I remember driving to my very first wedding rehearsal 4 years ago …
palms sweating, heart racing, going over every detail in my head & wondering if I was actually prepared enough to do it.
Here I was running a Wedding Rehearsal for paying clients when in reality, I had NEVER run one before!!! (Talk about confession time!)!!
Sure, I Googled and watched a few Youtube videos … but did I really know what I was getting into?!
Turns out, I did. And that first Wedding Rehearsal didn’t end in catastrophe … it actually ended pretty darn good & I had a celebratory glass of wine at dinner because of it!:)
Since that very first one, I’ve led over 60 wedding rehearsals & while they haven’t all gone perfectly I will say they’re one of my favorites parts of wedding day. I like the order, the structure & the “let’s get it done” attitude they embody.
Since I’ve had my fair share of drunk bridal party members & disorderly groomsmen (not to mention family drama to tip-toe around), I thought I’d share a few Do’s & Don’ts for leading a Wedding Rehearsal you’ll grab a celebratory glass of wine after!
DO – Be Prepared.
I send my clients a detailed Ceremony Questionnaire pre-Rehearsal so I know exactly what I’m walking into. I have a list of names, understand the order of events & am better capable of running the show.
DON’T – Stress if there’s a Venue or Church Coordinator.
When this happens, I switch from “boss mode” to “team mode”. I strive to facilitate as much as I can, keeping the Bride & Groom’s interest in the forefront of my mind. I talk to the Venue / Church Coordinator before beginning so she & I are on the same page & have a clear understanding of who’s doing what. I don’t want to step on her toes, but I also want to ensure my client’s needs & wishes are being met!
DO – Ask the Bride & Groom to arrive 30 minutes earlier.
This gives you a few minutes to chat with them, ask any last minute questions & ease any of their concerns. (It also helps ensure they arrive on time!;)
DON’T – Start with the Processional.
Always start 1/2 through the Ceremony with the Bridal Party & Couple already in their positions by the alter. If you send them down the aisle right away, they will have no idea where to go, how to stand or what to expect! I line everyone up by the alter & talk through high points; then we recess out & start at the top!
DO – Give a Short Introduction Before Beginning.
(I typically work with the officiant on this as sometimes he/she would like to say a prayer!) I gather everyone together & use my I-used-to-be-a-cheerleader voice to command attention. I introduce myself & explain my role in the wedding festivities. I make sure the MOH & BM have my cell phone number and remind everyone that from here on out, they are not to ask the Bride & Groom any questions – we want them to enjoy their day! All questions / concerns can come to me! Make this personal yet professional; I want to connect with the bridal party in a friendly way, yet also make it clear that I’m in charge & we’re going to get things done smoothly & efficiently!
DON’T – Overthink it.
You know what you’re doing (even if you’re past experience comes from YouTube videos & Google!). Don’t let them smell your fear!;) If you go into the experience prepared, you don’t have anything to worry about! Sure, some groomsmen might get unruly & yep, you’ll probably have to deal with a little bit of drama every know & then … but always remember that your clients have hired you as a the EXPERT (even if you don’t feel like it!)!!
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