Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Is a rehearsal even necessary?

FI's dad asked us what we're doing for the rehearsal dinner.  (I assume he had anticipated hosting?)  But I hadn't really even planned on having a rehearsal.  Do we need one?  We're not having attendants, we won't have access to our venue before the evening of our wedding, it's a business open during business hours and is rented out the previous night.  I had kind of expected we'd just meet with the officiant within a week or two of the wedding to finalize what wording we want used, his "program" for the ceremony, etc.  Then we'd show up early at the venue and make sure we're clear on where we will stand, and make sure the employees know what song we want played.  It's an evening wedding, and we'll be doing photos in the afternoon, then probably move to the venue after 5 when they close, and do some more photos there, along with any last minute set-up, with the ceremony following at 6:30 or 7.

Is there more we need to do, rehearsing-wise? 

We may decide to to something the night before if we end up having many out of town guests coming, like invite them all to come out with us to a local piano bar at 9 pm or something, but would that require to be hosted?

Re: Is a rehearsal even necessary?

  • Sounds like you definitely don't need one. With no attendants, you should be completely fine. I would definitely skip it in your case. 

    As far as a get together, if you just say "hey, we'll be at X around X:00 if you want to come!" its fine. No invites or anything. I think it would be nice to provide some apps and maybe a round, but it's not required.

  • Thanks - that's what I was hoping.  Both my sisters were married last year, and the rehearsals (for everyone except the bride & groom) seemed to be a bunch of bored people standing around while the minister spoke to the bride & groom about what they would say and when they would say it.  As attendants, we were told, "start walking when the couple in front of you gets to here," and "stand there."  And lots and lots of people at one who weren't in the wedding party (groom's family, I guess).
  • I would skip it too, just think in advance about a few things (and talk it over w/ your officiant and FI):

    -Are you going to be holding a bouquet? If so, what are you going to do with it when you need your hands free to exchange rings? (put it on the ground? hand to someone? who?)

    -Who is going to have the rings in advance? 

    -And, to avoid an awkward moment, I was really glad that my dad and now-H talked in advance about what was going to happen exactly when my dad and I got up front (between H and dad: handshake vs. hug?). Maybe I am weird but I would have slightly stressed about that exchange. 

    -Also, the rehearsal was good for seeing what volume everybody needed to speak at in order to be heard in the back. (we did not have amplification) So make sure you are loud enough! 
  • Thanks, these are great points!

    I will have a bouquet, and I'll just hand it to whichever person in my family that's seated the closest.  We'll be within reaching distance, it's a small space. 

    I'll ask FI if he wants to hold the rings in his pocket or have his best friend or his dad give them to him.  We'll make sure whoever it is sits in the front!

    I'm still planning on walking alone, but we'll see.  Something to think about.
  • We didn't have one.  We also had no attendant and there was no formal seating of our parents.  FI walked in with our officant.  I walked in after with my DS and then handed my bouquet to someone in the front row.
  • For your situation, I doubt it. But in general I would always say YES! Especially if you have unqiue aspects to your wedding. I had a rehearsal that lasted over an hour, but we had half a family who didnt speak English, and we had a very unique ceremony. Despite three quick run-throughs the priest still messed up the day-of. Wasn't a big deal or very noticable, but I did have to stop him in the ceremony and point out that he skipped a whole we just backtracked and went through things differently. However, with no attendants, no unqiue or different aspects, and having actually met you officiant before hand (as a military bride I did not have that privilege) then you probably do not need a rehearsal.

    However, a dinner would be nice, especially if people are traveling for your wedding or if the two families have not really met before. It is nice to host a small dinner, present your parents any small gifts or token (since you dont have a wedding party to present gifts to) ect. If you have neither travelers, or family who have not met often, and no gifts to give, then you probably don't need a formal dinner. Although a BBQ or home party might be a nice relaxing even before your big day.

  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Not for you, I wouldn't think. We needed it because we had an organist who needed to know timing and a party of eleven attendants who were walking in one-by-one instead of in pairs.

  • I think rehearsal are only required for very formal events, or when many people are involved in the wedding party (and ceremony). It is useful because this way, you make sure everybody knows what to do, when to do it, and it ensures things go smoothly on the wedding day.

    We won't have one, as our wedding will consist on a short, civil ceremony, then a private reception in a cottage. Nobody needs to rehearse anything, we will only recite our vows and our officiant will read the laws and make us sign the papers. 
  • If FI's parents want to host a dinner the night before the wedding, you can certainly let them do that. But you don't really need to do the rehearsal in your case it sounds. I'd recommend it if you were in a church or having a more complicated ceremony.
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