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1, 2, 3! Easy Wedding Reasearsal Guide

Seems we scared a few of you when we posted 'a quick reminder' about your wedding rehearsal. Now, I seriously didn't want to add any stress, that's not what I'm about. The point I was trying to get at was not to skip one. There are so many little details that that need to be looked into prior to a wedding and to be practiced at the rehearsal the evening before that I really truly recommend having a rehearsal with all the folks in your wedding party.
What I'd like to do now is give you a quick and simple outline for your wedding rehearsal. It isn't that hard. Every rehearsal can vary, so keep that in mind.
Here are the simple steps to make this process easy for all involved, it's the general outline for the rehearsals we conduct!

1. Gather the wedding party together. Often times we'll begin with a prayer from our officiant. Put the wedding party in their positions possibly using little place markers. Officiant, groom, and bride in the middle of course. To the Bride's right, maid of honor and bridesmaids. To the grooms left, his best man and groomsmen. We use this to start the staging. Each bridesmaid and groomsman are one step to the side and one step back to the person next to them, adjust as necessary.
Now everyone will know their places for the ceremony. If you have flower girls you can have her in front of the maid of honor, sometimes at the end of the bridesmaids. See what looks best to you. If the little one is under 5, have her sit out the ceremony and just be part of the processional & recessional. Same goes for your ring bearer, he stands in from of the best man, if he'll be standing with the wedding party for the ceremony.
The ring bearer can also be seated in he first row to be called up for the ring exchange if the actual rings are carried by him ( you may also have 'fake' rings on the rin bearers pillow and the real rings on the finger of the maid of honor & best man.. Your officiant will go over the liturgy and instruct the bride and groom of their motions for the unity candle, ring exchange or other special inclusions.

2. Practice your recessional. After the officiant pronounces the bride and groom as Mr. & Mrs. to the congregation the bride and groom will start the recessional down the aisle. When they are halfway or thereabout down the aisle, they are then followed by the flower girl and ring bearer. Next the best man meets the maid of honor in the middle, in front of the officiant, the best man extends his arm to the maid of honor and escorts her down the aisle, as they are about a quarter of the way down the aisle, the next groomsman and bridesmaid meet and recess until all the groomsmen and bridesmaid have recessed. Next the parents stand and exit down the aisle. The Officiant will usually then make some sort of announcement about the reception and excuse the guests.

3. Now you are all in your starting positions for the processional. Excuse the officiant, groom and best man to their staging areas as well as groomsmen is they are not walking the bridesmaids down the aisle. The processional usually happens in what I like to call 'waves'. The first wave is the formal seating of the grandparents and parent of the bride and groom. The Officiant, groom and best man will now come to their positions in front of the altar. The next wave are your bridesmaids, they fan from out to in, in the places that were decided moments ago with the maid of honor walking last. The flower girl with the ring bearer walk next. The final wave is, of course, the bride and her father. Everyone takes the places that were just decided upon.

Now that was easy!

There are all kinds of ways to tweak your processional & ceremony with elements that are especially you or add/subtract formalities.
  • Candle lighters lighting the candelabras/ individual candles for the unity candle.
  • Having he mother listed the individual candles for the unity candle.
  • Including other members of the family in a sand ceremony.
  • Soloists, musical interludes.
  • Readings
  • Blessing of the Hands
  • Special moments like handing the mothers roses
  • Moments during the ceremony in which you honor those who cannot be with you.
  • Taking communion.
  • Signing the license during the ceremony.
  • We even had a couple once who has a session where the bride and groom washed one another's feet in a foot washing part of the ceremony.
It's just a matter of sitting down and thinking out every step, so when it comes to rehearsal, you, the bride are not running around trying to direct it all. It's always preferable to have a facility director or a wedding planner there to help direct! Have a savvy and stress free rehearsal!

We have put together these post we've made to help you along: Duties of the Wedding Party & Their Roles

Our 'scare the h*ll out of you post on the importance of a wedding rehearsal

Vows and readings for your wedding ceremony

You Tube video's of wedding processionals (also included at the bottom of the post above):
Colorado Sample Wedding Rehearsal: Officiate Tips
Rehearsal Outakes
A Catholic Wedding Processional
'Wedding Processional Demo'
A Jewish wedding Processional
Joanna & Gregg Hazlett Wedding - Processional
The Wedding Entrance

OC-Wedding Rehearsal
Wedding Rehearsal
- very well put together and cute!
Happy planning! ~w.s.


Sarah @ Brilliant Event Planning said...

I'd also HIGHLY recommend giving each person an information packet including the schedule for the big day, any times they need to arrive, directions to the various sites, and contact information for the bride, groom, wedding planner, etc.

It cuts down on the stress of having 100 people calling the bride/groom to confirm times on the day of the wedding!

WIAB said...

I appreciate you coming by and commenting!
I too highly recommend a time line and list of duties for everyone in the wedding art and your vendors!
Glad you left a comment to point out how important that is!