What Brides Forget to Rehearse

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Details to Practice Before Your Wedding

Most wedding couples expect to rehearse the processional and recessional before their big day, but what about the Big Kiss? Here, a few smaller ceremony details you should consider practicing before your wedding.

The first dance.

The first dance is a major event, as all eyes are on the two of you as you take to the floor as man and wife. Even if you’re both “DWTS” alumnus and have rehearsed the waltz for weeks, you need to do a run-through.

“I tell all couples to rehearse the first dance with their wedding clothes on,” says Danielle Bobish, of Curtain Up Events in New York City. “Heels can get caught in the dress, things can fall out.” Should you be “rhythmically-deprived,” Bobish can’t stress how important a dry run is. “Also, you might have never danced to the song with the actual band,” she says.

Reception toasts.

Toasts are another detail that benefit with practice. “Tell the people toasting to keep it short, no more than 5 minutes,” says Bobish, “and remind them to rehearse in private.” Nerves and alcohol are more than likely to make people forgetful, and nothing dampens the mood more than a 20-minute soliloquy.

Your vows.

The same goes for your vows. As heartfelt as your words are, once you get in front of an audience your stage fright level will go up 100%! All vows should be rehearsed several times; immediately before the ceremony, take a couple of minutes to go over them again. There’s nothing wrong with having them written down, and you can have someone in the wedding party hand them to you at the proper moment.

The receiving line.

If you don’t have a wedding planner or church official available, make sure a reliable person (Maid of Honor, Mom) knows ahead of time where the receiving line forms and who stands next to whom. Also, assign a sociable friend to stand next to you to keep the line moving. You don’t want to spend more than about 30 seconds with each couple, but your loved ones won’t know to move on unless someone politely grabs them away.

One of the smartest things couples can do, according to Bobish, is to spend 30 minutes the day of the wedding to go over the basics. This is an especially good idea if your ceremony is in a spot where you can’t rehearse, like the beach or a busy entertainment hall. “Talk to everyone in your wedding the night before,” says Bobish, “so they get a feel for what the order is and who they are following. On the day of, it will be a simple process that hardly takes any time.”

The first kiss.

As for that kiss? “It can be weird if you’ve never kissed in public,” says Bobish. “If that’s the case, talk it over so you know how to make it presentable.” In all the excitement, it’s not uncommon for couples to turn their heads the same way and hit each other’s noses or foreheads. “But remember,” she adds, “more than anything, you want your wedding to be organic and spontaneous.” Well toast to that!

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