Way to go. Seriously – you did it! You have planned every last detail of your wedding from your fiancé’s sock pattern to your grand confetti exit, and you accomplished it all with both style and finesse. (Which is not an easy feat!)
Now there is only one thing standing between you and your fairy tale wedding…THE REHEARSAL.
This is one of the most overlooked parts of the whole planning process, yet one of the most crucial for the whole weekend. The rehearsal is so much more than a simple “You stand here, he stands there” process; it’s the first real chance for old friends in the wedding party to reconnect, new family members to meet, and your last moments to be with your fiancé before he becomes your hubby!
So how do you make this “last priority” task a seamless beginning to your wedding weekend? Here are 3 secrets to getting ready for that night, and making it as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
1 – Research your line up and make it your own
Your wedding party arriving for rehearsal should NOT be the first time you’re thinking about the line up. Which bridesmaid will be walking with which groomsman? Which side is the “Bride’s Side”? Are the ring bearers and the flower girls entering together or one after another? There are so many things that can be overlooked, so take some time and research what a processional “should” look like.
Why did I say “should”? Here’s the thing: Your wedding is exactly that – YOUR wedding. Just because something may be traditionally done one way, does not mean that it’s right for your big day! Consider this your official permission to break the rules of “ceremony etiquette” and make the processional as unique as the rest of your wedding!
2 – Have a battle plan & appoint someone to direct
Not only should you have your line up set prior to the rehearsal, you should have an order of events to hand out or send to those who are on a need-to-know basis. This doesn’t need to be a minute-to-minute schedule, but it should have a general order for your bridal party and family to follow along with. (Hint: send this in an email/text for most and only print a few copies for those who aren’t as attached to their phones, that way everyone will have a copy that fits their style.)
Having a battle plan is great, but the next question to ask yourself is this: Who will lead the troops? If you’re totally good with taking point and answering all the questions, then more power to you! However, I’ve found that more often than not, you’ve exhausted yourself quite enough at this point and need to follow instead of lead. This is typically where a wedding coordinator really begins to shine. We know the traditional answers, the trendy options, and all the things in-between to make rehearsal not only smooth, but stress-free for everyone!
3 – Have your wedding to-do list done
This last point is to all you procrastinators out there. I know who you are…I used to be (and in many ways, still am) one of you! I get that the “last-minute-adrenaline-rush” can be exciting, and that you believe it will “all-come-together,” but I can confidently say that it will always be much less stressful to get it done in advance. This seems like common sense, but let me paint a picture of something we’ve seen far too often: It’s 4:30 pm on the eve of your big day. Your rehearsal starts at 5 pm. Family and bridal party begin to arrive around 4:45, and you still have to confirm with the hair stylist for tomorrow morning, buy the lighters for the sparkler send off, pack your honeymoon bag, AND run the rehearsal!
*Take a breath, it’s not real…phew*
These are the last things you want on your mind while you’re focused on your friends, family, and fiancé. So do your future self and everyone else around you a huge favor and check ALL the things off that big “To-Do” list of yours days before you say “I Do.”
So there you have it, that’s my best advice for having a stress-free, smooth, and enjoyable rehearsal, and to the procrastinator bride reading this, go check something off your list!
Cheers to your inner-most-planner-being,