In recent weeks I’ve seen influencers on Instagram and TikTok calling for us to cancel wedding rehearsals. They claim that they’re a waste of time and no one really remembers anything anyway. While I can see why they may have had that experience - after all, most of us have been witness to at least one very unorganized wedding rehearsal - your rehearsal can be a great tool to prepare everyone for your big day and get everyone excited for the celebration!
I personally think that wedding rehearsals are incredibly important, and done right, should be a fun and easy time for you and your wedding party! I’ve compiled my top 5 wedding rehearsal tips so you can make sure your rehearsal goes as smoothly as possible!
1. Use Your Wedding Venue
If you want people to remember what they learned at the rehearsal, make sure you’re doing it at your actual wedding venue. Having people stand in the exact spot and walk down the same aisle will make it so much easier on the day of the wedding. Take time at the rehearsal to show everyone where the restrooms are and where they’ll be storing their stuff, so you don’t have to deal with these questions while you’re getting ready.
Something to keep in mind is that your wedding venue may not be available for a rehearsal the evening before your wedding. You may have to have it around lunchtime, or even two nights before the wedding depending on availability. Make sure to find out when you can host your rehearsal so that you can give your friends and family plenty of time to make plans, especially if you have people coming from out of town who will have to take off of work or book an extra night at a hotel.
2. Invite the Right People
The last thing you want is to realize halfway through your rehearsal that you forgot to invite someone! When you are sending out the invitations to your rehearsal make sure that you include anyone who is involved in the ceremony, including:
Wedding party (including flower girls and ring bearers)
Anyone doing readings
3. Plan the Processional Order Ahead of Time, But Make Final Adjustments at the Rehearsal
You should plan with your coordinator ahead of time about whether you want to go with a traditional processional order or if you want to do something unique. However, be open to changes on the day of your rehearsal! Did you realize that you accidentally paired up exes to walk down the aisle together? Or maybe your flower girl does better if she can see her mom at the end of the aisle. Those are easy fixes that can be changed at the rehearsal. Also, make sure to ask everyone in your party to wear their wedding shoes if you plan on arranging them by height so there are no surprises during your ceremony.
Traditional Processional Order:
Groom & his Mother
Maid of honor
Bride & her Father
There are tons of other options for processional order, or you can make it entirely your own! Talk to your coordinator ahead of time about what works best for you and your partner!
4. Go Over the Day-Of Rules
I like to make sure to go over the wedding day rules with the wedding party at the rehearsal, but I’m always prepared for at least one person to forget a rule on the day of the wedding. I wear an apron with lots of pockets during the wedding ceremony so I can grab any items from the wedding party before they head down the aisle and return it to them afterward. Some of my top wedding ceremony rules are:
No hair ties on your wrists
No chewing gum
No phones, even in your pocket and on silent
This is also a great time to go over any attire or behavior reminders! If you’re getting married at a house of worship that requires heads or shoulders covered, make sure everyone has what they need to be respectful. I also use this time to remind the officiant to step to the side before the first kiss so you can get the perfect photo!
5. Don’t Drink Too Much at Your Rehearsal Dinner!
This is by far my most important rehearsal tip! After doing a run-through of the ceremony and sending you on your way, I know that you’re super excited for your big day and are heading off to dinner with your loved ones. Please drink responsibly!! No one wants to be hungover on their wedding day. Make sure you’re starting off your wedding day on the right foot - fully hydrated with a restful night’s sleep. Your body will thank you!
Every coordinator runs a wedding rehearsal a little bit differently - for example, I like to run the ceremony in reverse! But at the end of the day, it’s about making sure that everyone involved is comfortable with their role and is prepared to support you and your partner on your big day! If you’re looking for a coordinator around Frederick, Maryland I’d love to chat about working with you.