Do we really need a ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner?

The short answer is yes, and here’s why.

A ceremony rehearsal is the ideal opportunity for anyone who will be participating in some way during the ceremony (wedding party members, readers, ushers, etc.) to practice their role. While a ceremony rehearsal is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended to have one. A rundown of the ceremony—from when to walk and where to stand to what to say and what comes next—will calm any pre-wedding jitters and ensure everyone who is helping knows what to expect and when their part is coming up to make them comfortable on the day of. The ceremony rehearsal is also an opportunity for anyone to ask questions and walk-through logistics, so the wedding group feels confident in what to expect at the ceremony. (And if you’re wondering if a wedding officiant should attend the rehearsal, the answer is a resounding yes and you can find out why here.)

Although a rehearsal dinner is optional, it is the perfect opportunity for a couple’s loved ones to socialize before the wedding day in a more relaxed environment. A rehearsal dinner (or breakfast or lunch or brunch—it can be anything despite its name), can be as informal or formal and as large or small as the couple wants it to be. There are no “rules” when it comes to rehearsal dinners, but the benefit of having one is it gives both sides the chance to get together before the wedding day, which is generally a more formal, stressful and jampacked event. In the past, rehearsal dinners were intimate and generally included immediate family members and the wedding party, but rehearsal dinners today are based on the couple’s preference for how many people they want to invite as well as what kind of pre-wedding event they want to have, from a barbecue in the park to a plated meal in a restaurant.

Whether couple chooses to have a ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, there are clear benefits to having both.

Monday, May 30, 2022

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