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What To Expect Series: Wedding Rehearsal

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Whether you are the couple or part of the wedding party, you will need to know where to be, stand, go, and how to move. What does that mean?

First of all, who is considered to be in "The Wedding Party?" If you are the Maid of Honor, Man of Honor, Best Man or Woman, bridesmaid, groomsman, ring bearer or flower "thrower", parent or dear one escorting couple down the aisle, then you are IT! Yes, you are "The Wedding Party." In other words, if you are included in the ceremony processional and consequently the recessional, then this includes you. So, yay for you! The fun begins with the rehearsal.

Photo Courtesy of The Love Story

Is a rehearsal really necessary? Short answer: yes, especially if there are more in the wedding party than just the couple getting married and their witnesses. The more people involved, the more that direction becomes necessary for the processional and recessional to go smoothly. And that's what everyone wants, right? There are a few questions to answer to cover all the logistics:

Who: We have pretty much covered that, but if you are in the wedding party, then you are needed at the rehearsal. The DJ might need to be there, along with your photographer, if that is included in your package. But typically those in attendance are the two of you, your wedding party and your coordinator/planner.

How Long: Typical rehearsals last an hour, sometimes longer, depending on a number of factors. But knocking out the rehearsal in an hour is totally doable. The most effective rehearsal will go through the entire processional and recessional at least twice. Note: the processional is your entrance to the ceremony and the recessional is the exit from the ceremony.

Direction: The rehearsal can be directed by either the "day-of" coordinator or the minister/officiant for your ceremony, or anyone else who has first-hand knowledge of placement, and how you want to enter and exit, etc.

What: The process typically follows like this - the director will make some announcements, then place the wedding party where they will "land" so to speak. Once everyone is lined up in front of the ceremony space and understands where they will land, then you will go ahead and exit or rehearse the recessional, that is, how you will exit from the ceremony.

The Order: Then you will line up in the processional order: grandparents, parents, officiant and groom, bridesmaids with their groomsman escorts, ending up with the MOH and BM, ring bearer, flower girl and finally, the bride and her escort.

There may be more post-rehearsal announcements, such as what is next, like dinner, and what time to be at the ceremony space. A "timeline" of the day is a great way to share details and ease questions or worries. Often, this is provided by the "day-of" coordinator or the wedding planner.

One final note: yes, you can have fun! It is entirely expected of you. If you are getting married, congratulations! If you are in the wedding party, you deserve congratulations, too, for it is an honor to be there for your dear friend or family member.

Congratulations on your Engagement, and Best of Luck with Everything!

For Your Special Day - Ammie Gaylor

Wedding Officiant Marquee Services, LLC

Photo Courtesy of Frepix

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