Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to Lead Your Own Wedding Rehearsal

I came across this picture and thought I would talk a little about leading your own dress rehearsal.

Since Matt and I opted to have our dear friend, Andy, officiate the ceremony, it made sense for us to lead the dress rehearsal. We could have asked Andy to do it, but we had written the entire ceremony and knew exactly how we wanted to implement it.

Things We Did Right:
  • We wrote out a very detailed script that included stage directions. In other words, we had a clear picture of where we wanted each of us to be and what we wanted to be doing. We printed a copy for each person to look over at the rehearsal. We didn't waste anyone's time trying to figure out specific logistics on the day of.

Things We Should Have Done Differently:
  • I think I was kind of nervous about really taking charge and leading the rehearsal. I probably didn't want to seem bossy in front of Matt's closet friends (many of whom I was getting to know better--my friends already know I'm bossy). So instead of really rehearsing, I just sort of talked through everything. At the end of it, I said, "Okay, that's it!" My best friend said, "Um, Sara, can we actually practice it step by step?" Oops. That would make sense. So, lesson to be learned: A rehearsal should actually include rehearsing. It doesn't have to include the actual vows or entire readings, but if it's a multi-step ceremony with multiple participants, there should be some real practice and where to go and what to do.

Any other tips for running an effective wedding rehearsal?

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Jamie@OwlReally.com said...

this is so timely! i am day-of-coordinating saturday (and for the first time, getting paid a little to do it) but i've never run a rehearsal and i'm getting a little nervous about being assertive tomorrow night to a pastor and a bridal party and family, etc. can't wait to see what everyone says!

K. Guenther said...

I'm a naturally bossy person, and it's even worse when I know someone else should be leading but they aren't stepping up. How do I ask our co-pastors to really take charge and lead us through the rehearsal? (More so I can sit back and process everything and not come off as anal retentive). They are my fiance's family friends, so I don't want to be pushy or anything...

Also, I think we've found some willing family members to help ensure that the venue is set-up according to our specs. But again, they're my fiance's family members. Any suggestions for ways to get our instructions across without being uber bossy? Should I put it on paper, instead of telling them verbally?

As you can tell, I'm trying hard not to turn into bridezilla. I really want to enjoy our wedding weekend, and just have to hope that our designated helpers will strongly step into their roles...

Unknown said...

I ended up kind of leading our rehearsal also. Our officiant couldn't make it, and I asked my sister-in-law (to be) to lead it, but she hadn't even looked at our script beforehand so I just winged it. A detailed script (fill in names of actual people) helps! It was a bit of a mess, and half of what we practiced got thrown out the window because our ceremony site got rained out, but it was still helpful to have a walk through. Even if you have to lead it yourself, don't skip it! The wedding party and our families definitely appreciated the practice.

And my sister-in-law did get comfortable enough with it to be our "stage manager" during the actual ceremony, which was all we really needed :)

jonesypie said...

My husband made us go through the whole ceremony word for word and at first I thought he was being a little ridiculous, but in the end I think everyone felt better at the actual wedding. We wrote our whole ceremony and a dear friend officiated. We also had our sisters do a couple of readings.
Also, what really saved us during the rehearsal was that our dog was ring bearer and so I tied the rings to the little pillow on her back and sure enough, my husbands ring fell off somewhere on the grounds of the ranch where our outdoor ceremony was taking place! My niece had been waking my dog all over and then I noticed the ring was missing. I immediately dropped to the grass on my hands and knees, screaming expletives! Fortunately, our wonderful officiant found the ring and saved the day! Afterward, my husband said, "aren't you glad that didn't happen at the real ceremony?"

Lizzie said...

haha "most of my friends already know I'm bossy."
I was worried about this same thing...freaking out and seeming more bossy than I actually am (Lord knows we don't need any exaggeration on that)

I love that you guys wrote your own ceremony and thanks so much for sharing!

Jennie said...

Perfect timing for this post - our rehearsal is tomorrow and I know I need to lead it. I'm definitely worried about seeming bossy. But I think I'll just tell everyone at the beginning that I'm going to be bossy for the next 20 minutes, and then I'll be nice again! Haha... hopefully that will work and they will all still love me!

Melissa said...

I think you have to have a level of bossiness to get through the rehearsal and make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to do. Most people should understand.

Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions said...

I wrote a blog post last year that has some tips about how I run my rehearsals.. http://www.eclectic-unions.com/2009/03/the-importance-of-a-wedding-rehearsal/

I do think the most important part is to run through the ceremony, cue to cue. There is no need to do the ACTUAL ceremony, but pantomiming rings and unity rituals, letting everyone know what cues they should be listening for (those presenting rings, or those who are doing readings), AND letting readers know where to stand! If you are a bride and afraid to be bossy, ask a bossy friend to lead it for you. It helps keep everyone in line.

luluvillage said...

better bossy now than disappointed later!

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