The following suggestions have helped many couples over the years; some of these suggestions may help the couple to be better informed and able to enjoy the rehearsal in a more relaxed way. Remember to schedule as soon as possible with your coordinator and speak to your officiant to hold availability.
In the “olden” days the norm was for the grooms parents to take care of the arrangements/ expense of the wedding rehearsal. This is not always the case in this day and age!
I suggest the bride and groom speak first to the groom’s parent to ask if they would like to adopt this tradition. The groom’s parents may have ideas of their own of how much or little they would like to spend on this celebration. I have seen everything from a pig roast on the beach to a cruise on Boston Harbor after the formal rehearsal has taken place at the designated location.
TIME, DATE, LOCATION
Wedding rehearsals typically took place the evening before the wedding; not so typical these days!
A Saturday wedding you should schedule well in advance your rehearsal. if you must have your rehearsal on a Friday because many of the churches and facilities schedule Candlelight Friday evening wedding that are sometimes discounted in price. A coordinator is not always able to give a bride her full attention on a Friday if they have a function coming in that evening. Also, many officiants find scheduling difficult as well.
Suggestion: Plan your wedding rehearsal two days in advance. If you are planning on getting married on a Friday evening, plan the rehearsal for a Wednesday evening; Saturday weddings may plan the rehearsal for a Thursday night. I’ve listed just a few or please send me comments about why this is a good idea so that I can include this to help other couples!
1) You know your attendants! Recovery time from the rehearsal party might be needed! Sometimes partying attendants do not look or feel their best the next morning
2) Host/Hostess of the rehearsal might need a day to rest before the wedding.
3) Divorced parents of the bride or groom who are seeing each other again – familiarity sometimes breeds contempt!
4) Extra time to see out of state wedding attendants and provides extra help with last minute details.
5) Bride and groom may need a little “alone” time before they exchange their vows.
6) The important thing to remember is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time and this day belongs to the bride and the groom.
NECESSARY PERSON TO ATTEND
If you want to have a wedding rehearsal that runs smoothly be on time and be prepared! Often people are late, which delays the rehearsal and the celebration scheduled after. Ask your wedding participants to be there 15 minutes prior to the actual time scheduled.
For the best case scenario the following people should attend – bride, groom, brides parents, grooms parents, maid of honor, bestman, bridesmaids, ushers, grandparents or out of town guests that are staying with the family.
Please note: Children are a wonderful addition to any wedding but often are asked to envision things some adults have a hard time with. Many children get worried when told, “tomorrow there will be chairs and an isle”, then they are expected to attend an adult function that may be later than their bedtime. Sometimes it is better to bring them just a little early to the actual wedding, all dressed, excited and ready to go rather than causing anguish and the pressure of getting overtired.
Discussion regarding the procession should take place PRIVATELY with the couple. If the couple choose to include their parents or wedding participants in their decisions they should do so prior to the actual rehearsal. You’ve heard the old saying, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, so is true with wedding rehearsals.
The people who should be included are the officiant and/or the coordinator at the church or facility. If a couple hires a professional wedding consultant they are the “go to” person for everything.
Being prepared allows the couple to remain in control; deciding who should process down the isle first and who shall walk with who.
Naturally, sometimes things change but it will allow the rehearsal to be run quickly and more efficiently if all things are written our prior to the rehearsal.