Rehearsal preparation

How long does a wedding rehearsal take?

For a perfect wedding ceremony, a pre-wedding practice is a must. Yet, How long does a wedding rehearsal take? Click on this blog for more details!


Marriage is a big milestone in everyone’s life, carrying many deeper meanings. Apart from marking the couple’s sacred bond, the ceremony is also an opportunity for family and friends to assemble and share precious moments together.

Indeed, a well-done ceremony will be the beginning of a happy hundred-year married life. The careful preparation for such a life event is also a great way for the newlyweds to express their gratitude to the guests for attending this important day.

So, how do you ensure that this event will go smoothly as you plan? – A good rehearsal!

The pre-ceremony trial run allows you to check the state and condition of all the elements included in that day – from the ceremony’s stages to the processional and recessional. Besides, this pre-stage also helps your guests get used to their roles when the ritual officially takes place.

Since the practice section plays a key role in a couple’s life event, you must have detailed plans for it. There is always a common question normally asked when it comes to this particular topic – How long does a wedding rehearsal take?” According to top wedding planners, 30-40 minutes is optimal for such practice.

Scroll down for more detailed and useful information!

Rings on Hands
Rings on Hands

A Timeline Schedule for Wedding Rehearsal

While it doesn’t take long to run the practice, it requires a certain amount of time.

Below is a suggested timeline for this event. Remember, you should adjust it based on your actual time:

4- 5 Months Before

During this period of time, you should make a guest list for the rehearsal and book the venue.

Also, it would help if you start to make decisions on the menu and the expense it would take. Do not forget to consider the number of your guests to decide which type of dish to serve.

Rehearsal location
Rehearsal location

3 Months Before

Contact the venue to check audiovisual equipment to make sure your photos and videos show up as planned.

1 Month Before

Send email invitations to your guests, as this practice session is an intimate one. Remember to mention the exact time and dress code here.

This event is the first time your family and friends will meet up, so creating a seating plan is a good way for them to get to know each other. In addition, preparing small gifts for guests is recommended.

What’s more, contact vendors and decide on your venue decor.

The Week of the Big Day

The session will take place 1-3 days before your big day, including a ceremony and a dinner.

Time Specific for Wedding Rehearsal

Here is a list of activities that will take place during the event with their specific times:

Formal introduction (5- 7 minutes)

It would be best to start this trial run by introducing all the people involved.

Do not forget to read the ceremony’s headings aloud, so participants know exactly how the ceremony will unfold.

Practice main activities (20- 25 minutes)

Instead of beginning with the walking-in, position everyone where they will stand.

Practice recessional first. Start this step as if the ceremony has just ended and everyone is ready to go outside. The newlyweds will exit first, followed by pairs of the wedding party, and then the parents and grandparents.

Next, practice the processional. Since participants know exactly where they will be standing, you only need them to line up in order. The officiant, the groom, and the groomsmen will enter first, followed by the groom’s grandparents and parents, the bride’s mother and bridesmaids.

Then, the hand-off! The escort, usually the bride’s father, will lead his daughter into the aisle, then let her stand in front of the officiant and the groom. After that, the escort usually shakes the groom’s hand, and the bride steps forward to face her husband.

Wedding Rehearsal Outdoor
Wedding Rehearsal Outdoor

Finally, do all of the above again to make sure everyone knows what they need to do.

Final instructions and rehearsal dinner reminders  (5- 7 minutes)

Repeat the order of activities again to check if all the participants can catch up with the process.

If you also host a dinner right after that, make sure all participants know how long is a wedding rehearsal dinner is to manage their time properly.

How Long Does A Church Wedding Rehearsal Take?

Holding the ceremony in a church requires solemnity. So, are there any differences between rehearsing at this formal place and other places? How long is a wedding ceremony in a church?

In general, this process usually lasts around 35 minutes, which is shorter when compared to other venues!

Wedding ReheWedding Rehearsal at Churcharsal
Wedding Rehearsal at Church

Below is the order of activities with their specific timing when taking those activities in the church:

Beginning (5 minutes)

The groom’s parents sit next to him.  All the guests also settle into their seats.

The bride’s mother waits outside until her daughter arrives, then she quickly comes in and takes her seat.

Main practices (20 minutes)

Activities, which are under the control of the vicar, are the same as described above. However, the processional will take place first, followed by the recessional part.

The bride and groom will practice their declarations and vows. This run-through is also a time for readers in the church to practice with the microphones.

On the other hand, the photographers can familiarize themselves with the ceremony’s atmosphere- in turn, giving you the best quality photos.

Ending (5 minutes)

The vicar once again reviews the order in which the activities will take place. He will also help the couple answer their questions during the trial run.


Overall, how long does a wedding rehearsal take? – Generally speaking, 30-40 minutes.

Preparing for a trial performance is more fun than you ever think. This walk-through is not only an opportunity for you to meet your relatives and friends, but you can also have intimate conversations with them and give each other meaningful gifts at the event.

You can also envisage how long does a wedding ceremony takes after the practice and be able to make the most appropriate adjustments to your official ceremony.

If you are already too busy with preparations, consider hiring marriage planners. They will plan the wedding program for you to choose and give the most reasonable advice. You just need to be present, because the planners will help you get everything ready.

Hope you will be the happiest bride on your big day. Thanks for reading!