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The wedding rehearsal is usually held a day or two before the wedding. It's a run through of the wedding ceremony and it involves everyone who participates in the wedding; from the bride and groom all the way to the ushers. Out of town guests and family members are generally invited and for many people this is the first time that extended family members catch a glimpse of the in-law side. Usually after the wedding rehearsal a dinner is hosted by the parents of the groom in which everyone who attends the rehearsal ceremony is invited.
This can be a stressful time for the bride and groom since it's so close to the big day and because they have the most to remember in terms of the ceremony. Stand here, look at me, don't look at me, repeat after me, speak up, turn around, carry this, don't step on this, etc etc etc. So the last thing you want is to have a tense and awkward rehearsal.
A couple of things to remember:
- Communicate a clear start time. People will ALWAYS be late. If there is a strict timeline be sure to communicate this clearly to parents and wedding party members especially.
- Write down questions you have for the officiant and/or church coordinator. Write 'em down because wedding brain will be fully blown and you won't remember at the rehearsal.
- Consider sending an evite to keep track of dinner guest numbers if you are inviting a lot of people to the rehearsal and dinner.
- Let everyone know what the dress code is for the rehearsal. The last thing you want is for family members to be embarrassed for being underdressed when it's the first time meeting the in-law side.
- Provide copies of directions to the dinner. Include the address and directions from the rehearsal site to the dinner site.
- At the rehearsal dinner be sure to eat but also take time to walk around to all the tables to say 'hi' and 'thank you'...it's also like a rehearsal for the wedding reception.
- Be sensitive of out-of-town guests who may not know anyone else at the rehearsal. Make strategic introductions so they might be able to make a new friend or at least have good conversation during dinner.
- If any changes need to made to the ceremony or last minute instructions need to be communicated be sure to do so immediately or delegate someone else to do so.