Five Steps To Hold A Smooth, Useful Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal

Posted on: 21 January 2020

One key to a smooth wedding ceremony is a good rehearsal. But how can you ensure that your rehearsal is useful and successful? Here are five key ways.

1. Limit Attendance. The fewer unnecessary people at the rehearsal, the less distracted it will be. Ideally, the rehearsal itself should be limited to the wedding party, officiant, wedding planner, key helpers, and possibly spouses or partners of those involved. Ask everyone else to meet you at the rehearsal dinner venue instead. 

2. Know What You Want. The rehearsal is your opportunity to teach the wedding party what they will be doing. But you and your partner should already know what you want. Take the opportunity well before the rehearsal to work out the major points, including the order of procession, where people will stand, and musical selections. This way, you'll just need to run everyone through the process as a group and iron out a minimum of kinks. 

3. Start in the Middle. Rather than begin at the beginning of the procession, start by placing everyone in their intended positions for the ceremony itself. While this sounds counter-intuitive, it ensures that everyone knows their goals and desired locations. Once you have this worked out, the logical move is to practice the recessional and file out. Finally, begin again with a processional, and go through the entire process in order. 

4. Go Over the Ceremony. During your complete run-through, stop once the wedding party is in place so you can explain what will happen during the ceremony itself. Most people are at least somewhat familiar with what happens in a standard, traditional wedding ceremony. But if you have any additional pieces (such as readings) or elements that you will not include, let everyone know. Give them an approximate timeline and a few key cues, such as when the maid of honor should help with the bouquet. 

5. Give Written Instructions. Not everyone is paying attention at the rehearsal, especially if your wedding party is large or if the rehearsal is at the last minute. So prepare some written instructions in bullet-point form to give to everyone involved. These instructions might include who walks with whom and in what order, the timeline, emergency contact numbers, and a few key reminders. 

If you use these tips to keep your wedding rehearsal under control and well-focused, it will help create a day that you will remember forever.