Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eight Steps to Organizing Your Wedding Rehearsal

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about wedding rehearsals and if you read this site on a regular basis, you know my opinion on the matter. (If you don’t read it on a regular basis, that is okay. For the record-I think they are a must!)

If you agree-or if I’ve turned you, convinced you or otherwise scared the bejeezes out of you, then that is great. But you might have a few questions about what to do and how to do it.

So, I'll help.

Here are eight easy steps to organizing your wedding rehearsal.

1. If possible, book your ceremony site for the evening before your wedding. It is best to rehearse on-site for about an hour. Many wedding venues and churches are open to the idea of a rehearsal and the time is included in the cost of your venue rental.

2. Notify all of your wedding party attendants, the officiant and anyone else who will play an important role during the wedding, such as readers, musicians and ceremony attendants.

3. Discuss your options with your fiancé and officiant before the rehearsal to ensure you are on the same page. Make notes of your choices and create a detailed outline for your attendants.

4. Things to consider include:

- Where do you want the attendants to stand?

- If you are having a religious ceremony, will the attendants stand the whole time, or will they sit during the readings, then move for the wedding nuptials?

- What will you do with the children? Can they sit if the ceremony is going to be long? Where will their parents sit?

- Who will open the doors for you?

- Who will notify musicians when you are ready to begin? When will they begin playing?

- If you are having a religious ceremony, will you and your fiancé sit or kneel? If so, where and on what?

- How will your attendants line up and which man will escort which woman?

5. If you haven’t already created a master outline for your wedding ceremony, you should! Here are a few websites that offer tips and suggestions.

- Forever Wed

- Two Oaks Wedding

Condense that detailed outline as much as possible for your attendants so you can distribute copies to them, along with a list of everyone’s phone number and contact information.

6. Once everyone arrives at the rehearsal location, call them together and distribute the outlines and lists. If there is anything specific you need someone to do, you should tell them at this point. (For example, I asked two of my ushers to distribute programs and the other two to present all of the women guests with a flower as they arrived. I also asked some of my bridesmaids to be responsible for paying musicians, etc. after the wedding and gave them the envelope and check during the rehearsal.

7. Your officiant will likely take the lead and instruct everyone where to stand and will walk everyone through the ceremony. Since you’ve already discussed this with him, you should be set. If you have any questions-ask him at this time!

8. Before you release your group, let them ask you any questions they might have, then head off to your rehearsal dinner!

You will sleep well knowing everyone is prepared for your Big Day and your ceremony will run much more smoothly the second time around.

What other things did you or do you plan to do during your wedding rehearsal?

Photo courtesy of What is in Us

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