Should your wedding minister attend the rehearsal?

 

One of the most common questions I get is related to whether or not the minister should personally attend the wedding rehearsal.  Before I answer that question, I think it’s first important to understand the reasons to even have a rehearsal.

The first, and most important reason to have a wedding rehearsal is for the wedding party to practice entering and exiting the wedding ceremony.  In most cases, the bride’s maids and the groomsmen are unfamiliar and inexperienced with the wedding processional.  First and foremost, the rehearsal is for the wedding party.

The second reason is for the wedding coordinator who will be directing the actual wedding.  This person needs to know exactly how the bride wants the party to enter and exit.  In the “old days” it was the minister who arranged and organized the wedding party.  But now, most wedding venues have a coordinator who is trained and experienced in directing weddings.

Rather than attend the rehearsal, as a minister I would rather meet with the couple one more time the week of the wedding at a coffee house.  Carving out 45 minutes with the minister, at a time convenient for both, would allow for last minute decisions and changes in the ceremony to be discussed.  Even if I as the minister would attend the rehearsal, there is rarely time to talk or discuss anything of substance.  

In summary, I do not see it as neccessary for the minister to attend the wedding rehearsal if there is a coordinator in charge.  For him/her to attend and practice walking in and out is probably an overkill.

So do yourself a favor and carve out an hour to spend with the minister privately so you can concentrate on the ceremony with him or her.  Your time is valuable, but do not cut corners with time spent with the person who is in charge of the most important 22 minutes of your day!

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