Five Steps to an Impeccable Wedding Rehearsal

A wedding rehearsal helps everyone in the wedding party know in advance what to expect during the big day. The rehearsal can be held at the location of the ceremony or even in someone’s living room. The rehearsal doesn’t run in the same order as the wedding, although this may sound confusing the process actually helps everyone see the big picture – where do I stand?

Who Attends the Wedding Rehearsal?

Everyone in the wedding party, both sets of parents, and possibly grandparents should be present at the run-through. Send out invitations to everyone who can be present knows of this practice session. This may be the first time everyone gets an opportunity to meet one another face-to-face; this is important for ushers who will have the task of escorting specific relatives to their seats before the wedding ceremony.

If someone in the wedding party cannot attend, leave a space for them and ask those on either side to help direct that person on the wedding day.

A bride walks to the altar for the processionalStep One: Practice the Receiving Line

Run through the receiving line first. Although this may seem unnecessary, it will greatly speed things on the wedding day when wedding guests expect to move through the receiving line to get to the cocktail hour. Reverend James Wentz suggests the receiving line start with the mothers, the bride, and groom, the fathers, the best man and maid/matron of honor, followed by the rest of the wedding party.

Step Two: Stand in Order at the Altar

The bride and groom face the Officiant; during the rehearsal, this may be a chair. The attendants stand on either side of the couple, facing them so they are in profile to the guests. Ring bearers and flower girls stand in front of the best man and matron of honor. The wedding couple can save time by knowing where everyone will stand before the day of the rehearsal. For additional information, go to How to Practice at a Wedding Rehearsal.

Step Three: Practice the Recessional

The bride and groom leave first. The flower girl(s) and ring bearer(s) follow behind. The maid/matron of honor and the best man walk down the aisle together, followed by paired bridesmaids and groomsmen. The attendants who were closest to the bride and groom leave first, followed by those who were farther from the couple.

Step Four: Practice the Processional

The groom and the attendants move down the aisle to the altar, standing in place as previously practices. During the recessional, the groomsman furthest from the groom leaves last; during the processional, he will be the first groomsman to enter. The bridesmaids enter in the same pattern, the outer bridesmaid entering first, positioning herself so she mirrors the groomsman with whom she is paired.

Next is the ring bearer, followed by the flower girl. The bride and her escort wait until everyone else is in place and the music changes before walking down the aisle. The groom may step toward the bride and offer her his arm for the last few steps to the altar. The bride’s escort sits.

Step Five: Practice the Wedding Service

Although it isn’t necessary to run through the wedding service word-for-word, it can be helpful to mime the actions of the unity ceremony, have the bride practice handing her bouquet to the maid/matron of honor, have the attendants practice holding a costume jewelry ring, and allow small children to know when they can and can’t move.

After running through the wedding ceremony, the wedding party can again practice the recessional. Repeat any part of the processional/recessional or ceremony that seems necessary so to make everyone feel comfortable. The entire process can take an hour or two, depending on the size of the wedding party.

Picking the Right Wedding Venue Minus the Tears

Every young woman grows up thinking about, planning, and longing for the day that she will be looked upon as, and feel like, a princess at her dream wedding. Part of this dream is due largely to the Disney movie princesses that they grew up watching. The rest, as every man should know, is because on your wedding day, the most important day of your young lives, your bride should absolutely feel this way – like a Fairy Tale Princess.

Choosing a wedding venue can be an overwhelming and nerve-wracking experience. This is how it should be. Don’t fret. Bask in the stress you are feeling and turn it into positive energy. Remember that you and your fiance are in it together. Support each other and be open to concerns and wishes. This can only add to the experience as well as the decision-making process.

Every bride wants to feel like a princess complete with a castle backgroundHow Soon is Too Soon To Pick A Wedding Venue?

Answer: It is never too soon. If you are planning on having a long engagement try to pick the venue right away. Other couples who have been engaged longer may take the date that you want to act soon. Set the date a year or a year and a half away. Just having the deposit set for the date that you choose will be a burden off of your back and you can focus on planning without stressing about where you’ll be married.

The internet is your friend in terms of venues. It is nearly impossible to visit all of them in person. With an extensive list at your fingertips, it is easy to whittle it down to the handful that you both love that you can visit. Most websites should have an idea of the pricing available to you. If it is exorbitantly out of your range, don’t bother. If it is slightly higher, they can work with you depending on when you choose to be wed.

Picking A Venue: Minimizing Cold Feet Through Compromise

While some wedding dates take place mere months after the engagement, others are a year to upwards of two years removed from the proposal date. That is a long time into the future to plan where you want to be on your big day. It is hard to picture for anyone, especially if you visit your venues in a different season than the wedding will take place in.

In trying to choose, there are several things to be concerned with, namely price and value. As you make your rounds to see several venues (anywhere from three to six is more than sufficient) always ask yourself, and the person hosting your first visit, what you are getting for the price that is different than the previous venue no matter if it is higher or lower. While some venues may charge more per person, you may get less food or amenities, and vice versa.

Some of the charges that you incur may be based on the time of year that you choose. May and June, and September and October are peak times for wedding season. The rates tend to be significantly yet reasonably higher across the board. Other charges may be the amount of wait staff on hand for your event. While it may cost more, it also provides for more attention to be paid to your guests and gives you a way to avoid unnecessary headaches the night of the wedding.

Also, decide before you step foot into any venue if you are going to hold the ceremony there or at another venue like a church and return afterward for the reception. This will lower the price of the venue by a bit but it does put your guests in a position of waiting for the wedding and the party. This is something to consider if you have family and friends who travel long distances to your event as they may not have anywhere to go in between.

(Note: The venue that does not include an open bar is a sign that you should run the other way. The cost will outweigh any benefit that may arise.)

The Color And The Shape: Focusing On The Seemingly Minor Details

It may seem over-the-top, but it helps to come up with a preliminary idea of color schemes and a theme, if any, that you want. (They may seem minor so far in advance but that is a misnomer, they are utterly necessary.) This includes tuxedos for the groomsman and dresses for the bride’s maids. Guys, take some chances with this one. While we all aren’t fashion experts, throwing out color ideas can only enhance the thought process of your fiance. It will open a world of possibilities. The pictures you take will be with you for a lifetime so make it count.

When you enter venues, if your color scheme, theme, or a general idea for seating arrangements won’t fit the room it may mean changing them or walking out. This is for you to decide. Is the place that much better than what you envisioned aesthetically?

Now, the greater majority of the details should be picked by the princess bride but, gentlemen, make sure you speak up. This is the day she has been dreaming of and you are the man of that dream. It is okay to have a voice. Do not harp on the things that you do not like though. Bring up the beautiful and enchanting details that you liked, i.e. the dance floor, the all-inclusive sushi bar, the layout, the placement of the bar, et al.

When it comes time to discuss the parts you loathed or simply disliked be open and honest even if she loved them. It may lead to heated debate, but it can also lead to a great compromise. Make a mental checklist of all of the pluses that you both have. It is doubtful that any venue will have a one hundred percent success rate for either, or both, of you. If you are unsure if it is the right place, just look into your bride-to-be’s eyes and you will have your answer.