If there’s one thing I have learned in my career as a marriage celebrant, it’s that the rehearsal is a vital element of your wedding planning.
Whether it takes place a day, or a week, before your “big day”, the rehearsal is the key moment when suddenly, things become very “real”. I absolutely LOVE rehearsals. We can be relaxed and have fun, and everyone participating can get to know each other better, while walking through the verbal and physical choreography of how you have visualised the most important event of your lives – your wedding ceremony.
I always include a rehearsal in my fee, and in the weeks leading up to the “big day”, I encourage you to plan for a time when we can meet, ideally at your venue, with as many of your “key players” as possible, i.e. bridal party (guys and gals), parents, reader(s), whoever is in charge of your music, the MC, and witnesses. If your photographer would like to attend, they are very welcome too. At the rehearsal I don’t go through your ceremony word for word (and you certainly don’t get “accidentally married”!) but we will practice how to walk IN, how to walk OUT, and all the elements in between, such as exchanging vows and rings. You have options for how all of these things happen.
Here’s what I know:
- You, and your parents, will probably cry during the rehearsal.
- People will ask questions – lots of them – and I will answer, but since YOU are the ones getting married, you make the final decisions, not your bridesmaids or family.
- When the venue co-ordinator or wedding planner helps me run a rehearsal, things happen swiftly, quickly and with confidence – they know their stuff, and so do I.
- When you plan a rehearsal for Friday afternoon in Auckland, the traffic is awful and everything takes a lot longer.
- You’ll hardly ever have to resort to “Plan B” (the dreaded rain option) – but we will practice for it anyway.
- It’s not a very good idea to be tipsy or drinking beersies when we rehearse.
- It is always a good idea to have your music available to play and get used to.
- It doesn’t matter what side you stand on when you are up the front, but it does matter that your parents can see your smiling face from wherever they are sitting during the ceremony.
- The guys will look like they are not listening (when they actually are) – altho’ it’s certainly preferable that no one is checking their Facebook posts during the rehearsal – and see #6 above…
- It’s ok to be incredibly tired, stressed, grumpy, frustrated, happy, worried, nervous, or annoyed at your partner during the rehearsal (as long as you kiss and make up, and get some decent sleep before the wedding day itself!)
But most of all… I know that everything will be RIGHT – in fact, jolly near PERFECT – on your wedding day.