You spend hundreds of hours planning your wedding. There is so much to do – choose a color palette, find a venue, hire a caterer, seat your guests. It’s a full time job just keeping up with all of the details. One event that is commonly overlooked, and one that is particularly pivotal, is the wedding rehearsal. Shh… keep this wedding planner’s secrets!
A great rehearsal runs like a dream. It’s quick, efficient, effective, and informative. It’s mercifully free of stress and unsolicited opinions. A bad rehearsal, however, sets you and your wedding party up for confusion, hurt feelings, irritation, and exhaustion.
Which would you prefer the night before your wedding?
If I could only share one tip, it would be to engage the services of a professional wedding coordinator, at least to run the wedding rehearsal and the movements of the wedding day. However, there are a two other essential tips that you must follow if you want to enjoy the perfect rehearsal:
It seems awfully obvious, but planning ahead is essential to a successful rehearsal. Decide everything you can possibly anticipate. The ceremony itself should be written and in the hands of your officiant, complete with musical transitions. Meet with your musicians, your venue, your officiant, and any other performers or role players before the wedding. Answer all of their questions. Make sure they have answered yours. Write everything down.
Creating a wedding day timeline falls under planning ahead, and is very helpful both for the rehearsal and on the big day. Spell out when everything will happen, who will be responsible each responsibility, and give any instructions that you have that will be helpful to your group. You can never be too detailed with your timeline document, so make this a major priority.
Don’t Leave Options Open
Being flexible is a great trait for life success – but rehearsal success depends on some inflexibility. Decide in advance the order of your wedding party entrance. Choose your musical cues. Tell your coordinator, church representative, venue representative, or good friend who will escort you down the aisle, where you want your family to sit, and how you want your names announced at the end of the ceremony.
If you choose to ignore this advice, consider the result. You and your fiancé will be asked, in front of everyone else, in which order the bridal party should stand. You will have to publicly choose between your college roommate and your very sensitive cousin. Your parents, aunts, and uncles all have opinions, and they will definitely share them. Minutes turn into hours and all you know is that you’re standing in the middle of a room of people who are supposed to love you, and they are one judgmental comment away from a fistfight. You just want to get to your party and get your beauty sleep, but that can’t happen until you’ve walked through the entire ceremony at least once. The whole thing could have been avoided if you had taken the time to make the necessary decisions then communicated them with authority.
I promise you, properly attending to your plans and making all of your decisions in advance will make the difference between chaos and peace. That difference the night before your wedding is priceless. Now get planning!