There’s no rule that says you must have a wedding rehearsal. If you have a small bridal party, and the ceremony does not include any wedding rituals or readings, then you can probably get away with not having a rehearsal. However, if your wedding is more formal—and especially if you have children participating in the ceremony, then I recommend you do one.
Personally, I’m a big fan of a walk-through. The main reason is that, without a doubt, they make everything run smoother on the day. It’s a great opportunity to tap into the knowledge and expertise of the celebrant. Having said that, I’ve done lots of weddings without a rehearsal for couples who felt they didn’t need one, and they worked out fine too.
Generally you’ll have the rehearsal the day before the wedding, either in the morning or the evening at the venue (because the venue and the celebrant will likely have another wedding in the afternoon of the day before).
You don’t have to have an on-site rehearsal. It might be more convenient to just have it a local park or in your back yard.
You don’t have to have it the day before the wedding. It might suit you better to have it the Sunday before or an evening that week.
Book in the date and time of the rehearsal sooner rather than later. Rehearsals can be tricky to coordinate. There are a lot of people involved, and also the venue and the celebrant need to be available at your preferred time too.
If you start on time, a rehearsal will take about 30 minutes.
That’s the optimum but having said all that, if someone can’t make it to a rehearsal, it’s not worth stressing over or getting into an argument with anyone over. Your celebrant will work with whoever can be there.
Try not to have too many extras there either. It can be distracting when the celebrant is trying to pull it all together and those not involved are standing around chatting.
Rehearsals can be a welcome addition to your ceremony preparations or they can be a another thing on your to do list. It’s up to you to decide what feels right for you.
If this article is a bit long for you or you just don’t have time to read it now, I’ve recorded a video with all the same information that you might prefer to watch.