You may not be able to practice your wedding reception, but you certainly can and should practice your wedding ceremony. After all, it is the most important part of the day! Let’s break down the basics so you can be sure your rehearsal runs as smooth as possible.


Who should be there? 

Anyone who is a part of the ceremony should be at rehearsal. So, that would include, the couple, bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, grandparents, ring bearers, flower girls, readers, ushers and anyone else you might be including in your ceremony. Is it absolutely vital all of these people be there? Simply put, no, but it does help everyone understand, with advance notice, what their job and role is and what that entails. It also gives attendees a chance to ask any questions ahead of time. 


You also need a person in charge, which is typically a wedding planner/coordinator or your officiant (or sometimes both!). If you are getting married in a place of worship, then there is usually a church director in charge. If you aren’t getting married in a place of worship and don’t have a planner, make sure your officiant is willing to take the lead. If none of these apply to you then appoint someone, like your mom, who has done this before to take the lead. 


When should it be? 

More often than not, the rehearsal is the day before, right before the rehearsal dinner. That doesn’t mean that’s when it has to be, though. It can be earlier in the day rather than before dinner or it can even be two days before the wedding. We wouldn’t recommend any earlier in the week otherwise everyone will forget everything that was said and practiced.


Where should it be?

Ideally, your rehearsal will be where your ceremony is. But again, that doesn’t mean it has to be. If your ceremony venue is really far away or booked with another event, you can have your rehearsal anywhere that can accommodate your wedding party size, really. This could be a backyard, a hotel meeting room space or another venue, like your rehearsal dinner location. Anywhere that you can get your bridal party lined up as they will stand during the ceremony and create a pretend aisle would be sufficient. 


Is it really necessary?

The short answer is yes. A rehearsal allows you to run through things you might not have considered for wedding day. Like the handoff of the bride or groom from the person walking them down the aisle, or when the bride needs to hand their bouquet back. Even things like cueing readers so they know when it’s their turn or letting the best man know when to hand off the rings. 


The long answer is no, it’s not always necessary but it’s always a good idea. If you are having a small wedding party or not as many moving parts, like no, there may not be much to rehearse. However, it can always calm the nerves or ease the worries to run through things. 


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Photo credit [vetted] Blush & Bonnet Co.