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How to Plan Your Wedding Rehearsal

Wedding Rehearsal

Your Rehearsal is Important!

What is the big deal?  You walk down the aisle, family, bridesmaids, Bride and Dad, yada, yada, yada…  Is the Wedding Rehearsal important?  You betcha it is!  Hey if you are gonna screw up this is the time to do it.  So here are some basic things to make sure your real wedding day goes off without insanity.

Yes, you need a rehearsal and it should only take an hour.

Your Bridal Party has to take this serious!  So, by now you have hired a planner (if not give us a call) or you have your trusted friend that will coordinate the day of.  (Remember you will owe that person for the rest of your life, seriously you will.)  The person officiating your ceremony must be there.   The person organizing and the officiant will work together.

Make a check list of your Bridal Party and all those that are involved in the ceremony.  Check them in the night of the rehearsal and then use that same list to make sure everyone is there the day of the ceremony.  Give everyone a specific spot to meet, for example we will meet at the front of the church, or the parking lot of the garden in front of the  fountain.  You should be specific where and when you will meet and then what time you will start.  It is good to give people ten to fifteen minutes to get there and settle in then start.  So, meet at 5:45 pm in front of the Fountain at ……..  We will begin at 6:00 pm.  Now what?

  1. Start backward-Once everyone is checked in you can line your bridal party up at the front of the ceremony venue, then seat your parents in the seats they are to be seated in. Where is the flower girl going to sit?  Where is the ring bearer going to be seated?  Will they stand or be seated with their parents?  Put the flower girl and ring bearer exactly where they will be the next day.   Is there going to be a Unity Candle or any other special moment you will need to inform your officiant and work that into his or her ceremony.  The officiant can now go over the details of the ceremony.   Here is a little tip:  You and or your planner step back to see what how your Bridal party looks as they stand there.  You can now  adjust how your Bridal party is spaced.  Take a look to make sure they are even.  This is a picture moment!  If you have long floral pins you can tie small pieces of ribbon on them and place then on the spots where you would like them to stand.  You can also use pennies or anything to mark the spot.   Remind everyone in the Bridal Party to stand on a 45 degree angle, no one likes to look at an entire row of backs.
  2. The Recessional practice exiting.  Remain at the back of the venue in the order in which you left!  You are going to then practice coming in.
  • Pay attention to how you exit.  Groomsmen walk to the Bridesmaid hold out your right arm escort your Bridesmaid down the aisle.  As each couple exits decide when you want the next couple to start down the aisle.  For example; when they reach the fifth pew or when they reach the end of the aisle….as each couple leaves the Bridal Party moves up to fill in the space in front of them.
  • Minister announces I now present, “Mr. and Mrs. …….”
  • Bride and Groom Exit followed by
  1. Bridal Party
  2. Parents of the Bride
  3. Parents of the Groom
  4. Grandparents of the Bride
  5. Grandparents of the Groom

Now we are all lined up to start practicing your Grand entrance.  The best way to let the guests know that things are starting is to have the Officiate walk up the aisle and ask everyone to be seated.  You can then begin the seating of the families.

  1. Grandparents of the Groom
  • Who will escort your Grandparents?  Now is the time to decide.

2.  Grandparents of the Bride

3.  Parents of the Groom

  • Will the Groom escort his Mom?  Now is the time to decide.
  • If the Groom escorts his Mom he can then take his place up front.  If he does not escort her, he may enter with the Officiate.

4.  Parents of the Bride

5.  Bridal Party

  • Will the Groomsmen enter with the Bridesmaids or will they enter with the Groom?  Now is the time to decide.

6.  Bride and Escort (Her Dad, Dad and Mom,….)

If there going to be a Unity Candle the Mothers will light the candle together before they are seated.  Practice this, it can get sticky.

OK, let’s see how this works.

  1. Minister enters
  2. Grandparents of the Groom
  3. Grandparents of the Bride
  4. Mother of the Groom
  5. Mother of the Bride
  • If there is to be a Unity Candle the Groom’s Mother will stand and wait for the Bride’s Mom at the front, her escort will step to the right so as not to block the view of the guests.  The Bride’s Mom will then meet her and they will walk together to light their candles.  Their escorts will wait slightly off to the sides then help them back to their seats.  The escorts will then be seated or return to the back around to the outside-not the center aisle.

Bridal Party Entrance   Note:  Flowers at your belly button, held at a slight angle.  (You don’t want pictures with flowers growing out of the girls chest)

You will want to make this memorable, pause and change of  Music girls begin to enter.  Maid of Honor is the last Bridesmaid followed by the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer.

Bride’s Entrance

This is the moment make it count. Doors close. (If there are doors) Bridal Entrance Music Begins.  Doors open.   Bride’s Mom stands indicating that all the guests to stand.   Bride and Escort wait for the introduction of the music then begin to enter.

Ta Da you just did a rehearsal.

I know it sounds silly but better to screw up the rehearsal than the day of your wedding.  So a little practice will go a long way.  If you have in mind how it is to run before you get there you can get it over in an hour and be off to dinner before you know it.  So practice, practice, practice.

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By Margaret Moore of Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs, serving Central Illinois. More information you can use at Simple Elegance Events & Wedding Designs.


  1. Margaret, you created a very informative wedding rehearsal guide. You mentioned every essential detail of proper wedding rehearsal. Thank you for providing all this information.

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