Ages ago before I became a marriage celebrant I heard about a couple who had rehearsed their marriage ceremony. Rehearsed? I thought to myself. What? Why? Why would you have to rehearse this special moment? Wouldn’t rehearsing fundamentally flaw it? Ruin the very MOMENT of it? Surely you make those vows, says those words, stand there trembling with the emotion of it ONCE in your life! Isn’t that what makes getting married so special? Isn’t that why it is UNIQUE? That you do it once and let the nerves, the emotions, the little slips and glitches flow over and eddy around as part of the essence of your special day?
And when I first became a celebrant 20 years ago no-one ever talked about the rehearsal. No-one asked for it, no-one mentioned it. Nowadays, however bridal magazines and publicity for celebrants put the rehearsal out as de rigeur. Do you conduct a rehearsal? Some couples ask, as advised by whatever source they are quoting. Most couples, in my experience, don’t require a rehearsal, and it is quite enough for most men to front-up once for this little piece of private theatre that is their wedding ceremony.
This is my response when people ask me about rehearsals – maybe it is not PC but it is the truth:
“If, after you’ve met with me and discussed your ceremony, chosen it and feel comfortable with it, you feel you need a rehearsal at the site of your wedding, there is a fee for that, accrued because of extra time and travel. You would also need to give me a month’s notice of this.
However, to run through your ceremony wording in my office (and feel free to bring your bridal party) – that is all part of my fee and would take place at the second meeting after your initial booking.
You might still like to go on site some time with your bridal party to practise walking in (in heels) and knowing where to stand and timing your entrance song if you’re having one.
All of this can be relayed to me because basically I will do what you tell me.”