Children and Pets at Weddings

If you've ever been a part of a bridal party, you've probably been a part of the wedding rehearsal at the couple's ceremony location.

Most rehearsals occur the day before the wedding or even the morning of!

It might not seem important to you at the time, but come the next day, you might be in a panic trying to remember what the coordinator told you.

Where was I supposed to stand?  

How high do I hold my bouquet?  

What are my cues to walk down the aisle?

Listen to the coordinator and focus on every detail they give you.

You've agreed to be a part of this wedding, so now is your time to step it up!

Most importantly, the bride and groom are relying on you to provide support and ensure their wedding day is a success!

They'll be looking to you if they forgot their cues.

You're presence (and obedience) at the rehearsal will be much appreciated, especially when they are able to look back at their picture and videos from the ceremony knowing everything went perfectly!

Here are a few important details that you'll need to get right during the rehearsal...

1. Line Up

Wedding Rehearsal: bridal-party-by-height

Jen Huang Photography

The order of which groomsman is paired with which bridesmaid should be decided on before the rehearsal.

Some choose to order it by height or even how long you've been friends, etc.

Whatever the case, everyone should know who they are paired with beforehand so it is out of the way before the rehearsal.

If you have uneven numbers, that's okay!

Just be sure the order is clear and everyone knows who is walking with whom.

Someone may have to walk alone, so make sure they are comfortable with that.

2. Arm/Bouquet Placement

Wedding Rehearsal Tips: Bouquet Placement

As simple as this sounds, this is where a lot of people go wrong.

If you are a bridesmaid or bride, your bouquet should be placed at hip level.

The dress you're wearing should be shown off, not covered by flowers.

Not only that, but if you hold the bouquet too high, it will look awkward in your photographs.

The focus should not be on your bust!

If you are being escorted down the aisle, whichever arm is not holding the bouquet should be linked with your groomsman.

Groomsmen - be sure that the arm that you link is held firmly in front of your waist, instead of dangling.

Take a hint from the royal couple!

3. Cues and Pacing

Wedding Ceremony Cues

Miranda Karkling Photography

Listen to your coordinator!

This is one of the main reasons why you hired them, to keep everything on track.

You might not be able to hear the music cues that you are supposed to walk to, but your coordinator should be there to tell you when to start walking.

Try to keep the same pace you practiced in the rehearsal.

If someone walks a bit too fast or a bit too slow it might be very noticeable.

If live musicians will be playing the day of the wedding, I recommend they be present at the rehearsal, or know the ins and outs of the ceremony.

I've seen musicians miss their cues countless times, which can throw off the ceremony.

Your coordinator is there to be sure this all goes smoothly, so look to them if the musician starts playing the wrong song.

4. Placement

Wedding Rehearsal: Placement

SY Photography

Some ceremony locations may be quite cramped, so everyone will have a specific spot to stand.

If some bridesmaids are standing practically on top of one another while others are extremely far apart, it will look sloppy in the photographs (see above).

If you're worried about not getting it right, place some sort of marker where everyone should stand.

Try to stand at the same angle as everyone else.

That will help make everything look uniform.

5. Children and Pets

Children and Pets at Weddings

Lemon Lime Photography

If you have a  ring bearer or flower girl, they are the ones that need the rehearsal perhaps more than anyone!

Make sure they understand their importance in the ceremony, and have the coordinator and/or their parents lure them up the aisle as best as possible.

If you're worried about them fidgeting or making silly faces during the ceremony, have them sit with their parents after their walk down the aisle.

If you're using your pet for this role, be sure that someone is in charge of them after they walk the aisle in case they start to bark or misbehave, as they might need to be taken away for the remainder of the ceremony.

Other quick tips:

1.  Always wear the shoes that you plan on wearing at the wedding.

Better to practice walking in them before the big day!

2.  More often than not, there will probably be at least one member of the bridal party who will not be able to attend the rehearsal.

It is the responsibility of the other bridesmaids or groomsmen to fill them in on all the important details above.

3.  Stay sober for the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony.

You need to be alert and at your best!

4.  In general, and the golden rule, behave how you would like your friends to behave during your wedding rehearsal.

If you take it seriously, then hopefully they'll do the same for you!

5. When the wedding day arrives, be sure to smile while you walk down the aisle!

 Your Turn...

Did you have any wedding rehearsal nightmares? Share your stories with us in the comments below...