Wedding Rehearsal

Best-Of Our Wedding Rehearsal Tips

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 | Filed under: Best Of, wedding planning, Wedding Rehearsal, Wedding Rehearsals | author: By Paul Keenan,    

Best-Of Our Wedding Rehearsal TipsYou’ll gather your bridal party members, officiant, and other important participants in your wedding ceremony for your rehearsal, which is usually held the day or night before the wedding, giving everyone the chance to walk through all of the steps of the ceremony so that everyone is familiar and comfortable with the proceedings during the actual ceremony. Your wedding coordinator may lead the lessons, or you may ask a trusted friend or relative to assist, for a few run-throughs. If you have any questions about who should attend the rehearsal, and especially how to help child bridal party members learn their roles, we’ve collected some of our Best-Of blog posts about what goes on at the rehearsal and how to manage yours the best ways possible:

Wedding Rehearsal

What is a Wedding Rehearsal?

Wedding Rehearsal Planning provides start-to-finish guidance on planning your wedding rehearsal, including who gets invited to the rehearsal, who runs the wedding rehearsal, and how a rehearsal is organized so that you and everyone in your wedding party is comfortable with each step of your ceremony.

How to Plan The Best Guest List

Who Attends the Wedding Rehearsal? We help answer this important question with guidelines on who is the best to invite to your rehearsal, from bridal party members to the people who will do readings during your ceremony, and especially child bridal party members and their parents, who can help motivate the little ones to listen and practice their steps and the tossing of flower petals.

How to Best Guide The Kids

Kids at the Wedding Rehearsal helps you guide the littlest members of your bridal party with their roles, and we also provide some smart tips to help prevent tantrums (note: make sure their outfits and hair décor are comfy!) We help the smallest stars of your bridal party shine on the big day.

Make it the Best it Can Be

Requesting Changes at the Wedding Rehearsal The practice run-though of your wedding ceremony is important also to bring to your attention any detail that needs changing, such as how to pair up your bridal party members, how to group odd numbers of bridal party members, timing the ceremony steps, and positioning where people will stand. You may think you know exactly how your ceremony will go, but in this rehearsal, you and your wedding planner or wedding venue site manager can spot essential changes to be made for the betterment of your perfect wedding ceremony.

Who Attends the Wedding Rehearsal?

Sunday, December 11th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding planning, Wedding Rehearsal, Wedding Rehearsals | author: By Keith Sly,    

As New Jersey’s top wedding venues, the Pleasantdale Chateau, The Manor and the Ram’s Head Inn have been home to countless wedding rehearsals, and we’ve seen the glowing bride and groom prepare for the biggest day of their lives. Who’s invited to attend this very important practice run? We have the wedding etiquette-approved list of who needs to be there…and who isn’t.

First, obviously, the bride and groom need to be present, so that they can not just learn what will happen during each section of the wedding ceremony, but so that they can co-create the personalized ceremony of their dreams. Today’s bride and groom have a voice at their wedding rehearsal, sometimes switching the order of ceremony elements, re-pairing bridesmaids and groomsmen and otherwise designing the most important part of their wedding day.

Next, the bridal party members, and their guests, are invited to the rehearsal dinner. Bridesmaids and groomsmen need to learn where they’ll wait, how they’ll walk down the aisle, what they’ll do during special moments of the ceremony, and how they’ll participate in the recessional. The maid of honor will learn when she’ll need to adjust the bride’s train, hold her flowers, and otherwise be at her service. Why the bridal party guests? According to wedding etiquette, it’s proper to invite them to the rehearsal dinner, so it just works out conveniently to let them attend the wedding rehearsal itself.

Child bridal party attendants, flower girls and ringbearers, are also invited, along with their parents, so that the little ones can practice how they’ll walk and where they’ll stand, so that they’re comfortable and confident in what’s expected of them.

The wedding planner is invited, if you’ve hired one, and may be the person in charge of instructing everyone on each element of the ceremony. The officiant and his or her guest will obviously be there as well, to guide the proceedings and to work with the bride and groom in adjusting any wording, the vows, or other special portions of the ceremony.

Musical performers may also be invited to the wedding rehearsal, although that’s not a Must. Your musicians may require that they attend the rehearsal, so that they can learn the cues of when they’re playing during each portion of the ceremony, so ask your musical experts what their rehearsal policies are, and what you may have to pay them to attend.

Ceremony participants, such as those performing readings or cultural rites, are smartly invited to the wedding rehearsal, so that they too learn when they’ll be expected to stand up and walk to the microphone, and so that they can practice speaking their material on-site.

Parents and grandparents are also invited to the rehearsal, as a special event to witness, as are additional special family members. The smaller the circle of people at the wedding rehearsal, the more efficient the practice session will be, and the sooner you can all get to your lovely rehearsal dinner.


Thank you!

Rolf Shick, Banquet Manager, The Manor

Wedding Rehearsal Planning

Monday, July 18th, 2011 | Filed under: dream wedding, Party Planning, reception planning, Rehearsal Dinner | author: By Keith Sly,    

Your wedding rehearsal brings the focus to the most important part of your wedding day: your wedding ceremony. You and each of your ceremony participants will embark upon a detailed run-through of your ceremony elements, led with experience and efficiency by your wedding planner, your wedding officiant, or our banquet manager for your garden wedding or ballroom wedding here at our West Orange, New Jersey wedding venue.

I say efficiency because it’s a hallmark of today’s wedding rehearsal — especially for our time-conscious New Jersey, New York City and Long Island wedding couples – for the rehearsal to run smoothly and quickly, instructing all and putting everyone at ease about the elements of the wedding ceremony. So to that end, and to help you plan a quick, efficient, and enjoyable wedding rehearsal, here is your primer on what should be practiced at your rehearsal, and what may be skipped for time, and also for that all-important surprise factor on the wedding day:

What’s Practiced:

  • Where the ladies and the men will each gather and await the start of the ceremony.
  • Ushers escorting guests to their seats, including a familiarization with the path of our wedding gardens and the layout of our wedding ceremony room.
  • The lineups for the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, including how they will walk, stand and pair up in duos or trios for the recessional.
  • The processional walking spacing and walking speed for all.
  • Special instructions for child attendants, teaching them how and where to walk.
  • The wedding ceremony elements:
  • The officiant will confirm how the bride wishes for her parent or parents to give their consent, if she wishes to include the ‘giving away’ portion of the wedding ceremony. We’ve found moments like these to be enlightening ones for the bride and groom, places where the wedding rehearsal allows them to tailor the nuances of their ceremony wording.
  • The steps of the religious, spiritual or secular wedding ceremony, including the bride’s and groom’s moving to another location for a ritual, plus the maid of honor’s necessary arranging of the bride’s train.
  • The readings, giving participants the chance to run through the wording, and also learn from the banquet manager or officiant which podium or microphone to approach.
  • The presentation of religious, spiritual or cultural elements.
  • The wedding vows (optional – some couples wish to run through classic or traditional vows, and some wish to keep them a surprise until the wedding day.)
  • The exchange of rings, acted out, without the actual rings.
  • The kiss.
  • The presentation of the bride and groom to all in attendance as a married couple.
  • The recessional, including how the bride and groom will walk back down the aisle together, bridal party members’ walking in the processional, and the process by which groomsmen will return to the front row to indicate parents’ turn in the recessional.
  • The receiving line order, if the couple wishes to have a receiving line at this point.

What’s Not Practiced:

Again, at their wedding rehearsal, many of our local brides and grooms appreciate speeding things along, so that no one gets restless, and so that they can get to the fine restaurant dining experience of their rehearsal dinner on time. So these are the elements that are most often not practiced at the rehearsal:

  • The officiant performing the entirety of readings to be used in the ceremony.
  • The entirety of wedding vows. A trend we’re seeing in wedding rehearsals here at our West Orange, New Jersey wedding venue is couples practicing the traditional beginning of their wedding vows – “to have and to hold, etc.” – but keeping their personalized ending sections private for now, as a surprise to their intended, as well as to all present.
  • Religious elements, such as the receiving of Mass.
  • Musical performances, or cultural performances.
  • The bride and groom’s departure to the wedding limousine.

Trust in the experience of our banquet manager or your special events expert as your group enacts the steps at your wedding rehearsal and you’ll find that you have a greater sense of comfort about your wedding day, fewer nerves distracting you, and a wonderful ability to take in all of the beautiful details and meaningful elements of your New Jersey wedding.


Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Requesting Changes at the Wedding Rehearsal

Thursday, April 28th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By Keith Sly,    

Today’s brides and grooms at our West Orange, New Jersey wedding venue are active participants in their wedding rehearsals. They know what they want, and they’re not afraid to speak up about any changes they wish to make in any element of their wedding celebration. So at the wedding rehearsal, you are perfectly within your rights to request changes on anything from the lineup order of your bridesmaids to the speed at which you wish to walk down the aisle.

Wedding Rehearsal

Wedding Rehearsal

Here are the top details that may be up for discussion and change at your wedding rehearsal:

• The order in which you’d like your bridesmaids to walk in the processional and thus stand during the ceremony. Some brides like the look of a tallest-to-shortest order, to avoid any presumption of favoritism or ranking among bridesmaids.

• The order in which you’d like the groomsmen to stand next to the groom, again arranging by height, or by what the groom feels would be a natural order.

• The positioning of your two maids of honor, or your groom’s two best men, according to the roles you’ve assigned them. One maid of honor, for instance, may be the one to hold your bouquet during the ring exchange, while the other may be the one to sign your NJ marriage license.

• The order and pairings in which your bridesmaids and groomsmen will walk in the recessional. When you have an uneven number of bridesmaids, one groomsman may escort two bridesmaids down the aisle, for instance.

• Child attendants’ walk down the aisle in the processional, including if they will each walk alone, in pairs, or holding the hand of a bridesmaid.

• Where child attendants will sit or stand during the ceremony. It often works best for child attendants to sit in the front row during the ceremony, to reduce distractions.

• The reading of vows. If you find that it’s too nerve-wracking to memorize your vows, you may ask the officiant to read them off line-by-line, for you to repeat more comfortably.

• How you will be introduced as husband and wife.

• The location and order of the receiving line, if you wish to have one.

Additional, non-ceremony elements such as where the guest book will be placed and where wedding programs will be located at the wedding ceremony venue.

Some elements cannot be changed if they are already printed in your wedding programs, such as the order of the readings or the musical performance, but much of the wedding ceremony is yours to fine-tune as you wish.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

Kids at the Wedding Rehearsal

Thursday, March 17th, 2011 | Filed under: wedding gifts, wedding planning, wedding receptions, Wedding Rehearsal | author: By Keith Sly,    

While some wedding websites advise choosing child attendants who are no younger than six years old, we know that your adored nieces and nephews may be younger than that, and you very much want them to be your flowergirls and ringbearers. Here at our wedding banquet hall and wedding gardens, we’ve seen children as young as two perform quite well as child attendants, and the key is smart preparations for the little ones at the wedding rehearsal.

Our wedding staff, as well as the top wedding coordinators and special event experts in the New Jersey region, has helped many brides and grooms during their wedding rehearsals, offering our expertise in helping flowergirls and ringbearers prepare for their big moment at the wedding. The key, we’ve found, is making sure kids are comfortable, know what to expect, and know what they might earn by behaving well.

Here are some top tips for helping kids at your wedding rehearsal, improving your odds of a tantrum-free day:

• Be sure that child attendants will be comfortable in their wedding day clothing. Itchy lace collars and shirt tags that poke, too-tight bow ties and other wardrobe issues are the #1 cause of kids’ acting badly at weddings. So be sure the kids’ dresses and tuxes have been checked and adjusted to allow for the little ones’ comfort.

• Be sure that kids have eaten before the wedding, and that they’ve had plenty of water to drink. Hunger and thirst are also top causes of kids’ misbehavior. So practice the same Musts for the rehearsal.

• Tell kids what they’ll see when they walk down the aisle. A practice walk down empty rows is very different than the people-filled rows, flashbulbs, flowers and other distractions. From the youngest kids to the teens, spell out the things they’re likely to see as they walk down the aisle.

• For small children, have a treat waiting for them at the end of the aisle. A grandparent might be holding a big, colorful lollipop or a (silent) toy that they can have when they reach the end of the aisle.

• Allow kids to sit down during the ceremony. This big trend provides for kids’ comfort, they can sit with parents who can shush them if needed, and kids won’t be tempted to wander around, fidget or panic in the face of so many people looking at them.

• Let kids practice their walks down the aisle a few times, and test out who they’re most comfortable walking with. There’s no rule saying the flowergirl has to walk alone. If she’s happiest walking with the maid of honor, that adjustment may be made.

• If children are frightened, talk with them privately to ask what they’re concerned about. A child is more likely to open up about her shoes being slippery on the aisle runner than she might be with a dozen strangers looking at her.

• Prepare children for what happens after the ceremony, that they’ll pose for photos, then be introduced into the room at the reception, dance and sit with the other kids. When children know what to expect, they don’t act out as much.

Keep these tips in mind, and your child attendants will have more fun, be happier and more comfortable and thus be a wonderful part of your wedding day.

Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château

To make an appointment with a banquet manager, please contact us at 973-731-3100.