DIY Bride #16: The Rehearsal

Fictiscious Chris Evans and I are getting married! We have been planning the event for a long while (really, it’s more me). We are ready to plan out the rehearsal and the dinner that follows. What the hell do we do now?

Let’s go over the Rehearsal.

The purpose of having a rehearsal is not to gab with your family and friends about how beautiful the venue is, how they can’t wait to see you in your dress, or how the color of the wallpaper brings out your eyes. It’s about rehearsing. It sounds silly but time and time again, couples and their wedding party waste precious rehearsal time on the venue and not enough on the practice.

Let’s get down to business, if you are having a planner for the ‘day of’, they need to be there for the rehearsal. If there is a way you want your prosession to go that is separate from the traditional, let them know before the rehearsal day. That goes also for any special music you want or any special effects. The timing is what you’re practicing, not just the placement, make sure the necessary vendors are there as well.

It should go without saying but make damn sure the people who need to be there, are there: Bridesmaids, flower girls, groomsmen, MIL, FIL, FOB, MOB, Officient, and anyone else you are having as part of the ceremony. The people you have chosen for your wedding party should be dependable and supportive. There are exceptions to every situation, however, if they agreed to be a part of your wedding, then they need to do what they need to do to make it perfect. 

Get Moving

Once everyone is there (and on time), it’s time to get started. Before the rehearsal you should’ve already given your planner the list of changes you want. Don’t waste time, get right to the rehearsing!

You’re going to want to go through it about 10-15 times. The first few are to get down the places. The next few are to nail down the timing with the music or special effects you want. The last few are final run-throughs, where you solidify everything from every angle to perfect the process. If kept on-time, and with an average wedding party, you’re looking at 60-90 minutes. I have never gotten a rehearsal done correctly in less than 50 minutes. 

What about Dinner?

You have all these people coming to your wedding rehearsal, are you just going to say, “Thanks! See you tomorrow!”? Of course not. Traditionally, the parents of the groom pay for the rehearsal dinner. If you have traditional parents and they want to pay for your dinner, then let them pay for – and host – the dinner! It’s not something every couple gets so take it.

One of the nice things about weddings is how it brings people together so a warning: Don’t get boggled down with how you pictured your perfect rehearsal dinner and let the reigns loose a bit. Your big day is the wedding day; the rehearsal dinner is for all of those who contributed and assisted you with your special day. Don’t take it away from them.

Here are things to keep in mind for your rehearsal dinner:

  1. Keep your budget in mind. At the beginning of this journey, you solidified your budget. STICK TO IT! You have come too far and there are still too many things to pay for to mess up your budget now. Unless someone is gifting you the dinner, then just consider it one less thing to worry about.
  2. Keep your venue in mind. It’s a rehearsal dinner because it’s dinner you have after the rehearsal. That means, the people who are going to be attending your rehearsal are also going to the dinner. Usually, quite a few people go to the dinner and if you’re in an area that is unfamiliar for them, getting lost could be a problem. Choosing a location that’s close(er) to the venue is always a great option. Also, if you’re getting married at a restaurant or hotel, ask the venue about hosting the dinner there. More times than not, you can get a great price.
  3. Be gracious. If you DO have a family member or a friend who advised they wanted to pay for the rehearsal, great! That doesn’t mean you should be a nutso micromanager. If they want to do this for you, let them do it their way.
  4. Keep the purpose in mind. The purpose of the rehearsal dinner isn’t just for people to eat. It’s an opportunity for you to thank – personally and sincerely – the people who are supporting your wedding. This is the time to give out the gifts to your wedding party, make a meaningful toast to those people, and make the evening about those who participated, and who are going to continue to participate.

I can’t drive home this point enough: the rehearsal isn’t about you as a couple, that’s what the wedding is for. The rehearsal is about the people who helped to bring it all together. If you do one thing, make sure you don’t forget that.

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