How to Plan a Wedding Rehearsal

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A wedding rehearsal is usually a kick-off event the night before the wedding. The rehearsal is a chance for everyone to meet and practice for the wedding. It also gives the wedding party a chance to get to know each other. Often the wedding rehearsal is followed with dinner.

  • Set the date. This part is easy. This will usually be the night before the wedding day. If that time does not work, it can be held up to two days before the big day.

  • Choose a theme or decorations. You don't have to have a theme, but if you do plan a theme, do something fun. For decorations, this could be anything from a full theme to simply flowers and balloons.

  • Choose a location. Ideally the church would be the best place to do the rehearsal, but you can do it anywhere where there is enough space. A rehearsal can be held in a reception hall, a banquet room of a restaurant or the backyard of one of the wedding attendants.

  • Invite guests. Invite the wedding party and their spouses, immediate family, the officiate and spouse, as well as anyone else who helped with the wedding. A casual invitation or even a phone call is appropriate.

  • Pick a menu. Have fun with the menu. Make sure the food is planned in advance, or if you are having it at a restaurant make sure you have reservations.

  • Do a full run-through of the ceremony. This includes the recessional, processional and ceremony. Make sure everyone knows where to walk and stand. Take time to discuss any issues or concerns about positions or roles in the ceremony. Make sure the officiate knows all of your requests.

  • Have dinner after the rehearsal. The dinner is an icebreaker and a chance for everyone to socialize, relax, as well as communicate about last minute details such as directions for out-of-towners or arrival times for the wedding party.

  • Let guests make toasts if it is a formal party. If informal, open up the floor for guests to share a few words about the bride and groom.

  • Give the attendants thank you gifts.

  • End the rehearsal early. Give everyone a chance for some peace and quiet before the hectic big day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep it fun and simple. The wedding will be the high-pressure event, so the rehearsal should be relaxed.
  • If you want to do the rehearsal at the church, have pizza, chinese food or subs delivered and eat in the church dining hall.
  • Another option is to do the rehearsal at the church and go to a restaurant afterwards.
  • Take candid pictures at the rehearsal. These will be a great for photo albums.
  • Always do a full run-through of the ceremony. This is very important. This will help with cold feet and make everyone more prepared.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol at the rehearsal dinner, especially if it is the night before the wedding.
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