Can You Ever Skip a Wedding Rehearsal?

Etiquette, Planning Tips

By the time you've reached your mid-20s and 30s, it's tempting to think that you could walk a wedding in your sleep. You know the order in which the bridal party walks down the aisle — at what point in the ceremony the couple says "I do," — and how to release after the ceremony, expressing major excitement at the reception. So in this day and age, with several ceremonies under your belt, do you really need a wedding rehearsal?

Wedding experts agree that while it's always best to have a wedding rehearsal, there are a few exceptions to the rule. "If you don't have a wedding party, or if you only have one attendant each, you can likely wing it," explains Amy Nichols, owner of California-based Amy Nichols Special Events and co-founder of The Poppy Group. However, she's also quick to caution — you should only go this route "if you have a good planner who has walked you through the order of which everyone should process, and who is standing where."

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Jennae Saltzman, owner of Blush & Whim in Minneapolis, adds that a couple could even choose to forgo a rehearsal if their wedding is a small affair. In that case, hosting a breezy walk-through on the day of the wedding "will ensure you know where to walk from and where to stand," she says. "It's also important to go over the format of the ceremony with your officiant."

Remember, "a wedding rehearsal is really to help everyone get over any last minute jitters or questions about who enters from where, what order people process in, and what order people process out," says Nichols. So if you go without a rehearsal, you'll need to convey this information another way. Go over your desired format with your planner, officiant and wedding party — even writing it down for everyone to review — before your big day. Let everyone know that there will not be an official wedding rehearsal beforehand, so please pay close attention to the review. This should result in a smooth, rehearsal free enjoyable wedding.

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