Planning Your Wedding Rehearsal

Every bride wants the perfect wedding; one to remember fondly all of her life. But even when planned to the smallest detail, your wedding party needs to practice what they are supposed to do. That is why you have a wedding rehearsal.

A wedding rehearsal should be a relaxed practice of the wedding ceremony. It is a time for everyone involved to find out where they will stand, what they will do and when they will do it. It should not be a stressful event, but a chance for everyone to become better acquainted.

Most brides have never planned a wedding rehearsal before and may have questions about doing so. Here are some questions you might have, and their answers.

When is a wedding rehearsal held? Usually it is scheduled the day before, but if conflicts happen you can plan it for few days before, but no more than that. You want the participant's tasks and cues fresh in their minds the day you take your vows.

Who should be at the rehearsal? Everyone involved in your wedding ceremony should be there. This includes the parents of the bride and groom, the wedding party, and the officiant. This will not be a full ceremony, more of a walk through for the main event.

Where should we have the wedding rehearsal? The best place to have it in the location you plan to have the actual wedding. You want to be able to show the participants their exact locations, without them having to figure it out on the wedding day. If that is not possible, then a friend or family member's backyard or another open space will work.

Should you have a "dinner" after the rehearsal? Traditionally, the wedding party and parents of the happy couple meet for a celebration meal after practicing the ceremony. Since the rehearsal dinner is more relaxed, the bride and groom will have more time to spend with their family and friends.

Who should be invited to the dinner? The guest list should include the parents of the bride and groom, the wedding party – including any spouses or significant others, and the parents of any children in the wedding party. You should also invite the officiant and his / her spouse to the dinner.

Who should pay for the rehearsal dinner? In the past, the groom's parents would pay for the rehearsal dinner, but today it can be hosted by anyone. Regardlessless who pays be sure they are involved in the decisions involving the dinner.

Should I send out invitations? They are not necessary for this event, though giving the people you wish to be there a flyer with the time, date, and location along with directions would be helpful.

Do we have to have the dinner at a fancy sit down restaurant? The dinner location can be anywhere you want it to be, from someone's backyard to a fancy restaurant, and anywhere in between. You want to enjoy the time with your family and friends, so choose a location you are comfortable with.

Can I hand out gifts during the rehearsal dinner? This is a wonderful time to give your attendant's thank-you gifts. You will be more relaxed and can spend more time than during the reception, which will make the gift giving more special for everyone.

A beautiful wedding day takes planning and preparation. It also takes practice, so everyone knows what they are supposed to do and when. A wedding rehearsal can help you and your wedding party has the practice they need to make your big day go smooth.