Practice Makes Perfect

Monday, May 18, 2015

Did you know that one of the most important wedding events is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner? The wedding rehearsal usually takes place the night before the wedding and is followed by a rehearsal dinner. This event is so important because it is the practice run for the big day! You need to ensure that the bridal party and immediate family know exactly how the wedding ceremony will proceed.

As a bridal attendant at the Hilton, I was responsible for running several ceremony rehearsals so I definitely have some tips! Here is everything you need to know about how to effectively and efficiently organize a wedding ceremony rehearsal!

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What is practiced?
You do not need to practice the whole ceremony - save that for the big day! You only need to practice walking in/out and where everyone should stand. If you are doing readings, a unity candle lighting, or anything else of that nature, then you should also go over cues so that everyone knows when/where to go.

Who should be in charge?
Sometimes the officiant is in charge, but since he/she is part of the procession, it's not always practical for them to cue the bridal party on when to walk. The venue coordinator or wedding planner would be the best choice to run the ceremony rehearsal. If neither of these is an option, then ask a close friend or family member to take the lead.

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Running the Rehearsal 

1. Start in the middle
This actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Placing where everyone will stand during the ceremony first is helpful so that when the processional is practices, everyone knows where they should end up!

2. Speak through the ceremony
While you don't want to go through every detail, you should mock all ceremony headings so that everyone is roughly aware of the order of the ceremony. Double check that you have all the items needed for any special ceremonies, like extra tables and so on.

3. Practice walking out
Now that everyone is in place, practice the recessional as if the ceremony is over. Make sure there is enough space between couples to allow for pictures.

4. Practice the processional 
Now that everyone knows where to stand, practicing the entrance should be a breeze! Be sure to also practice pace and spacing. Follow the guide above for entrance order.

5. The hand-off
It seems silly, but it is important to practice when and to whom the bride will pass her bouquet. Also, the MOH will need to pass off two bouquets to fix the brides train, if necessary.

6. Once more!
Since everyone is in place, practice the recessional one final time to make sure it's perfect! The entire rehearsal shouldn't last more than 20 to 30 minutes. Then it's off to enjoy the rehearsal dinner!

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Thanks for reading!