Hey Mister DJ

Tips on Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal Dinner

Tips on your Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal & Dinner

We like to provide wedding tips, ideas & suggestions that go beyond the scope of our standard wedding ceremony & reception services.

 That being said, this article is all about the rehearsal day.

Most weddings typically have a ceremony rehearsal (and dinner after) to ensure that the actual day goes flawlessly and without incident.

The guests generally include the married-to-be couple, immediate family, and all members of the wedding party. Some couples prefer to have the rehearsal & dinner two nights before the actual wedding so there is a day of rest in between. Either way, the rehearsal is usually a full run through with your coordinator/venue to practice walking down the aisle and other formalities. 

The couple, parents, grandparents, ushers, and entire wedding party should be present for the rehearsal. Your wedding planner will help organize and facilitate the day. Sometimes the officiant is also present, but this varies, so be sure to confirm before hiring if they are willing to attend the rehearsal and what the additional charge will be.

Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal in Los Angeles

Note: The officiant may charge will be a full/partial “day rate” because that takes them away from doing any other work that day. The rehearsal is not an entire word for word reading of the ceremony & vows…it’s more about choreography, so many feel a professional officiant doesn’t need to be present. However, if you have a friend or family member officiating, then in that case, it is a good idea for them to be present and do a practice run with their notes.

You will want to check with your wedding venue to see what accommodations they have for rehearsals. We operate in Southern California, where most of the venues in the Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Barbara & Orange County area have multiple areas available on-site and will schedule a time for your rehearsal.

Some clients will pay extra to have their photographer/videographer attend and shoot the rehearsal & dinner. This all depends on how many moments you want to capture and if you have anyone giving a speech at the dinner that isn’t giving a speech at the actual wedding. It can also give the photo/video person an extra opportunity to scope out the venue and find ideal places to shoot on the actual wedding day.


Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal in Los Angeles

If, for some reason (but EVERYONE should have a wedding planner) you do not have a wedding coordinator, then you need to have a designated person to help run the rehearsal. Ask your venue if they provide someone or ask your officiant or a friend that isn’t in the actual wedding party.

The rehearsal typically takes between 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the group.

Some things covered at the rehearsal:

 Seating and ceremony layout

 Order of Processional

 Guest readings

 Order of Recessional

 How to walk down the aisle & pacing/timing

A professional wedding planner is worth every dollar you invest in them.
There are SO many reasons you should have an experienced wedding planner, which you can read about in my book: “How to Hire a Killer Wedding DJ”  later!

Wedding Rehearsal in Los Angeles with Wedding Planner

After the ceremony rehearsal is complete, everyone will head out for a pre-wedding celebration!

A rehearsal dinner is a pre-wedding tradition, usually held after the ceremony rehearsal and takes place the night before the actual wedding. This can be at the venue if they have space available, or often it can take place at a local restaurant nearby.


 Often clients ask us to provide a basic microphone & speaker package for toasts and background music, but we can also MC and do some fun games (if you want interaction) like couple trivia or even do Karaoke! You can also make the rehearsal group feel special by giving all of them a music request card they can submit to the DJ. These are all great ways to get your group warmed up and in a festive mood for the big day.





Rehearsal dinner does not have to be boring!


Since most rehearsal dinners occur at a restaurant or private room, it’s nice to create some ambiance and create excitement for the big day. Our rehearsal dinner package also includes having our DJ give some coaching to anyone giving a speech on how to hold the microphone and how to enter for grand entrance etc.


Rehearsal Dinner package- 


 1 DJ/MC or Tech with music playlist

 1-2 speakers

 2 hours of performance

 Wireless mic for speeches

 Add Karaoke for just $450 additional!


See more about Karaoke HERE!


DJ & Sound system for wedding rehearsal dinner or event, wedding los angeles, wedding dj, Wedding production, music, sound, lighting

And now…for some tips from a Professional!!

PRO TIPS from Hey Mister DJ:
Ceremony Rehearsal-
Bring a Bluetooth speaker and play your processional song during the rehearsals so you can make sure it’s long enough to get everyone down the aisle.

Toasts & Speeches- You want to save the “good stuff” for the actual wedding so make sure anyone designated to speak on the wedding day keeps their comments more casual at the rehearsal dinner.

This is more of an opportunity for anyone who isn’t being given speech time at the actual wedding to give a toast, share some stories & well wishes.

PRO TIPS from an expert Wedding Planner #1-
Kimery Sherwood @ 

Wedding Planner Kimery, Wedding Planner Los Angeles

What are the most important things you as a planner, want clients to know regarding rehearsal day?

  1. That as the wedding planner, I will be right by their side to cue them of when to walk down the aisle way, so they don’t have to think about anything except to have fun and smile. I always get that question: “When do I walk?” 
  2. It is important for the bridal party to know their “mark” once at the altar, so they know where to stand and when also to pivot to watch the ceremony themselves. It’s also important for the family members (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) to know where their seats are once they walk down the aisle way. Also, be sure to let the flower girls and ring bearers know if they are standing up at the altar during the ceremony or sitting down with their parents. 
  3. It’s crucial to let the MOH and BM know what their responsibilities are …. and that is to take care of the Bride and take care of the Groom while up at the altar/chuppah  

For the MOH: 

  • If the bride’s heel gets stuck in her dress or veil, help her 
  • Make sure she gets her bouquet back for recessional
  • Give her a Kleenex if she needs it 
  • Fluff her dress, if need be

For the Best Man:

  • Handoff the rings when asked 
  • Kleenex if the Groom needs it.

Same with the readers: make sure they know what their responsibilities are and when during the ceremony (i.e. which microphone they will be using for their reading). 


PRO TIPS from an expert Wedding Planner #2-
Renee Dalo @ http://moxiebrightevents.com/

Rene Dalo, Moxie Bright Events, Wedding Planner

How important is it that the rehearsal takes place at the actual ceremony location?

It’s pretty important. 99% of the time we can rehearse at the venue, and it’s the best way to ensure that everyone is comfortable, and everything is timed out properly. When you aren’t on-site, it’s so difficult to approximate how long the walk down the aisle will be, or where exactly people will stand. The ceremony rehearsal is all about muscle memory. Wedding days are emotional, and since you don’t know what your emotions will be doing, it’s important to know that your feet are doing the right thing. And being at the venue helps put everyone at ease. 

If you can’t be at the venue, do your best to approximate the distance of the aisle at the very least. And then maybe do a brief second rehearsal on the day of the wedding before guests arrive! 






Are you searching for an amazing DJ/MC for your wedding?
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Greater Los Angeles, Malibu, Calabasas, Westlake Village, Ventura, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, West side, Valley, Downtown, Santa Barbara, Orange County, Anaheim, Palos Verdes, Pacific Palisades and more.

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