Wedding  Rehearsal

You may be wondering why ceremonies require rehearsals. True, you are not putting on a Broadway show, but there are musical cues to be heeded, lines to be learned, and a sequence of events to be followed. It’s important that all members of the wedding party know what to expect and what is expected of them. Aside from all that, the main purpose of the rehearsal is to make sure that people aren’t rushing around, during the actual ceremony. You want things to feel peaceful, and to flow smoothly.


While you’re booking your ceremony location, try to book time for the rehearsal as well. In theory, it should take place the night before the wedding, and many venues have set times when they do permit rehearsals. If you can’t get access to the space until the day of the wedding, hold the rehearsal a few hours before the ceremony. You want to be sure to hold the rehearsal at the ceremony site so the participants can see the length of the aisle, where they wait before they go down the aisle, and where they stand during the ceremony.  


What do we wear to the rehearsal?  If the rehearsal is in a house of worship, dress accordingly. That typically means no bare shoulders and no shorts. For rehearsals at other places, you can dress anyway you’d like. Most people go straight from the rehearsal to the rehearsal dinner, so you’ll need to be dressed for that. If you are unsure, it’s always best to go with a summer dress. Is the rehearsal during the winter? Toss a jacket over your dress or add leggings.


Who runs a rehearsal?  If the ceremony is taking place in a house of worship, the churches or temples wedding coordinator will take charge; otherwise, the wedding planner, runs the rehearsal. If the officiant is able to attend rehearsal, he will run things. 

Who is invited to the rehearsal?  All members of the wedding party and anyone who is doing a reading or participating in anyway should attend the rehearsal. If there’s an opportunity to practice readings, it’s helpful, but not a must. If the sound system is set up, anyone singing or playing music should practice; or they should arrive at the ceremony early enough to practice with the ceremony musicians on the wedding day. If you have ring bearers, flower girls, or other children in the wedding party, their parents should attend. And invite both your parents and his parents. 


How long should a rehearsal take?  The length of the rehearsal depends on who is running it. They are typically 30 minutes, and no more.


What happens at the rehearsal?  Because it would be too costly to bring in the musicians, most rehearsals are conducted without music – though in churches, the organist will sometimes join in. Once everyone has arrived, you’ll start going through paces and places. Your wedding planner will start by getting all attendants in order at the ceremony entrance. She will cue the music, if available, and let each attendant know when they should walk. Once everyone is at the ceremony altar, your wedding planner will make sure everyone is standing where they should be. If the officiant is available, he will run through the ceremony, if not, it’s ok, more than likely he has performed hundreds of ceremonies. For anyone that has been to a wedding, knows that the officiant does most of the talking. The bride and groom are required to repeat the vows, so that they are legally married, but he will break those into little chunks for you to repeat. Are you nervous or worried you will stumble over your words or forget what to repeat? That’s ok too, it happens at almost every wedding. Mess up a word? It’s even better, it gives your guests a little giggle and lightens the mood of the ceremony. Once the bride and groom have practiced their kiss, and yes you need to practice! Nothing is more awkward than the bride and groom not being on the same page for their first kiss as husband and wife. Then the important business is out of the way, your wedding planner will dismiss everyone, by telling your wedding party when they can walk back up the aisle. 

Are you at our venue the night before for the rehearsal?

    • Regardless of the package you choose (Coordination, Partial or Full) we are on site for 1 hour to coordinate the rehearsal.

My venue booked a wedding the day before my wedding and I cannot have my rehearsal there. What do I do?

    • This has become incredibly common nowadays. Venues are booking weddings Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s, and only allow the client that has that specific day booked, on site.This may sound frustrating, but imagine it is your wedding day and you have been working for a year, or more, on making it perfect, and all of a sudden a group of 30 people show up, and you have no idea who they are. They are hanging out in your ceremony space and touching all of your ceremony decor. They are having their rehearsal and some of the people are moving your chairs around so it is “set up” the way they plan on having their ceremony set up the next day. You may start asking yourself, “Who is going to fix all these mistakes now?” “Who are these people and why are they ruining my big day?” Just like you would not want this to happen to you, venues will not allow you to show up on someone else’s big day and potentially stress them out. Venues are now offering morning of rehearsals, which actually works out better if you think about it. Once your Wedding Party goes to sleep, they forget everything they practiced the night before anyways. Now, with a morning of rehearsal, how they walk, the order in which they walk, where they stand is fresh on their minds and there are no mistakes made during the actual ceremony. Not to worry, you are not out here during this time so your Groom will not see you. You practice separately, which is great for you since you do not have to worry about waiting on everyone else practicing walking down the aisle, you can focus on getting yourself down the aisle. Another bonus, the night before your wedding should be a fun and enjoyable dinner where you can hang out with your wedding party and family and talk about how exciting the next day is going to be. Do not forget to get plenty of rest tonight, your wedding will be a long day tomorrow!

2020 Ella Grey Events