Here are a few things to remember to plan for, as well as some helpful tips for keeping your wandering crowd focused.
Plan for it to take twice as long as you think it will.
The larger your wedding party, the more time this whole process will take. It simply takes a lot time to figure out the logistics and then get it right. Although it's very simple, it's also very time-consuming. So, save yourself the stress and see if you can extend your rehearsal time.
Someone's gotta be in charge.
If you have a wedding planner, this is where they shine (and where they totally earn every dollar you're paying them). If it's falling on you, it's crucial for you to be focused, but good-humored. When you've got 20 people all getting to know each other, it's hard to hear everyone and be efficient. Start the rehearsal off with a quick speech relaying that the sooner this is done, the sooner the rehearsal dinner can begin! If you do it in a friendly and relatable way, they'll see where you are coming from and get on board. After all, they don't want to be at the rehearsal forever, either.
Be prepared. Really, really prepared.
There are so many details to juggle at your rehearsal, so you'll want to bring everything you'll need. Remember to bring your music (more on that in a minute), bridal party shoes, your own shoes or ones in a similar style, flower girl and ring bearer accessories, and any readings. It's also a good idea to pack a notepad in case you need to jot something down.
Your friends have never been on time to anything in their lives. A wedding party that's unreliable with a deadline can wreak havoc on a rehearsal schedule. Do whatever you can to ensure that they are there on time and ready to get this thing done. It might even be worth your while to rent a party bus that will also take you to and from your rehearsal dinner.
Be friendly, but not your chattiest self.
Weddings are full of sentimental moments where people want to reminisce. And later that night there will be plenty of time to share over dinner. Help move things along by not falling into long conversations. Stay friendly, but steer the group towards focusing on the task at hand.
Physically walking through the ceremony is important.
Much like the rehearsal of a play, this is where you figure out how much time should go between each attendant starting their walk down the aisle or whether or not the bridesmaids' shoes are slipping on the venue's tile floors. You also want to play your music so that you can make sure songs are playing at the right times and the music isn't running out before the processional is over. This is also when you realize that when you ask someone to just walk slowly, but normally, that people seem to be unable to do just that. Smile and laugh it off, and just reassure them to be natural.
Run it through at least twice, more if need be.
It's always a good idea to do a second run-through to make sure the kinks from the first time have been ironed out. The adjustments you made to the shoes or to the flower girl's baskets have been completed, and now you're just making sure it all flows. If after the second time, people are still missing their cues or stumbling through when to start the readings, rehearse it again. By the time you leave your venue for dinner, you should all feel confident in where you need to be and what you need to do during the ceremony.
Calm nervous attendants.
Another benefit to "over" rehearsing is that you will calm the nerves of any attendants who aren't comfortable in front of a crowd. There's always at least one, and these friends need special attention to make sure they look at ease in front of the cameras tomorrow (a bridesmaid looking like she's marching towards the guillotine is just not a good thing). Before you leave, take a moment with your attendants to make sure that everyone is feeling as good as you are about the rehearsal, and answer any questions that may have come up.
Photography | Powers Photography Studios