A wedding rehearsal is a critical step in assuring everyone is familiar and comfortable with what they need to do on the real day. It is also an opportunity for us as Wedding Coordinators to share critical tricks of the trade such as how to get optimal photos each step of the way, adjustments in case of a strong wind, what to do with your hands, etc.
When it comes to how a Wedding Planner should run the wedding rehearsal, it is important to start by having everyone stand in place. Then, you can practice walking out and finally in once everyone knows where they are going and in what order!
Below is a super helpful diagram showing the suggested positions and order for the wedding processional and recessional. Of course you can do any variation you like but this is just a general guideline that may be helpful to know.
In regards to what else to practice and discuss, there is much more to it than one might expect! Here are a few insider tips:
1. Practice for inclement weather or the unexpected! For example, if the wind is blowing the bride’s hair into her face, discuss switching sides with the groom!
A quick discussion of what to do if you need to go to your Plan B for the wedding ceremony is a fantastic idea! One possible scenario to practice for is wind. Yes, it is traditional for the bride to be stand on the right side during the ceremony. However, if the wind is blowing the wrong direction and your hair is down, switch it up and stand on opposite sides so the bride’s hair flows perfectly away from her face. Cue the ultra-romantic hair blowing in the wind photos instead of the “is that hair in my mouth in every picture scenario?”
Extra pro tip: Make sure you adjust your hair style to accomodate the swapping of sides. For example, if you have planned to have a flower on your right side so it shows when you are standing at the ceremony facing each other, have your stylist switch the flower over to the left to now show on the other side. See below! This expert move to swap with the groom and making sure her hair style did too saved the day.
2. Consider having your rehearsal itself two days before instead of the day before:
A wedding rehearsal is typically held the day before the wedding. However, don’t limit yourself to this idea. If you know your wedding party will be on the Big Island several days prior to the wedding day, consider having your rehearsal two days before. This gives you an extra day to calm your nerves and soak in what we have discussed. It also allows you the opportunity to have a smaller, more intimate wedding rehearsal dinner that can go a little bit later into the evening without you being exhausted. Additionally, as many of our clients do, you are able to still host a Welcome Party the day before when you know most guests will be in town. Spacing out the demands of socializing and hosting creates for a more relaxed experience and more quality time with everyone.
3. Make sure any children (and their supervisor) involved in the wedding ceremony attend the rehearsal:
Let’s face it, most kids have a short attention span. Put them outside, near a beautiful beach or a pristine grassy lawn and you will struggle to keep them on task. However, having them practice their role greatly reduces the chances of failure on the day of. Like most of us, kids want to know what to expect but keep it short and sweet. It is also absolutely essential to assign an adult (preferably not in the wedding party already to handle any meltdowns. (Also, probably obvious but… consider the age of the child before giving them the REAL rings! They can always carry a fake version and the best man can have the real thing already in his pocket)
The list goes on! I think the need for a Wedding Coordinator is really highlighted here! There are just so so many little things – things you can only learn from years of experience – to watch out for when trying to execute a perfect wedding. After so many weddings in Hawaii, we know how to anticipate what might happen at any wedding and what might happen that is unique to Hawaii. We know what to watch out for and what to help you with so things run as smoothly as possible.