A wedding rehearsal normally takes 45 minutes, 15 to get everyone together and 30 minutes to go over everything from the processional to placement.
All wedding officiants and ministers charge for a rehearsal for a specific reason, we are doing a ceremony twice when a rehearsal is involved.
If children are in the wedding party I suggest a rehearsal that includes them to ensure they are comfortable and at ease at the wedding.
Now, parents often attend a rehearsal and, if they are in the wedding party or, giving the bride away, they are most assuredly included in a rehearsal. After all- the idea for a ceremony to be rehearsed is to ensure that everyone is comfortable and at ease prior to the big event.
Questions I ask during the rehearsal often include who will be giving the bride away? How many members are in the wedding party? Are there additional elements that create a customized ceremony that I should be aware of and if I have not been paid, who is responsible for payment.
The rehearsal does NOT include a full version of the ceremony and additional elements (handwritten vows, sand ceremony, unity candle, family inclusion, etc) to prevent the disruption of the emotional elements on the day of the wedding.
A wrench in the works? The unexpected and consistent demands to be included in a rehearsal from guests. Wedding rehearsals are for the wedding party and do NOT include the desires or, demands of a guest attending the rehearsal. This issue has happened so many times, I’m addressing it in this blog.
While I strive to include everyone and calm a few ruffled feathers, I’m not a magician and, on rare occasions, have had to address families with ex wives or ex husbands PRIOR to the wedding to ensure a smooth flowing ceremony.
Deciding who is going to give the bride away needs to be decided early and, my personal opinion is, not I or anyone else should object should the bride choose one parent, both parents, her dog, her best friend, her grandparents or, even her pet to walk her down the aisle. This is a personal decision to be made by the bride and objections regarding this must be addressed prior to a rehearsal.
On LBGT unions, I encourage that both parents, or grandparents or, whoever is chosen accompanies both brides to the aisle in an effort to honor “those who have guided her through life and given her the wings to fly.”
My favorite weddings have often been the ones that included participation from the couple, although I have made accommodations for ex wives and, ex husbands many times to “keep the peace.”
Once, we had a wedding with a stepmother, mother and Godmother who insisted on three separate weddings to have their “moment in the sun.”
I was not made aware of a problem until ten minutes prior to the wedding! This created undue stress to not only myself but also the guests who probably didn’t plan to sit in the sun through three ceremonies! Please ensure that if you’re aware of a conflict- to address it early on to prevent such occurrences from happening at your wedding.
On pets at your wedding- I love including pets at weddings. After all, mans best friend is a part of your life and, I once had a horse give away the bride at a rustic event. Her horse was the childhood friend who had carried her through the tragic death of both parents in a small plane crash years earlier.
On guests at a rehearsal demanding to be included- I’m on a timeline. Often, I have several events on the same day and, I simply do not have time to address your concerns of they exceed 5-45 minutes. Certainly if your concerns exceed an hour- I will now require an additional fee for late or tardy issues directly related to a GUESTZILLA who repeatedly interrupts either the wedding OR the rehearsal.
My job is to direct the wedding party not to make the event “all about” someone who is feeling “left out” of a ceremony. I’m a counselor with Twogether in Texas and, my fee is $275 an hour for marriage counseling, pre marital counseling and, crisis intervention. However, weddings and rehearsals are not the place to address such issues and, counseling is an additional fee on top of the rehearsal and the wedding.
I have performed hundreds of ceremonies that had slight variations, minor conflicts or an unexpected issue without being forced to use a trump card of “it’s them or me but one of us will be leaving.” This is because I’m very good at my job and enjoy what I do.
Taking the joy out of an event simply because you feel you have been left out is your issue, not mine.
Ensuring that everyone knows where to walk or stand is my job and, insight from the wishes of the bridal couple ensures that their wishes are met which is actually the most important element of my business.
I created a business to offer everyone the opportunity to have an affordable and beautiful event, and my reputation is the key to my success.
Simply because a guest is attending a rehearsal does not and will not give this person an opportunity to create conflict among the couple, bridal party or myself.
Please remember that you are a guest and as such, we can all hope that you keep your opinion to yourself and conduct yourself with courtesy and respect to not only the couple but also, me.
Should I be forced to leave an event due to outrageous conduct by an unruly participant- my fees are non refundable.