we usually play a significant role in the organization and steps taken during the rehearsal practice, while making it clear that the bride (and groom) is our “boss”! With our familiarity and attention to detail we have the experience to work effectively with your site managers and wedding planners.
The Rehearsal Process
A wedding rehearsal isn’t like a “dress rehearsal” for a play or concert. We will practice whatever you choose, but unlike a Broadway play everyone doesn’t have to “practice” their music, singing or lines. A wedding rehearsal is more of a walkthrough of what will happen on the wedding day, a review of where everybody will be and stand, and a time for communicating the timing and importance of ceremony components during your wedding.
Following your special order for service, we usually use a three step process to help prepare for your wedding:
- Talk Through the Ceremony
- Walk and Talk Through the Ceremony
- Final Walk-Through
First we meet with your wedding party and family and we talk through what will happen during the ceremony. Then we walk through the ceremony with talking (with directives). And then we do the final walk through with just the cues, timing and directions that will be present on your wedding day.
Most rehearsals take about an hour. While it is not always possible we have found that it may be best to schedule the wedding rehearsal a day or two before the wedding, at the wedding location, and at the same time the wedding starts.
If your wedding is Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM, one might schedule the rehearsal on Friday at 4:00 PM.
Scheduling the rehearsal and the wedding at that same time of day can reduce the possibility of confusion. However, that isn’t always possible if your location or your officiant has more than one event planned for your wedding date or weekend. Make sure you check with your officiant and your location manager before you schedule your rehearsal. Sometimes, bridesmaids, groomsmen and family are traveling and their arrival time may determine when you schedule your rehearsal as well.
In summary, a wedding rehearsal isn’t like a dress rehearsal. It is more of a “walk-through” of the ceremony. A wedding rehearsal’s purpose is to show people where and when they fit into the ceremony so they will feel a little less stressed about their roles in the actual ceremony. It often is a great time for you to relax and spend time with your closest friends and family, before the big day when you will be the center of all focus and everybody vying for your attention.
We look forward to helping you and your family with all your ceremony rehearsal needs.