The Rehearsal
By Molly Shafer, Certified Bridal Consultant

Your wedding day is almost here! You have everything from the dress to the honeymoon destination selected and ready to go. Your main concern now is making sure the ceremony runs smoothly. The only chance you get to practice exactly what will happen on your wedding day is during the rehearsal. The rehearsal is usually held the night before the wedding but it could be a couple days in advance if you plan on the party involving a late night. It is important that you schedule the rehearsal so everyone involved can attend. Each person participating in the wedding ceremony including soloists and organists and your clergyman or officiate should attend the rehearsal. Try to keep the details as close to the actual ceremony as possible. This means designating where items will be placed and rehearsing to the processional music. Your clergyman, officiate, or wedding coordinator will orchestrate the events. Ask any questions you may have and also make sure that all attendants know their duties and what time to be at the ceremony.

Traditionally, after the rehearsal, the groom’s parents host a dinner for all your attendants. If your groom’s parents don’t host the party, anyone else can. The guests included are both sets of parents and all attendants of the bridal party with their spouses or dates. You may want to include other relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or out of town guests.

The dinner can take place anywhere you want. A family member or friend might offer to host it at his or her home, you could have a barbecue, eat at your favorite pizza place, or choose a fancy restaurant. The dinner is the best time to thank everyone who has been involved in your wedding. Now is the time to give your attendants gifts if you haven’t already done so. It’s customary for the maid or matron of honor, best man, and/or for your parents to propose a toast to you and your groom. Longer and more personal or humorous toasts can be given at the rehearsal instead of at the wedding reception. You can also have your guests get more involved by asking them to each bring a picture of you, your groom, or the two of you together, for a display that everyone can enjoy. You can provide special entertainment such as a slide show of you and your groom growing up and then finding each other, singing karaoke with your bridesmaids, or performing a crazy dance routine that you and your father learned together. You may also choose to serve the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner because it might be something more fun and more appropriate for the rehearsal rather than the wedding reception.

The main thing to remember is to have fun, enjoy yourself and your guests, and thank everyone for coming and being a part of your wedding. Your groom should have a speech prepared to give as the final note of the evening and everyone should retire home for a good night’s sleep. Make sure to send a thank you note to the hosts of your rehearsal dinner, gather everything you’ll need for your big day, relax by taking a long bubble bath, and go to sleep knowing you are well prepared and ready for your wedding day! | p. 815-739-9937 | f. 815-754-5261