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Dan Jones, Wedding Officiant

Embracing Ceremony Blog

Wedding Rehearsal, Part One – Should I Have One?

When planning a large, traditional wedding ceremony you’ll inevitably include a rehearsal as part of your plans and include a dinner for the attendees. If your ceremony is to be a small, casual affair you’ll likely forego the rehearsal aspect of the festivities. In between these two extremes reside many of your weddings: small to medium guest lists, casual venues and how many people are in your wedding party. All of these factors can point you in differing directions as to whether you should have a rehearsal. As a Taos wedding minister, when I officiate in Taos, New Mexico it is usually a destination wedding and in this instance rehearsals are a good opportunity for me to meet the bride and groom for the first time.

Having officiated hundreds of ceremonies between Denver and Taos, one benefit of working with me is that you’ll have a detailed ceremony script well ahead of your big day.  This script is created from your input and desires. It will spell out the sequences and cues, particularly for the Processional which can be the trickiest part of the wedding.

As your experienced Taos wedding celebrant I’m usually able to help you quickly decide what will work best for your circumstances. Following are some tips that you might find helpful. These are guidelines – there is no absolute right or wrong.

  • Guest List – If your guest list is small, say under 20, you likely do not need a rehearsal
  • Wedding Party – How many attendants will you have? One each is pretty manageable without a rehearsal, and the more you add from there the more beneficial you’ll find a rehearsal.
  • Venue – Are you getting married at a mountain trailhead? You’ll not need a rehearsal for that. Or will your ceremony be at a country club that has an experienced staff? If the latter and you’re armed with a script you may well be able to count on the staff to line you up and give you your cues.
  • Your Officiant – include your wedding officiant in the decision, utilizing their experience.

In closing, if you’re still not sure I would suggest you have the rehearsal. It will always result in a more polished event that runs with less stress on you. Look for my next installment on rehearsals discussing whether to involve your marriage celebrant in the rehearsal and if not, see my third installment on how to run your own rehearsal.

Want more information on this topic? Email Dan at Dan@EmbracingCeremony.com

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