The Wedding Rehearsal
Bill and I have performed thousands of weddings. Now and then a couple will ask if we are available for a wedding rehearsal a few days before or on the wedding day an hour or so before the ceremony. Some couples have a rehearsal dinner following a rehearsal. They invite members of their families, the wedding party, and out of town guests. In reality, few couples need an officiant at a wedding rehearsal.
An exception to this has been when we have been asked to co-officiate a marriage ceremony. It makes sense for us to be part of the rehearsal when a friend or relative (online officiant), out-of-state minister and others with uncertain credentials, has been asked by the couple to share in the performance of the marriage ceremony. Bill or I, in these cases, are responsible for the “legal” pronouncement of marriage which is a safeguard for couples particularly if down the road the marriage turns sour. Nonetheless, most of the time it is is absolutely unnecessary for a couple to have an officiant present at a rehearsal at the wedding venue.
That said, if a wedding is to be held in, for example, a Roman Catholic Church and the marriage ceremony/exchange of vows will take place during a Mass, it is expected that the pastor (priest) would require a rehearsal.
Bill and I like to meet with our brides and grooms to discuss the content and flow of the ceremony and we discuss the rehearsal. We furnish a Rehearsal Booklet that explains the ins and outs of planning and carrying out a worry-free rehearsal. It has been our experience that a majority of venues today plan for a wedding day rehearsal just before the guests enter the ceremonial area (inside or outside). When scheduled to perform a ceremony, we arrive at the venue an hour before the time of the ceremony and we often take part in rehearsals.
Wedding rehearsals are not complicated. Basically the officiant enters the space and takes his/her place up front. Venues usually have a wedding coordinator who will guide the parents of the bride and groom, the wedding party and bride and groom as to when to enter (processional) and where to stand and the order in which they are expected to leave (recessional). Some couples employ a wedding planner who takes on this role or even a trusted friend.
There are times when we have stepped in to organize the wedding party, particularly when the wedding is taking place in an informal setting, for example, someone’s home or in a backyard.
We are always prepared to help make every wedding run as smoothly and as beautifully as possible.
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The most important and most anticipated part of a wedding day for the bride and groom and their loved ones is the marriage ceremony. Bill has performed marriage ceremonies for over 30 years and I have performed marriages for over 10 years on Long Island, in New York City, the metro area, throughout New York State and beyond. Both of us are graduates of a two-year interfaith seminary. In addition, Bill is a Retired Judge and I am a Former Village Mayor. We are experienced professionals who understand the hopes and desires of couples as they plan their wedding day and a lifetime together. We want it to be a joyful and memorable occasion. When we meet we get to know the bride and groom and begin to become a chapter in their lifelong love story. In order to perform weddings in New York City as qualified Marriage Officiants, we registered with the City Clerk’s office. After performing a marriage as a legally registered officiant, I sign the marriage license and insert my registrati