Updated: Jul 24
I honestly don't really like rehearsals... here's why!
The ceremony has been created especially for my couples, so the three of us know exactly what is going to happen and when it is going to happen. 9/10, the ceremony set up isn't completed until an hour or so before the ceremony, so we can't really practice where we'll all be standing - and it could change on the day depending on weather.
When we "practice", it can take some of the magic of the day away, as everyone focusses on doing their steps perfectly as they practiced. And when we throw lots of opinions in the mix the day before the wedding, it can possibly cause a lot more stress for my gorgeous couples... and I don't want them feeling like this 24 hours before their special day... but hey! It's not about me - everyone is different and some people feel much more relaxed and at peace once they have done a brief walk through of how everything will unfold (and to me, that is the most important thing - that my couples feel as calm, loved up and chillaxed, as they prepare for one of the best days of their lives...)
So if you think a rehearsal is for you, here are some tips:
Work out where the wedding party will stand, and arrange everyone in their positions. For my same sex couples, traditionally, the bride is on the left (if I'm a guest facing the front), and the groom is on the right.
You could practice walking down the aisle (I wouldn't practice with the music, as I don’t like my couple's trying to remember a "cue"… On the day, anything can happen and if you miss that cue, you'll freak out! It's best just to focus on walking down the aisle to the love of your life, and don't worry about the timing. If there's too much music left, we'll fade it out... if the song finishes, we can start it again if you're still ages away, or we watch in awe as you approach, and if the vibe is right, we can have a little clap and cheer! It's about taking in the moment, and not stressing the small stuff!)
If the bride/groom is being "given away" or escorted down the aisle, Mum/Dad/son/brother/special person walks with them to the end of the aisle, then shakes the love of your life's hand/gives them a hug, hugs/kisses the person they have just supported down the aisle, and then takes a seat/moves to stand with the other guests.
Next, you might like to mention who will be presenting the rings, and have a chat about how they will be presented. (Unless there is a special box/way to present them, I generally recommend having the rings lose. The ring bearer can hold them out flat in their hand, then the person going second takes the ring and holds it tightly in their right hand, holding out their left hand. The person going first then takes the ring, and gets ready to say their vows first, and "put a ring on it!" Woo hoo!
Finally, the wedding party practice all walking back down the aisle together, linking arms, doing a dance, forming a conga line...!
And then it's time to have a nice early, quiet night - fresh and ready for the big day ahead!