To rehearse or not, that is the question!
No rehearsal/ Ali to brief bridal party and all participants on your wedding day
If you decide not to rehearse, here is how the pre-ceremony will unfold.
30 min before start:
Get the groom and groomsmen to come see me when they arrive at ceremony area (usually 30min before start time) and I brief them. Which is mainly "have fun, chill out and chat with guests until I know the girls are ready. Then I will come get you and put you in position up front. Take off sunnies. Smile, look good and have fun - boom! That's it! I'll also show your ring bearer how to come forward and open ring box when the time comes.
I also find any other participants such as readers and brief them so they are comfortable.
And I find your immediate family and introduce myself. I show them where their allocated seats are so they know where they are seated when it's time to begin the ceremony.
45min-1hr before start:
If bridal party are getting ready at the ceremony location, I will pop in and say hello when I arrive to setup. I will come back to you 10min before start to get you ready and lined up to walk – see info in section below.
Ask the person you have assisting with playing your music, to come see me minimum of 45min before start time. I can brief them on my cues and also so we can sound check the volume levels for each song in your ceremony before everyone arrives (spoiler alert – we don’t want guests hearing your entrance song being played in soundcheck. And they usually start arriving 30min before).
And, most likely your playlists will be saved on Spotify, so please send your music assistant AND myself (as backup) the links to your playlists to our phone numbers. Mine is 0425 380 474. We can then both save playlists and download them prior to ceremony. Nothing worse than internet cutting out and your songs not playing. I ask you to send links to me because if your music assistants device mucks up or a problem connecting to PA occurs, I can easily and quickly save the day by playing the tunes through my phone. This HAS happened! Experience has taught me to always have safety nets.
Save playlists with your name as part of the title e.g. Megan Pre Ceremony, Megan Ceremony, Megan Post Ceremony.
10 to 15min before start:
I come inside to get bridal party ready to walk OR if bridal party are getting ready elsewhere (not at ceremony location), then I will be waiting to meet you, your bridal party and your dad/escort when you arrive at ceremony location. Out front hidden from guests. Plan to arrive at 10min before start time. I will meet you out front at that time.
I will brief you all and get you lined up ready (hidden from view but somewhere you can (a) see guests stand or (b) hear music when it starts).
I then go and greet your guests and get them seated. I ask them to be upstanding to welcome the bridal party and your entrance song starts playing. When you hear/see this happening, you girls start walking in slowly, nice big gaps (5 metres or so) between each other.
Girls walk to me, I am standing exactly where each needs to stand. So I get them in position. They mirror the boys who are already standing up front, girls just know to do this naturally! MOH fixes brides gown/train, then take brides bouquet.
I give the bride and groom a private moment of 30 sec or so (music still playing) to ground yourselves, have a laugh and a kiss and a joke and let the nerves slide away. Then music fades and we start ceremony.
So that is how it will roll on the day. If you decide you would like a rehearsal in the days before the wedding, please let me know.
If you would like a rehearsal, it will be all about practising the moving parts of the ceremony, where to stand, where to walk, ring exchange. We don’t go through all the words and spoil the surprise.
Here is information on who can attend, in order of importance.
Keep in mind, if some peeps can't attend the rehearsal, there is nothing to worry about. Technically all we need to do the rehearsal is the bride and groom. Every other participant can be briefed by me before the ceremony on the day (see above), so they know what to expect and what to do.
But you will quite possibly want your friends to be a part of rehearsal so everyone can start getting excited! It helps relax you all as you will know what to expect. And everyone gets to meet me so it feels more family-like when the big day rolls around. But remember the more people you have, the more chatting and the longer the rehearsal will be. With a full bridal party and parents present you can expect the rehearsal to take an hour. With bride and groom only it will take 30min.
After the bride and groom, next in order of importance of attendance is the bridesmaids so they can practise entrance walk and where to stand up front. Essentially they mirror the boys who are already standing up front - girls just know to do this naturally!
Your dad (or escort/s) might like to practise walking you in.
Best man can practise opening the ring box and walking it to you, but I can easily run him over that on your wedding day, so he doesn't have to be at rehearsal.
And finally the groomsmen don't do anything during rehearsal except stand in position. So if you'd like them there so you can all be together to share the moment and have a beer, then go ahead and invite them. However, if they can't make it, don't worry. They aren't missing anything. On the day I literally come and put them in position when it's time to start. Other than that they just enjoy themselves! Tough gig for the boys ha ha ha.
Hope this helps xx