Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal and why you should have one

Wedding ceremony rehearsal, why should you have one?

A wedding ceremony rehearsal is a really important part of the lead-up to your wedding day. It may sound like just another thing to add to the list, but it is worth making the time for. As they say, practice makes perfect!

Some couples find that they get very nervous just before thier wedding day. So having a wedding ceremony rehearsal and knowing how everything will happen can help settle the nerves.

Having a run-through of your ceremony will also help ensure that everyone knows when to walk, where to stand, and what to do and say.

When should you have a wedding ceremony rehearsal?

Most couples find that having the wedding ceremony rehearsal the day before the wedding works best for them. This is mainly because they are on-site setting up the reception area.

Another reason to have the rehearsal the day before the “I do’s” is that there is a good chance most of the people involved will have arrived.

Sometimes having a wedding ceremony rehearsal the day before will not be possible. You may have a packed schedule, appointments or just be busy checking that everything is ready for the big day. If your marriage officiant has other commitments the day before they too may not be available.

Don’t panic, it can be done on another day.

The most important people who need to be at the rehearsal are the couple and the officiant. So plan a day when the 3 of you are available.

So what time should you have your wedding ceremony rehearsal?

It’s a really good idea to have your wedding ceremony rehearsal at the same time your ceremony is planned.

This will help you work out your positioning. As the couple getting married you should be able to look at each other (without sunglasses) and not have the sun shining directly into your eyes. Having the wedding rehearsal at the same time as your ceremony will mean you will get a pretty good idea of how to position yourselves to avoid being blinded by the sun.

Your wedding ceremony rehearsal should be a quick, easy, and straightforward process and at most should take no longer than 30 minutes.

Who should be at your wedding ceremony rehearsal?

It goes without saying, that the most important people that need to be at a wedding ceremony rehearsal are the people with major roles, the couple and the marriage officiant.

Included should also be anyone who is participating in the ceremony in some way. It may be walking down the aisle, saying a reading, or handing you the rings. If they are involved they should be at the rehearsal.

Having as many of your wedding party at the rehearsal is great. However, they may be traveling or working and may not be able to make the rehearsal. Don’t worry, I have you covered.

If any of the people involved in your ceremony can’t attend then that’s not a problem. I will guide these people on the role they play in the ceremony before it starts. This can even include anyone in the wedding party.

Children and Furbabies, should they go to the wedding ceremony rehearsal?

If you have little ones or fur babies in your ceremony it’s a really good idea to make sure they can come to your wedding ceremony rehearsal.

The rehearsal is the perfect time to familiarise them with what they’ll be doing, as well as to help them get more comfortable with the location. It will also help the wedding day not be as scary or new for them.

It’s a good idea to have the person who will be looking after the children and furbabies at the ceremony rehearsal, they will also need to know what to do.

Who should not be at your wedding ceremony rehearsal?

With a wedding ceremony rehearsal, the more the merrier isn’t a good thing. Try not to have too many extra people who aren’t involved in the ceremony at the rehearsal. This will help the ceremony rehearsal run more smoothly and quickly, without distractions.

What happens at a wedding ceremony rehearsal?

The long and short of a wedding ceremony rehearsal is that you run through what will happen and how it to happen.

You will decide on the order of the wedding party and how they will enter the ceremony and where they will stand. You all will also practice the processional learning the queues on when to start walking and the speed needed to enter.

I personally don’t read through the ceremony as it is really nice to leave it until the wedding day and surprise everyone. I do however highlight what is included so that everyone is aware of the order of the ceremony.

What’s included in a wedding ceremony rehearsal?

If you are including readings, poems, or sayings. The person or people involved will be shown where to stand and how to hold the microphone. We want to make sure all the guests will hear what is being said.

We would also practice the ring exchange. The person handing the couple the rings will need to know where to stand and who to pass the rings to first. I also like to guide the couple on how to hold their hands as they put the ring on each other’s fingers. This is so the photographer will be able to get the best shot.

The signing of the marriage documents is also a good thing to practice. Not the actual signing but what the couple needs to do and where the witnesses need to stand.
Usually, the signing table is positioned on one side behind the wedding party. So the wedding party in front of the table needs to be instructed on where to move to. This will avoid the table being blocked and the guests not being able to see the signing.

The kiss. This isn’t necessary to practice but having some fun with it during your ceremony rehearsal can make everyone laugh. It can also help relieve some of the pre-wedding stress.

Last but not least the couple and wedding party practice exiting the ceremony.
At this time I get couples to decide on where they want to greet thier guests after the ceremony. Knowing this will give the couple a place to head to as they walk down the aisle.

A wedding ceremony rehearsal is best done on-site. However, if this isn’t possible discussing what will happen by phone or virtually with your officiant, will help.

A final note. A wedding ceremony rehearsal may be another thing to add to your schedule. But remember, your ceremony is the event when you and your beloved will become a married couple. So it’s really important. Rehearsals can also be a lot of fun and a great way to kick start your excitement, and remind you, soon you will be married.

AboutTanya McDonald
It goes without saying that being a marriage celebrant is an honour and a privilege. I have loved weddings and what they represent for as long as I can remember. Since becoming a celebrant I am able to fulfill my passion and at the same time treasure each opportunity I have to work with couples to help them bring their dreams and ideas into life through their ceremonies. I have been a fully authorised marriage celebrant since 2014 and I have helped couples enjoy thier journey to the altar since then. If you need a celebrant, I would love to discuss your ceremony with you.