Photo by Norina Kaye Photography
Your ceremony rehearsal traditionally takes place the day before your wedding and is often the first of the wedding weekend festivities. For many couples, it’s the first time a lot of the attendants are meeting each other. There is a lot of joy & excitement shared at the rehearsal, but a lot of important details to cover as well. In the weeks leading up to your wedding, your Scheme planner will meet with you and go over all the details you’ll need to know to prepare for your rehearsal and be there on the day to manage everything, but here’s a look at what to expect and plan for.
Asking your wedding party to arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of your rehearsal is a great way to ensure everyone is there when it’s time to officially start. This gives a few minutes for those stragglers and also gives a chance for everyone to say hi and meet before we get started. Chances are you have a dinner reservation or something planned following the rehearsal. We want to make sure we get you to the next activity on time to continue the celebration.
Who Should Attend?
Ideally, anyone who is walking or being escorted down the aisle as part of the processional should be in attendance. This means even grandma and grandpa if you’re including them in the processional. Sure, they have quite an easy job, but it will give them comfort to know exactly what they’re doing and where they should sit for the ceremony. If there is anyone that is giving a reading or has a role in the ceremony, you’ll also want to make sure they’re at the rehearsal too. It’s also ideal to only have the key people who are part of the processional and ceremony in attendance. The more people that attend, the more chaotic it can be.
Have the lineup of your family and wedding party in place prior to your ceremony rehearsal to avoid any negotiations or opinions from others. It also helps keep things moving along. The order of your lineup could be by most influential to your marriage, by importance in your life or simply by height. Traditionally the best man and maid of honor will stand directly next to you followed by the remaining wedding party members. Remember, the couple standing the furthest away from you is the first in line for the processional. It’s also important to understand that this is traditional. This in no way means it’s how you should arrange your wedding party. We also want to acknowledge that some wedding parties might have odd numbers of attendants of each side or have opposite genders. We love challenging tradition and making sure the flow of your processional is perfect for you two as a couple.
Traditionally there are three ceremony songs; processional, bride entrance and recessional. If you have a lot of family members or sponsors as part of your processional, it’s great to consider a separate song for them and a second song for your wedding party. It’s also great to consider songs without lyrics. Depending on how large or small your bridal party is, it could be awkward to fade a song out right before the best part! Keep your choices appropriate, positive and personal to the two of you. Start thinking about these now! It’s often one of the most difficult decisions our couples have to make.
If your officiant is available to attend the rehearsal, it’s always a great idea for them to be there. Being able to do a quick run through of the ceremony, practice your vows, rehearsal the ring exchange, allow readers to read and polish that kiss is important! Running through the entire ceremony will help calm your nerves on the big day.
Wedding Day Timeline
Your ceremony rehearsal is a great time to gather everyone’s attention to review the wedding day timeline. Go over your hair and makeup schedule, give out room numbers, share photo schedule and transportation pick up information. Review venue details, explain where to park and spell out arrival times to everyone. It’s also helpful to share the photographer’s timeline before and after the ceremony. You’ll also want to break the news on who gets to enjoy cocktail hour and who will be smiling big for the camera, provide who will be in the grand entrance, when toasts will happen and if transportation will be available again at the end of the night. All this information is helpful not just for the wedding party to have, but for the wedding party to answer guests’ questions as well.
All in all, be prepared to enjoy the day because it’s the kickoff to an amazing weekend and one you’ll never forget! We can’t wait to walk you through the rehearsal and look forward to celebrating with you on your wedding day.