It’s getting close to your day and now you’ve got all the decorations and fun stuff set it’s time to focus on rehearsing your ceremony. By now you should have the ceremony specifics set with your officiant to know the ins and outs of what will happen so that you can do a run-through and share that with your wedding party and immediate family members. If you haven’t figured out all those details yet you will want to so that your rehearsal runs smoothly and is effective.
Here are 4 of the big questions when it comes to rehearsals and the answers/tips our team has for you when planning for your rehearsal.
Oh man, if only we could express the importance of rehearsing enough. Your ceremony is the why to the who day - all the planning you’ve put in, the goal and focus of your day. It’s the moment and memory that you will carry with you for the rest of your lives as you start your journey together. Your ceremony comes with a lot of heartfelt emotions, and rehearsing the steps will only allow you to live in the moment more while you worry about what’s next less.
The rehearsal also ensures that your family and wedding party are prepared, comfortable, and ready for the day. Your wedding party wants nothing more than to do their part and fulfill their role - giving them a rehearsal will give them the tools and knowledge to do just that. Don’t skip your rehearsal - not matter when/where you do it or with whom, it will keep everyone on the same page and make for a smooth ceremony.
All this to say that morning rehearsals have become the most popular answer for couples - it allows everyone to attend without extending your schedule too much. It also opens your evening before to do whichever activities you want - dinner with the wedding party, your family or a private date night running final errands. Morning rehearsals can also mean celebrating with a brunch for fun saving money compared to a rehearsal dinner, and also typically means that everyone can make the rehearsal.
What if you don’t want to see each other that day? No problem! Run through the ceremony 2 - 3 times with one of you (whoever needs more time to get ready) and then another 2 times with the other partner (typically the groom).
Some couples prefer to rehearse in advance - sometimes a week before, other times mid week just days before, and some the old school night before. It’s really a personal choice outlined and crafted based on you and your wedding party’s schedules.
If your venue is one of the few that includes a rehearsal time onsite you will want to coordinate with them based on their availability as well. Otherwise, your next detail is determining where.
Knowing who to have at rehearsal will help you know what parts/things to think through and have ready for that day and also help answer any questions your family and friends may through your way. The big ones obvious - “Do I need to be there?”
So, who does need to be there? Well here’s a quick run down…
So you’ve told the key players they need to come to the rehearsal… now what do you need to do at rehearsal? If you have the rehearsal workbook and guide follow the checklist and worksheets you completed to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. For those of you doing this thing solo and without a professional or the help of a workbook here’s a quick list we recommend on what to cover during rehearsal:
Love these photos? Us too! Check out more of April Sapp's Photography Work
Planning for your ceremony is a big deal - it is after all the whole reason for planning a wedding right? Most couples tell us that like most of the planning, they aren’t even sure where to even get started and just sort of “end up” planning the ceremony. So we decided to pull together 4 tips to get started on planning what is sure to be the BEST thing about your day - your ceremony!
One thing we cannot stress enough when it comes to your ceremony is to choose your officiant wisely. We dive into this a little more in our blog that talks about whether or not to have a family or friend officiate but at the end of the day you want to make sure you talk through your ceremony in-depth with your officiant. It will get you all on the same page, make sure you are both prepared and ready for a smooth ceremony. Okay so on to the tips!
Officiant (of course) - make sure they are legally ordained in your area so that it counts!
Wedding Party - who will be standing by you? Whether it’s just 1 person for each of you or 8 on each side choose wisely. Those photos are going to be hanging on the living room wall for the rest of your lives! All kidding aside, your wedding parties do not have to be even in number so don’t stress that too much. Of course, you’ll also want to know who your maid of honor / best man is as well [or man of honor / best maid].
Family - parents, grandparents, siblings, and aunts/uncles. They will all want to know if they have a role, what it will be, what to wear, and where to be. Traditionally parents are a part of the procession. Grandparents really depend on how comfortable they are walking, and your overall vision. Commonly we have siblings or an aunt or uncle that take the place in these roles as well - so if your family structure is unique let it shine! You should be surrounded by your family, no matter what their label is.
Flower girl and ring bearers - when choosing these roles most couples are still sticking to the traditional route and choosing young ones. You will want to think through their ages - under 3 will need to be accompanied down the aisle. If there are no children in your life then don’t sweat it! Half of our weddings do not have either of these and the others sometimes just have one or the other. Again - it is your day so do it your way!
A new trend we’re seeing includes adults in these roles and simply giving their title a small change. Put your brother on petal patrol complete with a server's half apron that has pockets full of petals - or ask your grandparents to carry a single stem flower and your rings down the aisle instead.
Ushers and greeters - this is an area we’ve seen change over the past couple of years as well. Ushers are not a typical role now that “choose a seat not a side” has become so popular. However, you should think back to those grandparents and parents you decided to include in your ceremony. Traditionally, the women will need an escort down the aisle and their significant other will follow behind. Especially if their significant other is walking, say, the bride down the aisle.
Greeters, or the welcome party as we call them are a great way to welcome your guests. Have them staged at the entrance to your ceremony area, perhaps by your guest book handing out programs or waters to your guests as they arrive.
Some cultures extend this by having the ceremony (or one of them) on a separate day. You also want to decide what time of day fits your vision the best.
This is just the beginning of planning your ceremony but remember - it may not take up much time the day of (at least compared to your reception) but it is the most important part of your day and deserves all the attention it demands during planning! A few other things to think about include:
If you've read our Part 1 to starting your timeline then you already have your outline - the big moving pieces listed out and ready to rock. Now it's time to plug in all your specifics and make it your own and make it fit your day. Everyone has a different list, recently we are seeing less and less of some traditions such as the garter toss. So if there is anything you do or don't want to include in your wedding ceremony or reception timeline feel free to make it all you own!
Let's do a quick run down of some of the most common / main items.
Timeline 101 Prep: Before You Dive in...
Oh timelines… It’s a key part of planning and commonly the main part that our couples say they either are dreading or are worried about for the day of. We get that, there is a lot that goes into it and so many moving pieces! Not to mention, you actually want to be able to kick back and enjoy the whole thing, not just stare at the clock and go one checklist item at a time right?
Before you dive into your timeline there are some things you should have ready, some information that will help you shape your timeline and bring all the pieces together.
1 - Vendors and Venue(s): Contracted Times
So the big question: How long do you have access and do you have your pros onsite?
A quick check to your contract and services should solve all your questions for this. You will want to make a quick note of the times. For your venue, you want to know what time you have access and what time you need to be cleaned up and offsite. If you have more than one venue you will want to know how long it takes to travel from the first to the second - a bigger perk is that Google maps will let you pick a day and time to account for normal traffic patterns during that time so you can really plan appropriately. If you have any other services included with your venue package (for example, at our venue we include security) make a quick note for how many hours you have that as well.
For your professionals, such as your photographer and DJ, you will want to know how many hours you have paid - and how much additional time would cost you too just in case you want to extend your time.
The average rehearsal lasts 4 hours and most guests don’t last much longer so don’t worry about keeping things going too long - they’ll be having so much fun on the dance floor they will be wiped! You can always have an after-party at a local bar for those who aren’t ready to finish up celebrating your new milestone!
2 - Ceremony Time: Sunset and Time of Year
First you need to decide what time of day you'd like to say " I Do". If you’re picturing a traditional evening reception with dinner complete with sunset golden hour photos then you will want to know two quick things.
First - what time does the sun set on your date? This is easily done with a quick google search. Simply include your date and location like so: [sunset in Krum, Texas on 10/10/20]. Secondly - use this info to chat with your photographer! They are the pro after all, and they will most likely have a preferred time to capture your photos and ceremony before the sun goes down.
Bonus - have an idea if you want to take sneak peeks or wait to see each other during the ceremony? Let your photographer know so that they can plan accordingly and designate more time before or after your ceremony.
Don’t forget about the time change! This is a BIG one particularly if your date is in November or March. Keep this in mind as it will make a big difference in when you’d like your ceremony to begin and of course for when things will get dark in a hurry.
So what happens once that's been accomplished? Now that you’ve worked so hard to draft the perfect timeline what do you do with it?
First up - have your pros look it over! If you don’t have a coordinator, ask your photographer, DJ, or another vendor to check it out. When you’re all set you will want it to be shared with your key people including:
If you’re needing help with your timeline reach out to our team! Like drafting floor plans, this is a service we help with and would love to help keep planning a little easier on you and give you one less thing to worry about.
Contact our team HERE.
Check out more on Timeline 101: What's in a Timeline HERE
One of the BEST things we get to do with our couples is help draft a floor plan. It’s sort of like one of our favorite things when it comes to details and prepping… is that weird? Well, if you didn’t know we are wedding nerds now you do! Floorplans should get way more hype and credit than they do when it comes to planning. It is the BIGGEST way to bring your vision to life and will outline your entire reception.
A lot of times what we see though are couples who are burnt out by the time they need to sit down and draft a floor plan. It’s not the most exciting thing, and it doesn’t always look the best - compared to floral arrangements or that cute custom sign you had made that is. It can also be very overwhelming once you start thinking of all the little details and things that go into a floor plan. Which brings us to this blog post - 5 steps to setting up your perfect floorplan.
As always - resources, links and more at the bottom!
We suggest planning for a safe number - the upper range with some flexibility. If you choose a layout with 10 tables you can seat 80 by placing 8 chairs at each, or 100 by placing 10 at each. What that really means for you is if your RSVPs come in at 90 you’re not stressing to build/order another centerpiece to make it work. If your count comes in lower? That’s easy! Seat less per table or bonus remove a table meaning you have the decor you would have set on it to use at the bar, the entry, etc.
When thinking about your guests you should also consider the VIPs in the room. These typically include your wedding party, their significant others, and your immediate family members. We can’t recommend reserved tables enough - with their names at their place setting. Each weekend we see parents come in from taking post-ceremony photos with the gorgeous couple to be stopped by many friends who are saying hello. What couples don’t think about though are all their other guests - you know, the ones not in those family photos who made their way into the reception hall half an hour ago to claim their seat. Your VIPs should not be left looking for a chair in the back corner of the room - a simple “reserved” sign helps. Place cards with their names ensure that your second cousin once removed doesn’t self proclaim to be VIP, and it also enables your pros to help direct guests to a fantastic seat while leaving those seats reserved alone.
The room itself is not the only thing you will want to know the shape and size for though if your venue has tables, chairs or other furniture provided for you as them the sizes so you can space accordingly. There is a big difference between 6-foot long banquet tables and 60 inch rounds. Your venue should also have basic details and information about the furniture for you. For example, our 60 inch round tables seat 8 - 10 with our chiavari chairs. If someone were to bring in folding garden chairs which are wider we would suggest 9 tops, and ideally only 8 chairs per table.
Every venue is different - one thing you don’t want to forget about when planning your perfect floorplan are the permanent features in the room. It may be large furniture or decor items that cannot be moved, or it could be something more structural such as a door or counter. For our venue that includes our bar - a long granite counter located in the southwest corner of the reception hall. Keeping these permanent features in mind will help you use the space to your advantage and really let the floorplan work for you rather than being stuck with what you have.
Electrical outlets are another feature couples sometimes forget about. For example that band you’re planning on having? Or that amazing photo booth your guests will be lined up at all night long? They need power - and enough of it too. For our couples we keep it simple, we have multiple outlets on every wall, outlets at the ceiling for those who hang decor and have larger installations such as lights, and we even have outlets on the floor. It keeps creating their floorplan a little simpler with one less headache to have to worry about.
4. Know the details before you dive in
It’s kind of hard to plan your space when you don’t have a clear vision of everything you need there. Are you serving a buffet line or will meals be plated? Do you have a DJ or an 8 piece rock band? All these things make a huge difference in what you have space for and where you need to start to tackle your floor plan. If you jump the gun and start drafting your floor plan without knowing these details you may find yourself erasing…. A whole lot. Or you might finally reach the end and then realize you forgot to put your head table in the room - YIKES.
This checklist is just a glimpse of the questionnaire we send our clients and items that are in the majority of the floorplans we’ve built.
Talk about saving the best for last! This is the one area that can be hard to visualize - so please talk to your vendors and have them look over your floorplan with you. The flow of your guests is very important. Often we hear during tours how couples don’t want lines - lines at the buffet line, the guest book, and especially not at the bar. Now keep in mind that there will be busy times when lines are unavoidable. Even our intimate weddings with less than 40 will have a line at the guest book to sign in and leave a note - that’s expected. What you do not want though is a traffic jam.
Could you imagine if the line for your bar crossed paths with your buffet line? What about if in addition to that your caterers and bar staff had to walk across the lines to get to ice and their utensils. PLEASE don’t do that to your pros, your guests, or your sanity! Break apart the hotspots of the evening - even photo booths can be so fun near the bar but if they are in the same corner is a crowd waiting to happen.
Our venue was designed with the kitchen and the bar on opposite ends of the venue for a reason. The kitchen has multiple doors so that caterers can move freely and not through crowds. Use it to your advantage - keep the buffet line near the kitchen and spread out the flow or your event to utilize all areas of the venue.
See a photo you love?
Check out these awesome photographers:
1st, 2nd and 3rd photo by April Sapp Photography
4th and 5th by Blackall Photography
6th by Brooks Captured Moments / Lovesick Photos
Looking for hands on help?
Contact our team for help with your floorplan, and to set up a time to tour!
CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US
We love to help others & being a part of your big day! We believe in dreaming big, smiling often & southern charm.
10340 Jackson Rd. Krum, TX 76249