People sometimes wonder: ‘Is a rehearsal necessary’? My guide is, if there are more in the wedding party than the two witnesses, then YES, please do yourself the favour of a rehearsal, and here is why. The average ceremony is only about 20 minutes long and you want those 20 minutes to be as perfect as they can be. Many people in the wedding party, let alone children are nervous. A rehearsal provides the time for a run through to calm those nerves so that everyone can just enjoy the wedding day.
If everyone (wedding party, parents and possibly the musicians) is there on time a typical rehearsal takes about 1/2 hr. When choosing a time, make it so at least the Best Man and Maid of Honour can be there. Some venues Wedding Planner will conduct the rehearsal, that is fine but as an Officiant it is important to have me there so that I am aware of what is planned. To save time the Bride and Groom can talk about: Music, is there the same song for the entire bridal party, or a special song for the bride as well, who is seating the Mother’s, where the Grooms(men) enter from, the order of the groomsmen and bridesmaids and children, where the bride enters from and with whom, and who is walking with whom when leaving.
During the rehearsal the Happy Couple can set up the wedding party at the front to their liking, and the people in the wedding party become familiar with where they are standing and how far apart they are, so that pictures look nice. A walk out and a walk in are done, as well as a run through of the movements of the ceremony (i.e. any rituals and the signing of the license). Once is usually enough, but I make sure the bride and the wedding party feel comfortable before I leave.
Consideration should also take place at rehearsal for outdoor weddings especially, where the sun will be at the time of the ceremony and also making sure the aisle is wide enough to accommodate couples walking up and down them.
With the rehearsal over there is one less thing for the wedding party to fret over. Will small challenges occur on the wedding day… possibly… but relax and enjoy the day!