Picture this: It's almost time for your wedding rehearsal, and you're ready to start figuring out how the ceremony is going to go down. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a wedding planner helping, or maybe you're the point person who will be wrangling the cats. Either way, here are some of our wedding rehearsal tips for making sure your rehearsal is useful and as stress-free as possible.
Be on time. Stress that everyone else be on time, too
This is good advice for every facet of planning, but when you only have a window of time to rehearse, punctuality counts. It's almost inevitable, but hopefully there won't be too many of your crew who need a second run-down because they were late.
Let everyone know how to move and where to be
Think about spacing between couples/walkers (not The Walking Dead kind), the speed at which you want them to shamble — I mean walk — and of course, the order of the procession. Make sure someone knows the answer to all of these questions.
Make sure you know where you want all your speshy special people to sit, too: parents, wedding party, memorial seats, readers, musicians and singers, your officiant, etc.
Decide how you and your partner want to enter the ceremony, too. Are you walking in together, entering from two sides at the same time, going a little more traditional and walking down with parents? Work it out beforehand so you're ready.
Write down all your decisions ahead of time
If you want all your wedding party members to hold their lanterns/flowers/Sonic Screwdrivers, etc. at hip-level, write that down. If you want everyone to boogey down to “Time Warp” down the aisle, write that down. Then you'll have it all ready to relay to your crew when the time comes. Tip: save it all on your phone, too, in case you forget the paper on which you wrote it down.
Designate someone to wrangle your people
Corral your ring bears, flower grandmas, ring dogs, and flower friends. Make sure those folks who have a specific job know their role. If they are a child or an animal, charge an adult to help them do it (or do it for them if they run away, start panicking, or poop on the lawn. I'm talking to you, adult male flower girl!)
Decide if you want a receiving line
Communicate what will happen AFTER the ceremony. Sometimes this info nugget gets missed, and the wedding party disperses.
Rehearse your shoes
Consider wearing your wedding shoes to the rehearsal to make sure they're still the ones you want to wear. If they end up being uncomfortable quickly, you can toss a second pair into your bag for the reception. Hell, toss a second pair in regardless.
Listen to your planner
If you have a wedding planner, day-of coordinator, or just someone in charge of cat herding, give them your focus during the rehearsal. They've likely planned this part out well, and everyone will probably follow your lead when listening for instructions.
Allocate enough time for it all
You can generally smoosh all of the rehearsing into an hour if you're efficient: fifteen minutes to gather and explain everything, and forty minutes for a couple of run-throughs. Then plan a few minutes to explain everything to everyone who was late.
What other wedding rehearsal tips are you using to keep your rehearsal stress-free?