For anyone who is a bit stressed about the running order of the ceremony, a rehearsal can really be a great way to set nerves at ease. This informal gathering usually occurs a day or two before the wedding, and includes the principle players- bridal party, officiant, and sometimes relatives. Traditionally, the rehearsal is followed by a meal or other simple event.
Coordinating the Time:
If possible, hold the rehearsal at the wedding site. Most venues will allow couples to book an hour or so of time in advance of the wedding. If, for some reason, the wedding venue is not available, set a time to meet at a someone’s home or even the hotel lobby to go over the order of events.
Let the Officiant Run the Show:
Generally, the officiant uses this time to guide the party through the running order of the ceremony. He/She can help you go through it, step by step. Be sure to ask any questions or request changes during this period rather than waiting until the wedding day to ask for a switch.
Details You Should Care About:
The groom and groomsmen should be clear on when they enter and where they stand. The bride should figure out the order that the bridesmaids enter, and determine how long she will wait before entering. If she is being given away, go through the aisle walk with the attendant, letting them know if they need to say or do anything as part of the ceremony.
This is another great task to pass off to a reliable bridal party member. Parents of the groom traditionally host the rehearsal dinner, but this is not always possible or desirable. Having a simple meal out at a nice restaurant, or even a dinner and small party at a friend’s house is a nice, easy way to go. Just ask whoever is planning the rehearsal dinner to book reservations at least two weeks in advance to avoid any last-minute booking problems.
This event, above all else, should not be stressful. If it gets too crazy, skip the idea of a dinner and simple have a fast rehearsal at a time that everyone is available. Why go to the trouble of planning a party if its only going to cause extra stress before the main event? If it’s not going to be fun- don’t do it!