The home of UK weddings

09 June 2014

Preparations for the Day

After months of eating, sleeping and breathing wedding arrangements, it's nearly time for your big day, but before you say, "I do", there are a few things left to do.

Practise, Practise, Practise

Attending a rehearsal is a long-standing tradition, which takes place on the eve of the wedding. Unlike many other customs, it actually serves a purpose in calming nerves and preparing everyone for the big day ahead. If you have children as flower girls or page boys, running through the service can help them to understand what will be happening on your wedding day, so everything will seem less daunting. Be prepared to explain it several times for the benefit of the little ones. The rehearsal itself has many time-honoured traditions that go along with it, which can be a nice way to kick off the wedding celebrations in earnest. Rather than carrying a bouquet of flowers, the bride carries a posy of ribbons made up from the bows around the presents she received at her wedding shower. The ribbons should be threaded through a paper plate and a makeshift 'handle' created for the bride to hold. The bridesmaid would traditionally make this during the shower. Guests who go along to the wedding dinner rehearsal are usually expected to bring their gifts and not send them to the wedding as per usual. Whilst a bride and groom are not normally expected to open the gifts in front of their guests, those presented to them at the rehearsal dinner are traditionally opened there and then.

How Many Ribbons?

In addition, the number of ribbons a bride breaks whilst opening the gifts on the eve of her wedding is said to represent the number of children she will ultimately have. This is a thought for guests to bear in mind when wrapping the gift! It is also customary for those attending the rehearsal dinner to write down words of advice or wisdom for the happy couple and there are various ways to do this. If the rehearsal dinner is being held in a restaurant, getting the guests to write on a slip of paper and drop it into a box works well, with the contents being read out later in the evening. If the rehearsal dinner is at home, an alternative is to use white paper to cover the table and provide marker pens for the guests to scribble their note. Rehearsal dinners are traditionally said to satisfy a number of different purposes. Firstly, they are to ensure that everyone knows their role during the ceremony and is sure about what they are supposed to be doing. Secondly, they can calm the nerves of the bride and groom. Lastly, the happy couple can pass on their gratitude for the help they have received. However you decide to do it, a rehearsal dinner is a great way to prepare for the big day and also enjoy an informal get-together with all of the people that have supported you through the craziness of the previous few months (or longer!).

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