To have or not to have… a wedding rehearsal

Do you need a wedding rehearsal? A rehearsal can serve many purposes. Sometimes it is just a reason to have a rehearsal dinner, which may be important for family members who have never met. It can also help calm one’s nerves. By simply seeing where you will be walking and standing, a lot of the unknown is addressed. But remember, it is only the most basic elements that are rehearsed, mostly processional and recessional.

If you are getting married in one of the lovely resorts here in the Poconos, fear not! Your on-sight coordinator will take you through your rehearsal. She has the experience and knows the venue perfectly. The same is true if you’ve hired a good wedding planner.

Rehearsal: where to stand, where to sit. That's it.

But if you don’t have a coordinator or planner to take charge, you will need someone to take the helm.  Sometimes this is the officiant, and sometimes you need what I called the ‘TFM,’ or ‘trusted family member,’ but of course it could be a friend. For a DIY wedding a rehearsal can be useful to avoid confusion before walking down the aisle. Have everything written down and give this ‘cue sheet’ to your ‘TFM.’

Some typical problems with rehearsals are people arriving late and being disruptive. I’ve seen more than a few bridal parties drinking and unfocused. The bride and groom need to show their bridal party that they are taking this seriously and set the tone. Don’t be disrespectful to the person who is there to help by wasting their time.

One of my favorite rehearsal tricks is to begin by have everyone standing at the front, or altar area, in their correct positions and recess from there. Then you know where you are going when you practice the processional.

If you are having flower girls or ring bearers decide if they are going to stand at front through out the ceremony (not a good idea usually, especially if they are younger) and if not, where will they go once they arrive at the front of the aisle. Have someone assigned to them, who will assist them to their seats.

The groomsmen can either enter first or enter coupled with bridesmaids. If you have an uneven number just have three people enter together or one person enter by themselves, which is especially impactful if it’s the best woman or best man.

When I am at a rehearsal I never go over any of the words of the ceremony. I do, however, review any ritualistic movements, showing the couple where they will go to light candles or share wine or anything that involves them moving around. I also explain how the ring exchange works. But that’s it. I don’t want to go too with content, but rather save the ‘good stuff’ for the big day.

The most important thing to remember is this: a wedding is not rocket science. If you can make your way down the aisle you will get married on your wedding day!

Thank you Susie Forrester Photography

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This entry was posted in Ceremonies and Celebrations, Pocono Weddings, Tips on Weddings, Wedding Ceremonies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

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