I do not conduct wedding rehearsals all the time. If the couple is Filipino and they have the same religion and they do not feel the need for it, I do not. If they have different religions, it is a must. If both are based abroad, I recommend that we have one. I do not require it because of the extra expense. Some churches require extra fee for the use of the church and air conditioning unit. I require it because they have to have a preview of how the ceremony will go.
Last 11 months ago today, I conducted this wedding rehearsal. My bride was a Filipino based in Hong Kong where she works as marketing executive while my groom works for a United Nations project. The groom’s family and friends arrived from different parts of the globe and come with different faiths.
Of course, the bride must get it perfectly.
The last thing I want is for my foreign guests to be left out. So I also had to let them in on the plans for outside the church activities.
Done with rehearsal. Wedding was happening in two days. The bride and groom-to be were off to their dance rehearsal.
Have you ever been to a wedding rehearsal? How was it done? Normally, this is how I do it.
1. Announce that you will meet all the members of the entourage at the altar or front seats
2. Prepare names of entourage and seat plan. Bring masking tape to make sure your place cards are not gone with the wind at the time you start rehearsing. Position each name as per seat plan.
3. When everybody is seated, start the briefing. Mentally take them on a walk through. Tell them that they are already seated at their designated seats on the day
4. Invite everyone at the back of the church and position them accordingly for the march. Ask them to remember who they are standing with. Exchange pleasantries but do not socialize so as not to delay the rehearsal. Observe this specially when another party is using the church after your group
5. Processional March
6. Rehearse the different roles of the entourage during the mass
7. When everybody is seated, brief them one more time. Include church decorum, proper time of arrival, and open the table for questions and give clear and concise answers
8. Recessional March
9. Brief the entourage of out-of-church activities
10. Wish everyone well. Socialize. End of church rehearsal
I like it best when the church proceedings go smoothly without noticing church and wedding coordinators. How about you?