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Scheduling the Wedding Rehearsal
A wedding rehearsal is a walk-through of the wedding ceremony and allows all participants of the wedding to practice their roles during the wedding ceremony. The wedding rehearsal is held at the same location the wedding will be held and typically includes the bride, the groom, all members of the wedding party, the bride's parents, the groom's parents, the wedding officiant and any musicians. If the couple is using a wedding planner, she also attends the wedding rehearsal. The rehearsal is usually scheduled the evening before the wedding. This allows all out of town members of the wedding party to arrive in town and ensures that everyone remembers what they rehearsed. Be sure that the rehearsal time is convenient for the officiant and any musicians participating in the ceremony. Many couples schedule a rehearsal dinner after the wedding rehearsal at a local restaurant. Bring any props for the wedding, such as the flower girl's baskets, rings or ring bearer pillow to the wedding rehearsal. Some brides make a practice bouquet out of the bows from their wedding shower so that they can get used to carrying the bouquet during the rehearsal. Many brides also bring the guest book and wedding programs to the church at this time.
Rehearsing the Wedding
At the beginning of the rehearsal, the officiant gives everyone an overview of the ceremony and explains what everyone will do during the ceremony. If any people in the wedding party do not know each other, they should be introduced at this time. The officiant or wedding planner talks everyone through the wedding ceremony and provides detailed instructions on what each person should do during each part of the ceremony. Everyone should use any props that they will use at the wedding so that they are comfortable with them. After a walk-through, the wedding is typically rehearsed from beginning to end, including processional, music and recessional. If everyone is still unclear about their roles, then the officiant or bride may request that the wedding is rehearsed again.
Recapping the Rehearsal
At the end of the rehearsal, the officiant or wedding planner gathers everyone together to go over any important information for the next day. At this point, the bride may also remind everyone when to arrive at the church and what they need to bring. If the wedding is being officiated by a religious official, the rehearsal may also end in a prayer. A wedding rehearsal can be a key component in having a smooth wedding ceremony.