Updated: Feb 14
You know what they say, “Practice makes perfect!” But when it comes to wedding ceremony rehearsals…does it?
It happens all the time in the wedding industry, and you’re probably familiar with the issue too if you’ve ever been a member of a bridal party: the ceremony rehearsal can drag on for hours. Don’t be that bride!
Of course, it’s important to have a rehearsal so that everyone in the processional knows and feels confident with what their role is, but is it really necessary to practice walking up and down the aisle sixteen times?
Trust us (we know from experience): it’s not.
And we’re here to rescue you all from the stress, boredom, and frustration of an hours-long rehearsal the day before your wedding with a few helpful tips to keep you on track, organized, and feeling prepared for the real deal!
1. Have a personal meeting with your officiant prior to your wedding. This is probably a given for most people, but make sure you sit down personally (as a couple) with your officiant about a month in advance of your wedding to go over exactly what the ceremony will look and sound like. That’s where you can finalize any songs and readings you specifically want, work out a timeline, and plan a unity ceremony. The rehearsal should only be a practice of walking in and out with the whole bridal party- not a full ceremony in itself! There’s something to be said for the magic of the moment on the day of when vows are read for the first time!
2. Hire a day-of coordinator or designate a point person. If you don’t choose to hire a professional, appoint a friend or family member (who isn’t in the wedding party) with an assertive personality to coordinate people and maintain a schedule. If you need them to, they can also be in charge of timing and signaling when people need to be walking down the aisle.
3. Start in the middle. Since the main idea of rehearsal is to get everyone clear on their walking patterns, begin in the middle of your ceremony timeline, with everyone in place as they will be once they arrive in the front. From there, you can practice walking out in order (we recommend thinking about how you want to pair each side of the bridal party off ahead of time), and finally, entering in the opposite manner.
4. Repeat. Once the initial explanation is over and you’ve practiced walking out and back in, run through it one more time in order to solidify the process. Remind the bridal party members of any individual roles with rings, flowers, and adjusting the dress- we all know how it goes!
Believe it or not, that’s really all it takes!
Finally, we encourage you to take a moment to think about what the definition of a “perfect” wedding day would be like for you. Sure, we want things to go smoothly and for it to be the event of your wildest dreams! But is the most important thing to you truly the exact, down to the millisecond, rehearsed, perfect timing of every detail of the ceremony? Or is it simply marrying your forever best friend? Think about the fact that you’re about to start a life together with cozy warm winter nights decorating Christmas cookies and sunny spring days spent hiking in the hills! Maybe you want to start a family, or maybe you want to travel the world- but none of it would be the same if you hadn’t been placed in this moment, with this person.
Wow. (Powerful, huh?)
Take a breath. This is a HUGE deal!
And it’s not going to be perfect. You don’t want it to be so rehearsed that it seems stiff and mechanical in the first place- you want it to flow naturally and seamlessly, just like your love!
Keeping in theme with our main message here, we’re going to keep this blog simple, short, and sweet. Don’t overthink it, and embrace the beautiful candid moments of your day celebrating love. It will all end up perfectly, with just a (little) practice- 30 minutes at most!
We’re here for you, Barn Brides!
The Barn at Aspen Acres
P.S. Stay tuned for our next blog in this series, featuring Black Hills wedding officiant Mary Maisey-Ireland with Your Joyful Wedding- an expert on planning ceremonies!