Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Ceremony Rehearsal

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

Happy Wednesday!  Excited for a new Wedding Wednesdays Q&A?  So are we, so let’s jump right in!  This week we’re discussing the ceremony rehearsal:   We’re having our wedding on a Sunday, so we want to do the ceremony rehearsal dinner on Saturday.  But, there is a wedding at our venue on Saturday, so we can only do the rehearsal on Friday.  This throws a wrench into our plans and I’m not sure what to do.  Is it weird to do the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner two days before?  What if we didn’t do a rehearsal at all?  What do you think our best options are?

So you have a few options you can consider and the best option will just depend on your particular wedding.  I’ll lay out the options for you below.

Option 1 is you can do the ceremony rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner on Friday.  It is not weird to do it two days before and for some people it’s even better because then you have one more day to hang out with your family and friends and not have anything “planned”.  I’ve even had some couples purposely choose to do it two days before because it feels less rushed.  But, if you are having a destination wedding or if important people are flying in for your wedding and won’t be able to make the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner on a Friday, then this might not be the best option for you.

Option 2 is to have the ceremony rehearsal on Friday and the rehearsal dinner on Saturday.  While it is called a rehearsal dinner and traditionally happens after the rehearsal, it doesn’t have to.  Really it’s just another reason to get together and spend time with some particularly special people.  If you really want to have the dinner the night before then just keep the two separate.  It’s totally ok and not weird.  Once again, though, this only works if the people who need to be at the ceremony rehearsal can make it on Friday.

Option 3 is to do the ceremony rehearsal early on the wedding day and do your rehearsal dinner on Saturday.  I don’t usually recommend this for most couples and it doesn’t work with all venues, but in some cases, if all of your wedding party doesn’t arrive in time on Friday, this might be your best option.

Option 4 is to have the ceremony rehearsal on Saturday but just not at the venue and the rehearsal dinner on Saturday as well.   This is not ideal, but it might be better than option 3 so that it’s less rushed and hectic.  While you won’t be able to place people in the exact spots and give them a chance to get familiar with the surroundings of the wedding space, you can still run through what people will be doing, how they will be walking/standing and what will happen during the ceremony.  The key for this option is just to make sure you pick a place (house, hotel, park, etc…) that has enough room to stand and process in for your group size.

Option 5 is to not do a ceremony rehearsal at all and do the dinner on Saturday.  I always recommend that couples have a ceremony rehearsal because it helps everyone to understand what will happen in the ceremony and won’t be confusing the next day when emotions are high.  Running through the ceremony helps to keep everyone at ease the next day.  However, in some special cases, it’s ok not to do a ceremony rehearsal.  If you don’t have a wedding party or just a very small one (1-2 people on each side) or you aren’t involving many people in the ceremony and you have a wedding planner then you can get away with not doing a rehearsal.  Once again, it’s not something I’d recommend, but if you fit one of those special cases and the above options won’t work, then this is a possibility.

So, those are your options and the best option really just depends on your particular wedding and the people involved.  Think it through and I’m sure you’ll find the one that will work for you.

A wedding ceremony right in front of the ocean at a Hawaii destination wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: What A Day Photography)

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