Is it necessary and/or mandatory to have a wedding rehearsal?
If so, should it be on the church itself?
What if you decided to hold it, because 'tradition' says so (-->or more on your parents would want you to...) how should this go about?
Something to share...
I found a good article relating to this from Manila Standard:
To hold a wedding rehearsal or not is one of the questions most couples have to answer during the latter part of the wedding preparation. It’s quite common, in fact, a must in Western countries for couples to have a rehearsal and are in themselves an event. Rehearsal dinners are times for all the members of the entourage to meet and get together. It is also the time for the bride and groom to give any last minute instructions to those helping them out for the wedding.
In the Philippines (and other Asian countries), wedding rehearsals are quite rare due to the differences in our culture, and to the fact that scheduling one can be quite difficult. Our churches have regular mass schedules all week round. The only time most rehearsals may be scheduled is from 1 to 4 p.m. or after the last evening mass (around 7 p.m.). For those members of the entourage who hold office, it means taking time off from their work during the day or after work to attend a rehearsal.
Is a wedding rehearsal really necessary? Yes it is, if any of these combinations are present in your wedding!
• When many young children under five years of age are part of the entourage, a rehearsal is necessary before the big event. Facing a horde of strangers in a venue that is big and unfamiliar can cause any child to cry and/or throw a tantrum. The rehearsal is one way for the parents to explain to the child what he or she is called to do on that day and the reasons behind it. Familiarization with the church such as length of the aisle, the imposing statues and so on can also be done during this time.
• A larger than usual entourage such as more than eight bridesmaids and groomsmen, some junior bridesmaids and groomsmen, and other younger members of the entourage like the bearers and flower girls. It would be best if all of them know who they will be partnered with and in what sequence they will be walking.
• An entourage that has members coming from abroad will not be familiar with our wedding ceremony customs. They will need to be briefed and instructed on what their roles entail.
• A wedding ceremony that demands a more active and detailed participation for some members of the entourage with regards the liturgical readings, offertory procession, song numbers, etc. Many ceremonies lose their effectiveness and even solemnity due to the ignorance or lack of knowledge of one participant at the wedding. He or she should have been told what to do and how to do it beforehand. Roles such as being a reader or offerer are easy but some participants do get overwhelmed and nervous so it’s better to be sure by having a rehearsal.
• A church or ceremony site that is rather strict when it comes to schedules and regulations. Most churches are quite definite on what they will or will not allow. Some, for example, will cancel a wedding that is 15 minutes late, others do not allow children below three years old to march, and most do request that entourage members are wearing the proper attire. All these restrictions must be listed down and explained to all those involved in the wedding to avoid any problems on that day.
Most rehearsals are held at least one week before the wedding, so that the most current wedding information can be disseminated and the members are least likely to forget any instructions given. Rehearsals are great ice breakers for everyone concerned and enable the members of the wedding party to rehearse their roles and duties.
Not all solemnizing officers/officiants will conduct or attend rehearsals since not all feel they are necessary. If this is true for your wedding, then may I suggest you designate someone or, better yet, yourself to take over conducting the rehearsal. This is why having a ceremony program or missalette is important because it provides structure and form to the whole wedding ceremony. You must run through the ceremony from start to finish (processional to recessional) and point out where each person must be and what they should be doing during the ceremony. It might be helpful if you and the groom prepare beforehand a list of the things to be done and, by whom, and then hand this out to them just prior to the rehearsal. A lovely way to cap this event would be to hold a merienda or dinner for everyone who attended to show how much you appreciated their help.
By Rita Neri