I am a big believer in the usefulness of a wedding rehearsal, but they’re absolutely not mandatory. If you’re having a simple ceremony with few elements, or you don’t have a bridal party or others involved who need to know where to go and what to do, I’m completely on board with skipping the rehearsal.
Having said that, I absolutely encourage an onsite rehearsal in any other circumstance. Why?
- It’s an awesome opportunity for everyone to practise how to walk in, where to stand, and how to move between the different sections of the ceremony. This is especially useful for the bridesmaids to practise walking in (the processional) and for the ring bearer to know when to bring the rings forward.
- It’s a great time to ensure our vision of how the ceremony is going to run will actually work in the space. I’ve run a rehearsal where we discovered the full bridal party wouldn’t fit in the traditional positions in the ceremony space – much better to discover this at the rehearsal and have time to come up with an alternative configuration, than to find out while the girls were walking the aisle!
- If you are having anyone perform a reading, it’s a perfect opportunity for them to rehearse with the microphone. Many people have never used a microphone before and don’t know how to hold it or how best to speak into it to ensure the best sound quality for the guests.
- Although I don’t rehearse every word in the script, I always have the bride and groom practise the legally required vow wording; it’s written in an unfamiliar, old-fashioned way, and it’s great to have said those words out loud at least once before the ceremony. I also practise the couple “repeating after me” so that we can get an idea of how many words each can remember at a time!
- A rehearsal at the venue is usually your final opportunity to touch base with the venue staff and ensure everything is ready for your big day, and this can be invaluable!
So all in all, I love rehearsals and I absolutely encourage them!