6. VOW EXCHANGE
There are two options here: traditional or written vows.
For traditional vows, the bride and groom simply repeat after the pastor pledging their love for one another till death do they part.
If the couple chooses to write their own vows, I encourage them to write them down and read from their notes.
Yes, memorizing and sharing from your heart might be beautiful, but often the bride and groom are so nervous that they’ll forget. Having a piece of paper or a note card that they can read will help them as they fight back the tears or struggle to calm their nerves.
7. RING EXCHANGE
“May I have the rings, please.”
Typically the best man hands the rings to the pastor. The pastor explains the symbolism of the rings, then the bride and groom place the rings on each other’s fingers.
8. ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS
There a lot of different options that people sometimes like to include in their weddings today.
For example, they may want to take communion, light a unity candle, do a sand ceremony or have a special musical performance.
This part of the ceremony is where many of those options fit best.
So ask if there are any additional elements like these that they want to do as part of the wedding ceremony.
“I now pronounce you as husband and wife.”
“You may now kiss the bride!”
“Ladies and gentlemen, may I be the first to present to you…”
The bride and groom exit first, followed by the wedding party.
12. CLOSING COMMENTS.
After the wedding party has exited, close by thanking everyone for coming, invite them to the reception, and provide any necessary details or instructions.
At the rehearsal, you’ll just walk through everything people need to know for the ceremony.
It should be pretty relaxed, but here are a few tips to help.
1. ARRIVE EARLY
Set everyone at ease knowing that you are a person who arrives on time.
If you’re late for the rehearsal, they’ll worry that you’ll be late for the wedding too.
2. KNOW WHO’S IN CHARGE
Often there is a wedding coordinator at the venue to make sure everyone knows where to go and what to do. Sometimes this is a family friend or someone you’ve scheduled to help at your church.
But if there is not a coordinator, congratulations, everyone will be looking at you to tell them where to go and what to do.
3. KNOW WHEN AND WHERE TO ENTER
Go through the order of who enters when and from where.
Make everyone practice walking down the aisle and standing at the alter a few times.
People will begin to get nervous during the rehearsal, so have fun, smile, be lighthearted and help put everyone at ease.
The rehearsal can be fun if you allow a little laughter to break up the awkwardness.
5. HIT THE HIGHLIGHTS
Don’t perform the entire ceremony at the rehearsal word-for-word.
Just cover the highlights and parts where others are involved: the processional, how the bride will be given away, how the bride and groom will stand at the altar, how the best man (or whoever has the rings) will hand them to you, how the bride and groom will place them on one another’s fingers, when they say their vows, the kiss, and how they will exit on the final pronouncement.
I always tell the wedding party that if the rings are dropped for any reason, only the person holding it should pick them up. You don’t want everyone diving on them like a grenade.
Also, I always remind the party not to lock their knees.
We’ve all seen the videos of people passing out at weddings. Locking your knees when you’re nervous is what often causes that.
6. KNOW HOW TO CLOSE
Make sure you have all the details of where to direct the guests immediately after the ceremony.
Is the reception at the same venue as the wedding, or somewhere else?
Will the bride and groom be waiting for them in the foyer to greet them, or will they go to take pictures and meet them at the reception (which is what typically happens)?
Double check these details at the reception.