About the Wedding Rehearsal:
Every member of the Wedding Party (bride and groom, Celebrant, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, broom bearers, readers, musicians and any other participants) should meet at the site and "run through" the ceremony. If the site is unavailable, don't worry! Just choose a place where you can mimic the layout of your ceremony's venue.
With me as your Celebrant, this is entirely your ceremony. Therefore, please determine beforehand exactly which, if any, traditions you would like to follow, the way you want your attendants to line up, the manner in which you would like them to enter and exit, where you would like them to stand, walk or sit.
Please impress upon all participants how important it is for them to attend the rehearsal and be on-time. If you know that your friends and family tend to be late, please build a "cushion" into the time that you ask them to arrive. If everyone cooperates, there is no reason for a rehearsal to last longer than one hour. Please make sure I am introduced to all participants. If you are choosing an outdoor venue, consider whether moving indoors would alter any plans. Every outdoor ceremony should have an indoor alternative -- just in case.
Absences: If you know that someone cannot attend the rehearsal, appoint a stand-in who will participate in the rehearsal and explain the duties to the participant before the ceremony.
Wedding Coordinator: If you have decided not to hire a wedding coordinator, that is okay. Consider asking a favorite friend or relative, who is not a member of the wedding party or your mom, to assist you by being the point-person for the wedding and the rehearsal. On your wedding day, you do not want to be the only person who knows exactly how the wedding should flow and contact numbers for all of the vendors. Having a point-person will give you a chance to fully enjoy your wedding ceremony.
Bring Props: Please have on hand the actual or dummy props (Unity Candles, bouquets, rings, etc.) so that everyone can practice their actions.
Children: It is especially important that any children who will participate in the ceremony attend the rehearsal. Please take care to speak with the children in a gentle and thoughtful manner and have props (i.e. a dummy flower basket with petals, a broom, a pillow, etc.) that will allow them to practice their actions. I prefer that just one person gives the children direction and everyone else just offer praise. This may be the first time they "perform" in front of a group, let us make sure that it is fun and easy for them.
Scheduling: Weddings are highly emotional times for everyone and may bring up emotions that are difficult to handle. Please schedule your rehearsal so that there is a built in allowance for your participants to be a few minutes late or many minutes late depending on your guests! You know your family and friends -- If they are "never on-time," it is unlikely that they will be on-time for such an emotional occasion.
Take Care of Yourself: Do get enough sleep and eat healthy meals as your rehearsal and wedding approach. You will need to maintain your strength and perspective. Take time to visualize your rehearsal and wedding ceremony, so that you will be able to address any complications and calm yourself. No matter what happens, do your best to remain flexible, calm, and pleasant. Your spouse, attendants and guests want to celebrate with you -- Being able to do so, is much more important than everything running exactly as you planned. Remember to enjoy these moments! They will never come again.
For more valuable information on rehearsals, please read articles from my colleagues at the College of Celebrancy.