By now you probably already know that as a professional officiant, I plan, organize and run your wedding rehearsal. I do this in order to create the space into which you and your beloved can sink to become totally present during your wedding ceremony. Your wedding ceremony is such a precious time and we want to make sure you’re in the moment throughout the whole thing.
We use the rehearsal to practice all the timing and movements we’ll need to make; to work through all the logistics of how the ceremony will unfold; to identify any last decisions that need to be made; and to strengthen our connection with each other. It’s also a time to get to know the wedding party and parents and for all of us to join forces to support you and your love throughout the entire wedding weekend!
Rehearsals are so much more than just a run-through of the ceremony.
Your wedding rehearsal is usually the first formal festivity of the weekend, so we want to make it fun, relaxed and joyful. I believe in stress-less rehearsals!
Wedding Rehearsal Attendance List
So, you’re probably wondering “Who should be at the wedding rehearsal?” Great question! Here’s a list everyone who should be in attendance, if possible.
Couple getting married (obvs!)
Parents of the couple getting married, especially if the parents are part of the processional
Grandparents of the couple, especially if they’re part of the processional or have a special seating. If they have mobility issues, consider having a few chairs set up so they can sit during the rehearsal
Escort of the mother of the bride, if it’s a traditional opposite-sex wedding where the bride is being escorted down the aisle by her father
Entire wedding party, so make sure you let them know so they can make appropriate travel arrangements and arrive in time for the rehearsal
Readers, singers, or musicians who will be part of the ceremony (your professional DJ or musician normally doesn’t attend the rehearsal)
Flower girls, ring bearers and junior bridesmaids or groomsmen
Parents of the youngsters, so we can get their support in helping their children
Ushers, so they understand the flow of traffic and what to do when guests start arriving
The very first thing I do at the rehearsal is gather everyone together in a circle and introduce ourselves. Having an opportunity to meet before the wedding gives everyone a sense of purpose and community, especially if your wedding attendants haven’t met before. I’ve seen bridesmaids and groomsmen who have never met who feel super awkward linking arms on wedding day, if there hasn’t been a rehearsal. It’s that awkwardness we’re trying to avoid.
Who Doesn’t Attend the Wedding Rehearsal?
In my experience, the following folks usually don’t attend the rehearsal (although some couples are choosing to have their rehearsal professionally photographed, which is so fun!).
Wedding DJ or wedding ceremony musicians
Grandparents, if they are not part of a special seating or in the processional
Wedding rehearsals provide an opportunity for everyone involved to learn their cues, create some muscle memory, meet the wedding team, and have some fun while doing it!