You are the official at the wedding and should be in charge of what happens at this event. If it seems you are not in control, the result could be chaos. If there is one event where you do not want to experience chaos, it is at a wedding. You are in charge of the rehearsal.
1. Good rehearsals should take about forty-five minutes. If you have planned well with the couple in advance, it can happen. Long rehearsals are not a blessing.
2. Begin the rehearsal with the wedding party lined up in the front, as if they have just finished the processional.
3. Go through the ceremony quickly, not in a word-for-word manner. Simply walk the wedding party through the various parts of the ceremony.
4. Make sure musicians are present at the wedding rehearsal. I have seen musicians ruin weddings because they thought they knew what to do and thus didn’t need to attend the rehearsal. Their attendance is crucial because music often governs many of the transitions in a wedding.
5. Start by explaining the ground rules of the wedding. Simply put, this is the wedding of the bride and the groom. All ideas will be filtered through them.
6. Have the wedding planned before you get to the rehearsal. Very few changes should take place in your plans at the rehearsal.
7. While the wedding party is up front, rehearse the ceremony; then have the wedding party file out of the church, and go through the entire ceremony again. If everyone is comfortable, then the rehearsal is complete.
8. Many people use wedding coordinators today. They can be a real asset or a hindrance. Make it clear to the couple that you will officiate the wedding ceremony. The coordinator can help the individuals get down the aisle on time and work in areas of timing and movement. It is your job to officiate the ceremony.
9. Once the rehearsal is complete, it is time to go to the rehearsal dinner and party. Make sure you officiate the rehearsal in a very organized way, yet allow the whole experience to be a good memory and fun.
10. You may want to suggest that the couple take pictures before the wedding. This is a fairly new custom with weddings, but a good one. It often makes the couple more relaxed during the ceremony and allows them to enjoy their wedding reception.