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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Rehearsal/Rehearsal Dinner - To Have or Not to Have

I always assumed that everyone had a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner before their wedding. I have sung in over 100 weddings and I don't recall ever not having a rehearsal the night before the wedding.

We're getting married on a Saturday at a country club and holding the reception there as well. There is the potential that someone could book a wedding for the night prior to ours (evening ceremonies begin at 6:00pm). By the time this potential ceremony is over it will likely be too late to have a rehearsal for our ceremony as there is no outdoor lighting. So my question is...

If you didn't have a rehearsal was there confusion on the part of the WP or Officient or musicians? Did they know what to do? Did you stress about that fact that people were seeing the space for the first time on the day of the wedding? There WILL be an on-site coordinator who will presumably help out with getting people "into position" but I'm still struggling with this. I realize it's not rocket science but I feel like this will stress me out. Any stories with experiences both good and bad are appreciated! 

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Re: Rehearsal/Rehearsal Dinner - To Have or Not to Have

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You can still have a rehearsal even if you don't have it at your venue. Just simply have enough room for a faux aisle and then just run through the processional and recessional. 

    Unless you are having something crazy involved most people know how to walk in a straight line. Also since you will have a coordinator on hand I am sure he/she will speak with the guys and girls for a minute or two to make sure everyone knows what to do.

  • Is the set up odd? Is there a possibility you could hold the rehearsal on a Thursday night or at a different location?
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  • Is the set up odd? Is there a possibility you could hold the rehearsal on a Thursday night or at a different location?
    Is the set up odd? Is there a possibility you could hold the rehearsal on a Thursday night or at a different location?

    Majority of the WP won't be in town until the day before so Thursday doesn't work but I didn't think about doing it at an alternate location. One of my bigger concerns was my flower girl not having the opportunity to "practice" so she knows what to expect but I think this can likely be accomplished by doing the rehearsal elsewhere. Heck, we can do it in our backyard if we have to! :)

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    s-aries8990
  • We did not have a rehearsal the night before our wedding. The only CON was that my brother who was walking me down the aisle and one of my bridesmaids disclosed that they wished that we were having a rehearsal, and not having one made them nervous. They wanted to go over the small details a lot to make sure that they understood. Obviously, this was not a big deal at all although it did stress me out a little bit at the time- we were able to verbally go through all the details, and the ceremony went off without a hitch! 

    I personally have been to two wedding rehearsals and personally I felt like they were pretty much unnecessary (although I did have fun and enjoy them) I felt like I could have just been verbally told the info about the ceremony rather than having to act it out. 

    Our venue was not available the night before our wedding and our officiant charged to attend a rehearsal and she did not feel that rehearsals were generally necessary- and I agreed. 
    "It's always better when we're together." -Jack Johnson
  • I think a rehearsal dinner is a really nice way to thank people for going to the expense of being in your bridal party, for traveling, and for the honor of their presence at your wedding.  Don't stress about an actual rehearsal, though.  I find that most adults already know how to walk, so a straight, or slightly ramped aisle should not be an issue.  The biggest help is if you have a coordinator orchestrating when people should begin to walk.  
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I'm getting married on a cruise ship and since we are boarding shortly before the wedding we have no time for rehearsals. I won't even see the venue until I'm walking down the aisle (I've seen photos already). We board ship, I have maybe an hour to get dressed while everyone checks out the ship & eats lunch, then it's time to walk down the aisle. But, our wedding coordinator will do a quick run through with wedding party right before ceremony to make sure they all know what to do. And then she will fill me in on my part on the way from my room to the ceremony. Everyone I've talked to that has done this before said it turned out fine. This will be our flower girls first time as a flower girl, so we do plan to have her practice at home prior to the wedding. And if there are any mishaps, I figure it just adds to the memories.

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  • For my first wedding, we didn't rehearse anything, nor was it planned well, so everything was chaos the day of. This time, I'm taking my time to do everything right. I am not sure about the rehearsal dinner, as I really do not want to do one, mainly because I don't want the drama that is going to come from certain members of my fiancee's family, but this seems to be a traditionally thing when a lot of people are coming from out of town, so we're actually are going to hold it 2 days before, when everyone comes down.
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    For my first wedding, we didn't rehearse anything, nor was it planned well, so everything was chaos the day of. This time, I'm taking my time to do everything right. I am not sure about the rehearsal dinner, as I really do not want to do one, mainly because I don't want the drama that is going to come from certain members of my fiancee's family, but this seems to be a traditionally thing when a lot of people are coming from out of town, so we're actually are going to hold it 2 days before, when everyone comes down.
    If you have a rehearsal, you have to have a rehearsal dinner.



  • My sister had her rehearsal in her church the night before, but got married at a different venue.  The majority of that time was spent with the officiant walking them through the things he would say, what they should say, and getting over their nervous giggles.  (The couple, not their pastor!)

    It was rather boring for the WP (2 BMs, 2 GM).  I mean, we were told you'll walk with so and so, start walking when the previous couple gets halfway down the aisle, and stand at the edge of the platform.  Bride will had her bouquet to you when she steps up onto the platform.  But it was a good hour and a half long ordeal! 

    I didn't feel it was strictly necessary for the WP and aaalllll the family that attended to be there for the full thing.  I didn't attend my other sister's rehearsal because I couldn't get off work 2 nights in a row, and there was no problem.  As soon as I arrived on the day of, they told me when and with whom to walk, and where to stand. 

    Since I'm not having a WP at all, we'll just meet with our officiant close to the day and run through the wording.  But we may go out with out of town guests and close family for dinner or later for appetizers/drinks the night before.
    jenna8984
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2013
    I am a retired church organist.  Unless your wedding party is huge (I hope not!) then you can do without a rehearsal.  Are you doing anything unusual during your ceremony?  The biggest thing to sort out is the line up order.  Have it written down on paper so there is no last minute confusion.
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  • Turns out we can do a rehearsal the night before regardless of whether there is an event the night before... Just may have to adjust the start time. I'm mostly concerned about FIs daughter who will be 7 years old. I want her to see the space and know who will be doing what to avoid her feeling nervous and uncertain.
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  • We aren't having attendants and aren't doing a rehearsal.  However, we are going to take my kids (ages 9 & 11 then) to the space a few days before and talk through what will happen, what the plan is and what they'll do.  
  • We are having morning ceremony on a Friday. They let us pick anytime to rehearsal, as long as they didn't have it booked. We will rehearsal the Sunday morning before Friday. Most places are pretty flexible if you ask.
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