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making the guest list

[+] the wedding itself

- the wedding rehearsal

- rehearsal dinner

- writing your wedding vows

- catholic weddings

- jewish weddings

- hindu weddings

- interfaith weddings

[+] the wedding reception

- the wedding reception will be a blast

- a dry wedding

- choosing a wedding emcee

- what's the right order for wedding toasts?

- the garter toss

- grooms cakes

- wedding reception music

- the first dance (and learning to dance)

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the wedding rehearsal [Page 1 of 2]

Your wedding is a big production - we're not telling you something you don't already know. While there are no trial runs for the marriage, the groom gets at least one trial run for the wedding itself. Pay attention, groom!

Your full attention

There's much more to a wedding rehearsal than where to walk, when to stop, where to stand. The rehearsal itself is just a small part of this practical tradition. Pay attention groom, because although it might seem as though all eyes are on her, she'll be watching you. You won't want to be the one looking clueless on wedding day.

Getting to know you, in natural light

In some cases, the wedding rehearsal and the dinner that follows is the first time that the families of the bride and the groom will meet. It's much better for introductions - or even mistaken identities - to be handled at the rehearsal, instead of on the day of the wedding itself.

Who, what, where, when and how

Who: For the rehearsal itself, only members of the wedding party and anyone who has any kind of role need to be invited. That includes the best man, groomsmen, ushers, ring bearers, flower girls, the bridesmaids, anyone reading or singing during the ceremony, the officiant (probably), and of course, the radiant bride and her groom. And although it is only an invitation, you will want to stress to these V.I.P. guests that you need them to make this dry run. If key players are missing from the rehearsal, this may increase the likelihood for something to go wrong. If one of your groomsmen can't make the rehearsal, don't despair; you may want to ask your best man or another groomsmen to take notes (mental or actual) for the missing person. This way, a briefing can be held the morning of the wedding to get the missing person up to speed. In sum, leave grandma at the hotel, but get your key players together.

What: A wedding rehearsal is just like any other rehearsal of an event or performance; it's an opportunity for the wedding party to congregate and walk through the ceremony as it will occur on the day of the wedding. The wedding officiant will act as director, and lead you through. From the procession of the flower girls, the arrival of the bride, the walk down the aisle by the father-of-the-bride, to the vows that you will have to recite and your bride's sister, Beth, flubbing her song of love (No one has the heart to tell her she's tone-deaf, but the thought was nice).

Where: The optimum place to hold your rehearsal would be the actual location of your wedding ceremony, but many couples opt to hold the rehearsal at the same location as the rehearsal dinner to simplify and reduce travel. Be sure that whatever location you choose, you have enough space for all the guests to move around comfortably and go through the motions.

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