Wedding Rehearsal Service Description
This is how we conduct wedding rehearsals. We price them separately from the ceremony service as they take an extra trip, and extra time. If you book a rehearsal, this is what we'd do for you...
If you want to know the truth, most weddings do not require a rehearsal! We think officiants tell you that you do to justify a higher fee... Anyway, if you think your wedding party suffers from attention deficit disorder [unlikely], you feel nervous about the whole thing, or the bridal party is simply really, really large then you might want to consider having a wedding rehearsal.
There is nothing magic about rehearsals and you can coordinate them yourself, unless you would rather have the wedding officiant / minister / JP there with you.
This page will tell you all you need to know about a wedding rehearsal so you can do it yourself and save some money. Many wedding officiants will tout how they will take care of *everything* and will give you a laundry list of things they do. The fact is that most things they list do not add value or just do so on paper.
Here's what you need to do the rehearsal yourself, however, if you want us to come and help, please book us for your wedding rehearsal here. Regardless of how you will personalize your wedding ceremony (the words being said, rites being performed, people involved, etc.) the wedding ceremony will follow the same general format, so you can do the rehearsal without paid help.
Read along please:
- 1. Bridal party understands what to do and where to go
- 2. Bridal party knows what time you need them
- 3. Ring bearer(s) know where to get the ring from and when
- 4. Discuss contingencies regarding flower girls, ring bearers, late people
Step by Step Wedding Rehearsal
1. Work Backwards: start at the "altar" - position your party as you want them in the place where the wedding ceremony will take occur - the ceremony destination. The bride will be on the left side as you enter the room. the maid of honor is next to her, either to the side, or side and slightly closer to the audience. Ditto for groomsmen on the right side. You may want to arrange them by height to obtain a pleasant visual effect - either from shorter to taller or backwards.
2. Decide (in your mind) whether you want the bridal party to enter as couples or one at a time. You make the rules, both ways work - if it is a really large party get them to come in together, otherwise it does not much matter so go with whatever you like.
3. Next tell them to stay there and go to the place from where you will want them to start walking towards the destination, at the back of the room. Ask the best man and maid of honor to join you. Then the next couple, and on, and on. Arrange them so that the first people to enter the room are those who will be closest to the bride and groom at the destination.
4. Between the best man / maid of honor couple will be flower girls and ring bearers, if any. Don't bother telling little kids when to start walking (they will forget so you will do it again anyway) but do tell them what to do - "walk up to the minister and then go to your mommy; throw flower petals all along the way". Most important is to tell the kids' parents NOW that, should the kids get lost / frazzled / scared on the isle, the parents should (in the middle of the wedding ceremony) get up or break formation and go to their kids, and take them to wherever they need to take them so that the children are ok. Of course, little kids will take their time and they are cute when they do, but some get shy and stop in the middle and cry. Tell their parents to simply go and take care of the kid if the kid gets spooked, as many do! Also, tell the parent to take the kids to the back or away if they start crying. It may sound like the right thing to do to stay there with the child in the middle of the ceremony, but it is no fun listening to kids crying for the whole duration of your wedding and never hearing anything your or your beloved said. So be practical - just like you would be at a theater play. If the crying children are yours... well, you know best.
5. Now discuss the entrance. The groom may start in place with the minister, can come with the minister and, my favorite, can come with both HIS parents. You see groom's parents get very little credit in this affair so letting them take the groom to the waiting wedding minister would make them very happy!
6. The bride may also be brought by both her parents - considering that typically mothers work a lot harder than fathers to raise daughters it makes sense to me that at least both parents should bring the girl to the groom. Otherwise, dad should bring her or she can even come alone. I've even had two fathers bring a bride - natural and step father, and it was nice.
7. So imagine the following entrance: start pre-processional song, something like Cannon in D if you want to be traditional or anything you like otherwise. Tell the groom, or whoever is first to start moving - during the ceremony they will have to signal with the DJ (or the minister, and the minister will signal the DJ) so that music starts the same time. When the first walker get to the middle of the isle (length-wise) have the second walker start. That way the distance between the them will be roughly the same. When the flower girl / ring bearer is ready to start walking (last groomsman / bridesmaid gets half way down the isle) have the DJ start the processional. Processional can be something happy and proud, such as Prince of Denmark's March or something classic, such as the Bridal Chorus, depending on how you feel. The secret is that most anything works, if you like it! Wait for the flower girl to get to the front and then start.
8. At this point the minister will have folks stand up for you. Smile! Then walk to the front. About 4 feet in front of the groom, hug and kiss dad and let the two men shake hands. Then take your place facing the groom so that the minister can see your left side and the audience the right side.
9. If you have readers during the ceremony (recommended) tell them they will be introduced by the minister and tell them where to go to read (stay in place or come to the front) and which way to face (bride and groom, audience, across).
10. If you have other activities, talk about who would go where and would do what. Not much to rehearse, a good minister will guide you during the ceremony.
11. Now you are ready to exit. Practice kissing - no, wait! Just pretend! It's a rehearsal and you are not supposed to have ever kissed, right? Then you would be introduced as Mr and Mrs Livehappilyeverafter and the music starts. Exit on a Wedding March or whatever strikes your fancy - just do it with gusto! The bridal party will walk out in reverse order from what they came in like. Best man and maid of honor first, parents last.
12. Then stop wherever you want to have the receiving line and instruct the bridal party to line up there with you in any order you wish. Well done! If this is too much to do alone, remember, we'd be happy to assist you with your wedding rehearsal. Otherwise you're off to rehearsal dinner where you will check that everyone knows what time to show up dressed and ready to go - plan that at least one person will be 30 minutes late so ask them now to be early!
Budget Wedding Ceremony SuperTip: Seat your parents on the "wrong" side - if the bride's parents are seated on bride's side they will enjoy watching the back of the head of their daughter throughout the ceremony, instead of reading her emotions and feeling her tears. So: the bride will be on the left side, the bride's parents on the right. Thank me after the wedding.
First, read the Vows section for wedding ceremony script suggestions, then come back and try the VowMaster, our exclusive and unique Wedding Script Builder. There is a limited demo you can try for fun. This application is available to all our brides at no extra cost.