What to Expect at Your Ceremony Rehearsal

After coordinating 50+ ceremony rehearsals, you learn a thing or two about how to run them in the most efficient way. My goal when coordinating a rehearsal is to make things as clear as possible, and to be very thorough and anticipate questions before they're asked. I thought it would be helpful to put together a brief run-down of what to expect at your ceremony rehearsal for my current (and future) brides, and anyone else who wants to know what this whole rehearsal thing looks like. 

I will say, when I first started coordinating weddings over 5 years ago, I was terrified and SO nervous to run the rehearsals! These days I genuinely love them and it allows me to get to know the wedding party and family a bit more before the big day. All of my wedding planning packages include a ceremony rehearsal (which you also might hear me refer to as a run-through) that is typically the day before the wedding, but depending on the venue and any restrictions, it may fall on a different day. 

So, how long will this whole rehearsal thing take?

You should set aside one hour for the ceremony rehearsal, but depending on the size of your wedding party it can definitely be a bit shorter or longer. 30-60 minutes is usually a safe estimate, but I've had them as short as 20 minutes and as long as 1.5 hours. 

Who should be present for the rehearsal?

In a perfect world, we'd have all of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, officiant, parents of the bride, parents of the groom, any guests being seated (grandparents, etc), along with the DJ or live musician. I definitely know that isn't always possible and some wedding party members might be getting in to town later, etc. In this case, I just use a family member as a "stand in" so we can still get spacing and everything correct.

I've done plenty of weddings without officiants or DJs/musicians present and it's really no big deal if it's not an option, they are experienced in their jobs and I will touch base with them early on in the wedding day to make sure we're all on the same page. 

Photo by  Catalina Jean

Photo by Catalina Jean

What's the purpose of the rehearsal?

The purpose of the rehearsal is to make sure everyone in the wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl/ring bearer, immediate family, officiant, etc) knows exactly where to be, what order to walk in, and when. It's also a time to answer questions and make sure everyone is on the same page for the big day. 

Here is a quick run-down of how I coordinate the rehearsal:

  • Once everyone has arrived, I gather them together and introduce myself, and I like to go around and have everyone introduce themselves as well. I make sure everyone knows that I will be the point person for the day of the wedding - and that if there are any questions tomorrow (or whenever the wedding is), to please come to me and not the bride and groom.
  • Next, I get the bride and groom, officiant, bridesmaids, and groomsmen lined up at the ceremony arch/alter/arbor/what-have-you. I go over some notes with the wedding party at this point, including how to hold the bouquets, how groomsmen have their hands, how they angle their bodies, etc.
  • After that, it's time to run through the recessional (the music that the bride and groom exit down the aisle to). 
  • Lastly, I get everyone lined up for the processional (and since we started with everyone lined up at the front, everyone knows exactly where to go). If there are family members being seated, we run through that at this point as well.
  • Depending on how everyone is feeling and the size of the wedding party, I usually run through the recessional and processional 1-2 more times until everyone feels confident.
  • Before I leave, I check to see if anyone has any questions and just make sure everyone is feeling good about things. I also make sure to touch base about who will have the rings on the wedding day, who will have the marriage license, etc. 

Rehearsal + Ceremony Tips!

  • Try to schedule your ceremony rehearsal for the same time as your actual wedding ceremony! This way, you'll see exactly how the light will be and you'll know just what to expect the next day.
  • As mentioned, try to have your entire wedding party, special guests being seated, both sets of parents, officiant, and DJ/musician present, if possible
  • Sometimes it is not possible to do the rehearsal at the actual wedding venue -- and that's okay! I've done plenty of off-site rehearsals, and things still run just fine. Just try to find a park, backyard, or another convenient location for everyone to meet at. The most important thing is that everyone knows the order to walk in, who they're walking with, and so on.
  • If you want to have your officiant run through the ceremony during the rehearsal, he/she totally can, but you can also keep it a surprise for the big day!
  • It's always a good idea to remind the officiant at the rehearsal to try and step out of the way when it's time for the kiss, so that he/she isn't photo bombing all of the kiss photos.
  • Make sure to consider commute and possible run-over time when scheduling the rehearsal dinner -- you won't want to plan a 6:00 pm rehearsal and a 7:00 pm dinner. Shoot for 7:30 instead. 
  • As far as the ceremony goes - you don't have to do the "traditional" sides with bride on the left and groom on the right if you don't want to; I have SO many couples who switch this up for various reasons.
  • Traditionally, the bride's parents sit on the "bride's side," but it's actually a much better view for parents if they sit on the opposite side of their child! 

Alright, are you still with me? I hope this wasn't too much of an info overload! If you have any questions, comments, or even some tips I may have missed, please leave a comment below or email me directly at becky[at]eventcrush[dot]com! If we're currently working together, I'm super excited to coordinate your rehearsal and make sure things run smooth as butter! 

Colorful Jasper House Farm Wedding

Last Summer I had the pleasure of planning and coordinating Dana and Zach's beautiful wedding at Jasper House Farm in Pleasant Hill. Dana and Zach came all the way from New York, where they currently live, to have their wedding back in their home state. They included lots of fun details including custom enamel pins of their faces for their guests, beautiful custom signage, an abundance of colorful florals, 3 different wedding cakes for their guests to try, and so much more. It was an incredible day and Cassy Berry captured gorgeous photos of it all.

Dana and Zach are the sweetest people, and Dana was also an incredibly organized bride. They made my job a breeze that day!

This was my 4th wedding at Jasper House Farm and I will just never get tired of the beauty of this darling filbert farm.
If you're planning a wedding at Jasper House and find yourself needing some help, I'd love to chat with you!

Floral design: Passionflower
Catering: Sheild Catering
DJ: NR Entertainment
Cakes: Sweet Life
HMUA: Cosmetics by Anna

Jasper House Farm Wedding
Jasper House Farm Wedding Pleasant Hill Oregon
Jasper House Farm Wedding
Jasper House Farm Wedding
Colorful wedding bouquet
Jasper House Farm Bride
Jasper House Farm Wedding
Jasper House Farm Ceremony
Jasper House Farm Ceremony
Jasper House Farm Wedding Sign
Jasper House Farm wedding decor
Jasper House Farm reception
Simple rustic seating chart
Colorful cake table
Jasper House Farm reception
Jasper House Farm first dance
Jasper House Farm first dance
Jasper House Farm wedding reception
Jasper House Farm wedding reception
golden hour bridal photos
Jasper House Farm wedding

2018 Event Crush Internship Program

Event Crush is seeking 3 interns for the upcoming 2018 wedding season!

This part-time internship will run from May – October, 2018. This is an unpaid position, but Interns who are committed and highly successful in the program may have the opportunity to move into a paid assistant position in the future (but there are no guarantees).


Are you the right fit?

We are looking for candidates who…

  • Have a love (or obsession) for weddings and events, and are interested in pursuing a career in this field
  • Are passionate about hospitality and serving others
  • Are creative and driven
  • Are reliable and dependent
  • Have great attention to detail
  • Enjoy problem-solving and don’t shy away from a challenge
  • Aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty
  • Work well independently or in a team
  • Bonus… are tech and social media savvy, and enjoy writing about weddings!

What will the internship entail?

Selected interns will have these opportunities:

  • Shadow and assist on wedding and event days and rehearsals
  • Behind the scenes access to how a wedding planning business is run
  • Exposure to the wedding planning tools and workflow that planners use
  • Assist at editorial photo shoots
  • Occasionally attend client meetings, vendor meetings, and site visits
  • Attend industry networking meetings and make connections
  • Assist with blog posts and social media
  • Monthly educational meetings
  • College credit (if applicable)

Requirements for Candidates:

To be considered for the position, you must:

  • Live within 30 minutes of the Eugene/Springfield area
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be available on weekends throughout the course of the internship
  • Be able to lift up to 40 pounds
  • Be able to be on your feet for up to 8 hours
  • Have a high school education or equivalent

Ready to Apply?

To be considered, please complete the online application here. We will be review all applications, and you will hear from us by mid-March to set up an interview if you were selected as a candidate.

Winter Glam Valentine's Inspiration

Last winter, I had the pleasure of designing and styling this romantic winter glam shoot that Rachelle of Makeup by Rachelle J dreamed up. I instantly loved her vision and I knew that this was going to turn out incredible. We brought together a fantastic team of wedding pros and the pictures by Stephanie Jarstad are breathtaking! It was a super cold and windy day, but everyone was such a trooper (especially our model Heidi!). Enjoy the gorgeous photos and be sure to check out the rest of the talented folks who helped make this happen!

Photography: Stephanie Jarstad
Model: Heidi Yeager
Dress: Sweet Caroline Styles
Floral design: Sarah Renard Floral
Makeup: Makeup by Rachelle J
Hair: Chelcie Rust
Ring: Susie Saltzman
Rentals: Poppies + Tophats
Stationery: Off the Vine Calligraphy + Design
Cake: Soft Peaks Cakery
Silk Ribbon: A Ribbon's Nest
Styling + Design: Event Crush
Location: Currin Bridge, Cottage Grove, Oregon

This shoot was also featured on PNWedding.com, be sure to head over there to see more!

Valentine's Bridal Inspiration
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Covered Bridge Wedding Oregon
Valentines Wedding Inspiration
Valentines Place Setting
Valentines Wedding Inspiration
Valentines Wedding Inspiration
Valentines Wedding Cake
Valentines Bridal inspiration
Oregon Covered Bridge Wedding
Valentines Wedding Inspiration
Susie Saltzman Engagement Ring
Valentines Bridal Inspiration
Oregon Valentines Wedding Inspiration
Valentines Wedding Inspiration
Susie Saltzman Engagement Ring
Valentines Wedding Invitation Suite