The wedding rehearsal is one of the most important events surrounding the big day and my tips will help ensure it stays stress free.
1. Establish the Timeline: Create a detailed timeline of events for everyone in the wedding party including the parents. Be very specific on locations and arrival times (I always leave a cushion of fifteen minutes to an hour). Also include any important phone numbers.
2. First, Line up the wedding party, bride and groom, officiant and parents in their positions during the actual ceremony. This will help everyone know spacing. It is always best to start lined up because when you practice the processional (coming into the ceremony) everyone will know exactly where to go.
3. Once everyone is lined up, have the officiant explain what will take place during the actual ceremony. Have any one doing a reading practice moving to that location, or have the mothers light the unity candle. Now is the time to resolve any questions or issues the bridal party may have during the ceremony.
4. Now practice the recessional. First the Bride and Groom will make their way down the aisle. The the Maid of Honor and Best Man will exit the ceremony together, followed by the remaining Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Next the Bride's mother and father will exit, followed by the Groom's parents.
5. Once everyone has exited, it is time to line up and practice the processional. There are multiple ways to structure your processional and will depend on various factors, such as the layout of the ceremony site. The groom and best man traditionally enter with the officiant facing the crowd. Next the mother of the is walked down the aisle by an usher, followed by the mother of the groom. Next, the brides maids make their way down the aisle with a groom's man on their arm. After the bridal party is lined up the ring bearer and flower girl walk down. Finally the bride and her father walk down the aisle. The groom will meet the bride about 5-7 steps away from the officiant. Once her father gives his blessing and takes his seat, the ceremony will begin.
Modern, Luxurious and Magical Ceremony Ideas
- Have the Groom walk his mother down the aisle before taking his place next to the officiant
- Include your beloved pets as the ring bearer and flower girl in your processional
- A circular seating arrangement allows more people to have a front row view of you walking down the aisle
- Have both Bride's mother and father walk her down the aisle ( This is traditional in a Jewish Ceremony)
Here are two great graphics that show the traditional processional for a Christian wedding and also a Jewish wedding