Running a Rehearsal

Now that wedding season is upon us, I thought I’d spend the next couple of posts giving some tips to make the day itself run a bit more smoothly.  If you aren’t working with a DOC you may be wondering "who runs my ceremony and rehearsal?".  This is especially true if your ceremony isn’t at a house of worship.  Here are a few tips to keep things moving right on the track:
1. Designate a Stage Manager. We’ve all seen those shows where the bride is running herself ragged running her own rehearsal (and trying to run the ceremony).  Name a friend or relative to give directions and to stand in the back and say "walk" if no one on your vendor team can do so.
2. Create a Floorplan.  Weddingceremonystep3_2
Ceremony floorplans look a lot like football play diagrams.  In advance, decide what order and in what pairing your attendants will walk down the aisle.  Create a diagram of where everyone in the wedding party and immediate family  will be the moment the ceremony begins.  This will help because when you practice you will…..
3. Start at the end and go backwards.  When you are going to start your rehearsal, have your "Stage Manager" get everyone into their "end positions".  Once everyone is in place, practice the recessional.  This should (unless you’ve got some crazy configurations going on with your attendants) put everyone more or less in the order they need to be in to practice PROCESSING, the hardest part.
4. Have Someone in the Back to Say "Go".  The hardest part of a wedding ceremony is the pacing.  Have someone in the back to make sure the bridal party doesn’t crowd one another and to say "GO!" (quietly) when it’s time for the next ‘maid or couple to enter in. 
Are you planning on having a rehearsal before your wedding?