The Wedding Rehearsal

It’s a good many years since my wedding, but I still remember the rehearsal quite clearly.  There was me and my fiance; Norman the Vicar; my stepdad; the best man; the chief bridesmaid.  It was relaxed, good fun, and prepared me for the day itself quite nicely.  

Now I officiate at weddings, I am becoming a connoisseur, not so much of weddings themselves (although there is already an entire book waiting to be written), as of rehearsals.  They vary so much – from the minimal approach which we took all those years ago, to the rather less minimal approach I experienced yesterday.  

I knew that the lady who is singing during register signing needed to set up and sound check, so I arranged for her to arrive 30 mins prior to everyone else.  She brought about 8 people with her, who were very helpful because they sat at the back and offered views about sound levels, making the sound check easier.  And, wow, I am looking forward to hearing her sing again.  Most of her party left after the main cohort arrived.

We had bride and groom (who are lovely, and I wish them every blessing in their married life), both sets of parents, best man, four bridesmaids, two ushers, and about four pews worth of people I never got round to identifying.  Don’t get me wrong, ALL are welcome.  But for something which should take about 20-30 mins tops, and set the minds of the main participants at rest, I’m not sure that attendance by lots of others is helpful.  I need the participants to concentrate on what they have to do, where they stand, when to move etc.  It can be hard to achieve that when other people are peppering questions about what time to meet up later etc.  On the plus side, all those people means that the great “who sits where” debate can be had while I deal quietly with the bride and groom.

Yesterday’s rehearsal wasn’t particularly unusual in terms of numbers of people there, so I had a quick Google of “Wedding Rehearsal” to see what showed up.  I hadn’t realised that invitations to the “Wedding Rehearsal and Dinner” were required, nor that the wedding rehearsal is an “ideal place for the exchange of gifts between members of the wedding party”, although I agreed that “rather than checking everyone in your party is free for the time, it might be better to start with the minister and venue first, and risk some of your party being unable to attend”.

I’d always thought the rehearsal was a chance to walk through the ceremony  quietly with minimal fuss, to make sure everyone knows what’s what.  Apparently I’m wrong, and the wedding rehearsal is another part of the great choreographed event.   I think that’s a pity.  


3 responses to “The Wedding Rehearsal

  1. Excellent, glad it went well!

    I believe the idea of a rehearsal and dinner is an american import, and not an altogether bad idea – though I encourage couples to spend time with those actively involved with the wedding plus their parents, flower arrangers, organists etc don't need to be at the rehearsal. I always say that wedding rehearsals only need the mothers of bride & groom as, in the end, they seem to be the ones who have most to say! My training Incumbent wouldn't do wedding rehearsals as he said it made couples more nervous, and I think he has a point.

    The one thing I always say to Bride & Groom at rehearsal is 'don't try to remember any of this, as when it gets to the day I will be telling you what to do, where and when to stand/sit/kneel, what to say etc as we go through' It seems to work….

    Hope you are having fun! I think I have broken through the 100 weddings mark now, so am just starting to relax about everything except the registers…..

  2. The registers….now there's another blog entirely – but only when I've recovered from the strain. Suspect that will take more than 100 weddings for me too!

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