Image: Pop! Wed Co

We tend to attract super laid-back couples (which we LOVE) and sometimes our couples have such small wedding parties, that they don’t think they need to do a wedding rehearsal. We also have couples that use some of the more alternative venues in DC for their wedding – ones that don’t always cater to making the space available (and not charge extra!) the day before for couples to do a rehearsal. These are two common problems or issues we see often, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the top things to know about wedding rehearsals.

1. You should always do a wedding rehearsal

Even if it’s literally only one person down the aisle – it’s the most nerve wracking part of the day (I am not even exaggerating here!) and it makes everyone feel better, if you practice a few times the night before the wedding day.

2. You don’t HAVE to have it in your actual ceremony location

I’ve done rehearsals in restaurants, parks, apartment complex rec rooms, and even outside Eastern Market! Though it’s ideal to be able to practice in your actual ceremony space – scheduling of the space can be tricky sometimes, so don’t fret if it’s not available. Just find an easy place, that is near your dinner location, and practice away!

3. Start at the end of the ceremony

The easiest way to start your wedding rehearsal is actually as if the ceremony is just about to end! Line everyone up next to you (the couple) and have your officiant or planner say the final words, then practice the recessional. THEN line up for the processional, run through your ceremony (as much or as little as you want), and recess once more. Do one more processional run through – and then you’re done!

4. Try to think about who you want processing, before the rehearsal

Sometimes I get to my rehearsals and ask my couples, OK – who’s walking down the aisle? And they look at me with a blank stare, because they hadn’t really thought about it. There’s no right/wrong way to do this — you can have grandparents as part of the processional, dearly beloved canine friends, full wedding party, just the bride’s side, both parents, no parents, and everything in between. But I do recommend talking about this with your partner BEFORE the rehearsal, as unspoken assumptions might lead to deep conversation, and it will help to ensure anyone processing is invited to the rehearsal!

5. Try to keep the invite list small

You really only need anyone who is walking down the aisle, doing something special during the ceremony, your planner/coordinator (if you have one), and your officiant (though I’d say only about 30% of my rehearsals have the officiants at it!). The more people you invite, the more people you have to wait to have on time, get into the space, be quiet to listen, and just generally HERD. Keeping it small will help it go smooth and get you to your rehearsal dinner on time!

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