In various countries, though probably most prominently in the U.S. there’s a tradition that seems to be relatively rare in the UK: that of the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. This is your chance before the big day itself to make sure everything’s perfect and everyone knows what they need to do and have a nice sit-down meal either the night or a couple of nights before the wedding, often taking place in the venue where the wedding will be held. But is the rehearsal dinner something we should be firmly embracing here in the UK?
Let’s find out with another great big Friday Fight-Out Wedding debate!
In the Red Corner, fighting to introduce the wedding rehearsal as a new UK tradition, although she decided photographing 1000‘s of weddings was probably enough rehearsal for her own big day, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”
In the Blue Corner, chilling out and recommending going with the flow on the wedding day, well after spending years working in theatres let’s face it he’s just bored of rehearsals, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”.
Wedding Rehearsal Vs Go-With-The-Flow
Dom: If you’ve not been to lots of weddings or been a part of the bridal party before it can be a bit nerve-racking not knowing exactly what you’re supposed to do, particularly if you have young flower girls or page boys who might find it more difficult just to follow verbal instructions. The Wedding rehearsal is a great opportunity for everyone to get together and make sure they know their role and how everything is supposed to work.
Matt: Things do go wrong at weddings but that’s part of the charm of it and nothing that a rehearsal is going to solve. Wedding ceremonies generally follow a fairly similar pattern and as long as the registrar/officiant knows what’s happening they will generally tell everyone what they need to do as the ceremony progresses anyway.
Dom: Having a rehearsal before the day is really more than just a practice run, it’s just as much about spending some time with those closest to you and thanking them for all the work and support they’ve put into your wedding day. The rehearsal dinner is often quite a big event but with only the closest members of the wedding party and it’s just an extra lovely occasion and a chance to spend time with them that may not be afforded to you on the day itself.
Matt: But if you’re looking to do a private thank-you meal isn’t it better to do it after the wedding when everyone’s less busy and stressed and you don’t have to be looking your best for your wedding the next day? Having an informal meal the next day allows you to stretch the wedding out a little longer and also make use of all the decorations and bits and bobs that would otherwise be going to waste! You might even get rid of some more of the vast amounts of wedding cake you inevitably end up with!!
Dom: A wedding rehearsal dinner could be a great opportunity to get some more really interesting photos and, if your photographer/videographer prefer to see the venue before the day this is the ideal opportunity for them to really see what the wedding will be like and think about where they will position themselves ahead of time!
Matt: Not all venues will allow you to use and setup the room the day before, particularly hotels and restaurants. Your rehearsal (and rehearsal dinner) could end up adding a lot of cost on to your budget.
Dom: The rehearsal doesn’t necessarily have to take place in the venue, it could be an informal rehearsal in your back garden with a barbecue, it’s just a nice way to make sure everyone knows what they’ve got to do, the bridesmaids can practice that special bridesmaid walk down the aisle and helps the event to run just that little bit more smoothly.
Matt: Weddings should be relaxed and fun and choreographing them too heavily can make them feel very rigid and formal in structure. If something goes wrong it’s fine! After all everyone in attendance are probably friends or family!
Dom: It’s traditional for the Groom’s parents to host the rehearsal dinner which, as the brides parents are traditional hosts of the wedding day itself, gives the groom’s mum and dad a nice chance to be the hosts and feel they are an equally important part of the celebrations.
Matt: In this day and age it’s often difficult enough for people to make themselves available for the wedding day itself without having to make the day before free as well. Most weddings take place on a Saturday and for a lot of people, particularly those with children, Friday is not the easiest day to take off.
So, those are our thoughts on the issue but where do you stand? Place your votes below or leave us a comment with your thoughts!