Due to the often hectic nature of wedding planning, the rehearsal is typically considered a minor detail in comparison to the "big day." However, the rehearsal is an important element of the wedding and helps to ensure there are no major hiccups on your wedding day. You want to make sure all of the key players for your ceremony are in attendance by properly informing them of the details of your rehearsal with an invitation.
Whether Invitations are Necessary
- The simple answer to this question is no. There is no formal etiquette that dictates an invitation is required to inform your wedding party of the wedding rehearsal; it is assumed your wedding party will be kept abreast of the planning via phone calls or meetings throughout your planning process. However, it is entirely likely that members of your wedding party will be traveling to your wedding from somewhere else. As such, an invitation to keep everyone in the loop and help them make their travel arrangements appropriately could be beneficial.
Who to Invite
- While there is no official guideline, the wedding rehearsal should only include those participating in the wedding ceremony--you, your groom, parents and grandparents (if they are part of the processional), your attendants, officiant, musicians, anyone doing readings and any children participating in the ceremony (their parents should also be in attendance). Your wedding coordinator should also be present, if you are using one.
What to Include in the Invitations
- The most important things to include in your rehearsal invitations are your names, the location of the rehearsal and the date/time. These may seem like obvious things for your invitees, but so many weddings take place from May to September that it is quite possible your wedding attendants are in more than one wedding. Ensuring that they know which rehearsal they are being invited to will be vital to your planning as well as their own. Also, while it is ideal that you would hold your wedding rehearsal in the same location as your wedding, this is often impossible due to things like weather and prior bookings; so make sure to include the location of the rehearsal in the invitations, as well as a separate sheet with concise directions to the rehearsal site. Other information to include would be the time and date of the rehearsal, as well as any dress code to follow (many churches still implement a dress code, even for wedding rehearsals).
- It is entirely up to you whether to spread the word of the rehearsal verbally or with a printed invitation. Many couples utilize e-mail and text-messaging trees to get information to their attendants, while others prefer hand mailing details, making phone calls or setting up meetings with the entire wedding party. There is no official etiquette involved when it comes to the formality and style of your wedding rehearsal invitations, which means you are open to follow any style or level of formality that you would like. You can choose to use the same degree of formality as your wedding invitations or go for something more casual.
When to Send
- If you are mailing out or e-mailing rehearsal invitations, it is best to do so as soon as you have your plans solidified. Doing this will give your attendants and other ceremony participants ample time to make arrangements so that they can be present for your rehearsal. The same guideline applies to verbal invitations and text messages--as soon as you know your plans, inform your participants to avoid frustration later on.
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