It is a good idea to prepare a wedding day schedule in writing to pass out to wedding participants a week or more before the wedding so they can make appointments and you can clear up misunderstandings or concerns (Individual schedules will vary depending on the responsibilities). Make sure to bring a copy with you to the rehearsal in case you need to make adjustments. The schedule should include details like: time and place of pre-wedding gathering, time and place the bride and attendants will dress, time and place of hair and make-up appointments, arrival time for each individual, time and place of portraits, and time and place of the ceremony and reception. Since each wedding is different, more information could be required and the clearer you are- the less room for misunderstandings. Also consider your attendants and discuss travel times, consider asking typically late friends to show up earlier to “help you with _______,” and make sure your vendors and officiant are aware of when they are expected to be there.
As you may have discovered, a lot of work goes into a wedding day. Making sure everyone involved is aware of their delegated duties will help put your mind at ease as well as ensure that things will get done how and when you want them. Many responsibilities maybe handled by hired professionals, but it is not a bad idea to ask exactly what they will provide the day of the wedding. It is helpful to go over tasks you’ve asked family or friends to do at your rehearsal. Such responsibilities include: who will drive the bride, groom, attendants, family members to the ceremony; who will distribute the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres; who will be responsible for transporting wedding gifts, who will return the rentals after the wedding, who will notify professionals when to begin the processional music, start refreshments, monitor the volume of the music; who will direct guests where to put gifts and sign the guest book; etc.
Some may think weddings are as simple as walking down the aisle but you will notice several details and decisions need to be made once you practice your ceremony all the way through at your location. In her book, A Bride’s Touch, author Sara L. Ambarian advises, “every problem you solve at the rehearsal is one you will not have to face on your wedding day”(261). She provides several ceremony considerations such as: how and when programs will be distributed and by who, who will escort the guests into the ceremony, are the ushers aware of the seating (if you decide on the traditional groom friends and family on right and brides on the left, how many rows are reserved for close friends and family, where will the groom enter the ceremony, what is the order of the attendants, is the processional music long enough, etc.? If you run through the process a few times everyone involved will feel more comfortable and you will be prepared for the hand off, the kiss, and the specifics of the real day.
Source used to write this article:
Ambarian, Sara L. “At the Rehearsal.” A Brides Touch: A Handbook of Wedding Personality and Inspiration. Gresham: Symbios. 1997. Print. (259-261)