Why do people have wedding rehearsals?
I'm puzzled, mostly because I've read (mostly here, I don't read about weddings much) that the diner is not always at the restaurant or place it will be on the day of the wedding. I don't even know if there's a rehearsal of the ceremony before?
So yeah, my question is more why and what does it entails?
There's an old joke about the FOB asking the Bride, 'Why do we need a rehearsal dinner? We all know how to eat.'
Like Weddings in general, rehearsals vary greatly. The idea is to get the bridal party used to the
house of worship in which the Wedding is to take place and figure out the timing. What music will be played when is discussed. Bits of choreography such as the bride handing off her bouquet to the MOH for the vows is also treated. In 1983 when we were married, it was traditional to make a mock bouquet with a paper plate and the bows from the shower gifts for the bride. This was used as a prop at the rehearsal to make the bouquet transfer more comfortable.
The rehearsal is also a time to get misconceptions straightened out. At ours, the celebrant said that, after the ceremony was completed, he would spread his arms, announce us as Mr. and Mrs. X and
encourage applause from the guests. In no uncertain terms, we told him that we did not want this. It didn't happen at the actual ceremony.
Our rehearsal dinner was tiny. Our only attendants were the MOH and BM. We just all went out after the rehearsal and got a table for four at a local place. No reservations were needed. In later years, we were invited to rehearsal dinners that included at least 80 people because most of the family was coming in from out of town and staying in hotels.
The rehearsal dinner is a chance to say 'Thank You' to attendants and present gifts. If relatives of the bride or groom have come a long way, the rehearsal dinner gives both sides a relaxed atmosphere in which to get acquainted before the actual Wedding. In no way is the rehearsal dinner a rehearsal for the Wedding reception. There is no dancing and no cake. It's just a get-to-know-you
sort of thing. The rehearsal dinner is usually also held in a place that's more informal than the reception venue.
BTW, just this week I heard of a bride who had 80 bridesmaids. It's not as bad as you might think. The bride ran a dance school and asked all her students to be attendants. Now, THAT required one humongous Wedding rehearsal.