Preparing for Your Rehearsal

by Jenny Bryde 15. March 2015 15:43

The plans are planned, purchases purchased, and engagements engaged.  Now it's the day before your wedding, and it's time to rehearse.  The who, what, where, when, why, and how that have been swimming around in your brain and dancing in your dreams are about to become a reality.  It would probably make you and everyone else a little easier on the day of if you run through the show once or twice beforehand.  Here are some things to keep in mind when planning for your rehearsal.

Who - Who is in your processional?  Recessional?  Who is standing?  Who is sitting?  Reading?  Singing?  Make a list of all these people because they will all want a little direction from you. 

What - What events are a part of your wedding?  Prayer?  Readings?  Personalized vows?  A joke telling officiant?

Where - Where should everyone stand?  Are the bridesmaids all one one side opposite the groomsmen?  Where are the parents and grandparents?  Where do people start?  Stop? 

When - How long should the next couple/person pause before coming down the aisle?  What should people be doing at certain time points of the ceremony?  When should the best man produce the rings?  When should the maid of honor produce the bouquet?  

Why - This is probably the most important question.  As you run through the rehearsal in your head and then in real life, if something seems odd, ask yourself why it's a part of the ceremony?  Or why it's occuring at a certain time, in a certain place, or in a certain order.  Could it be tweaked or moved or eliminated or swapped?  Going through your rehearsal a few times before the big day will give you a chance to see your plan in action with a critical eye before your entire flock of friends and family see it as well.  


Advice | Ceremony Events

Etiwhat? Good manners for the matrimony!

by Jenny Bryde 8. December 2014 01:25

Who, what, where, when, why, and how?  And will Aunt Tilly be offended?  Avoiding wedding faux pas can be a daunting task, so today I've collected a number of articles to point the frenzied affianced in the right direction.  Below you will find links to some major guides on how to be proper for your ceremony.  Then again, you may want to throw out the towel and say who cares?  But for those of you who definitely want to avoid Grandmother's severe scrutiny, please feel free to use the tips linked below!

Wedding ceremony basics

Ceremony etiquette 101

Escorting guests to proper seating

Top 24 wedding etiquette questions


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Ceremony Events | Etiquette

Altars, Altars Everywhere!

by Jenny Bryde 10. December 2011 14:51

Maybe it's because I'm already married.  Maybe it's because I'm feeling nastolgic for warmer weather.  Or maybe it's because they're so darn pretty, but lately I can't keep from day dreaming about wedding altars!  Indoors, outdoors, or somewhere in between - altars have come a long way in creativity and beauty!  Check out all these fun and totally "doable" altars.  Do you think any of these would work for your own wedding? 

Beautiful draped frabric...

Creative uplighting...

Monocromatic branches...

Woodland fantasy...

Gorgeous draped florals...

A beautiful structure...

Overarching branches and moss...

A decorated tree...

Asymetrical nature...

A lumineria-lit pathway...

These are all so romantic!  They make me want to get married again and again!  Which is your favorite?  Which could you recreate or reinvent to fit your own wedding?? 

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Ceremony Events | Decor | Jenny Bryde

Putting it all Together in Your Program

by Jenny Bryde 20. August 2010 00:31

Whew!  As the time is winding down towards our wedding, I am starting to feel the weight of my to-do list.  My major problem is that I keep adding unnecessary things to my to do list such as “make pinwheels for the kiddies”.  While I hope to get to the pinwheels (post coming soon), there are other things that just must get done and get done soon.


The above program is a from Etsy shop MTK Designs

One of those line items is that I need to create our programs.  Originally, I didn’t think that we were going to have programs, but then I thought of all the good reasons why programs are helpful…

1)       A keepsake not only for the bride and groom but also for the parents.

2)      It gives adults a rundown of what’s going to happen next and how many things have to happen before they can run over to the bar.  J

3)      It gives kids paper to draw on if they get bored.  Let’s face it…kids get bored, and programs are made of paper. 

4)      If it’s hot, the program serves as a fan.

5)      You can make the program fit into your wedding theme.

6)      If you and/or your fiancé do not especially care for the spotlight, it gives your guest something else to stare at rather than at you. 

So when I came to the conclusion that we’d be making programs, I thought to myself that at least I’d get to play around with the design and fonts and such.  I’m kind of a fontaholic.  I probably have at least five hundred fonts on my computer, and I’m always adding more.  You can get many for free at sites such as, which is where I found all the fonts for our invitations, programs, table numbers, etc. 

Anyhoo, once I had in mind the design and the fonts that I wanted to include, I became stuck.   What exactly goes into a program?  What do you have to have?  What is optional?  How should it be organized?  Here’s what I’ve gathered:

Things you might include: 

1)       There might be some sort of cover or title area where the full name of the couple, date, location, and maybe a monogram or design can be included.

2)      Generally speaking, the ceremony starts the wedding, and so the events of the ceremony should be listed next, possibly including: the prelude, seating of any important family members, vocal/music selections, processional, entrance of the bride, call to worship, statement of intent, prayer, scriptures/readings, charge to the couple, exchange of vows, exchange of rings, pronouncement of marriage, special parts of the ceremony (i.e. unity candle), blessing of the marriage, presentation of the couple, recessional, postlude, and a line inviting the guests to the reception. 

3)      A listing of the wedding party including:  your officiate, parents, grandparents, bridesmaids, flower girls, groomsmen, ring bearers, musicians, bell ringers, attendants, hosts/hostesses and possibly your wedding director and/or coordinator.  You may want to also list the relationship of your wedding party members to the couple. 

4)      A thank you to those who have helped or contributed to make your wedding day possible.

5)      Directions to the reception site.

6)      A dedication.

7)      Your new address.

8)      Special poems/scriptures/lyrics.

9)      Notes of interest.

10)   Explanations of special ceremonies.

11)   A brief story of how the couple met.

What you may NOT want to include:

1)       Generally, those who are paid vendors at a wedding are not thanked in a program, however, you may feel differently and can do as you please if you feel the need to thank people.

2)      Please do not mention anything about gifts, money trees, etc.  Not nice.

3)      Too much embellishment.  This is where I have problems as I love embellishments!  But keeping your program simple is probably a good idea.  Sigh…

4)      Keep away from hard to read ink colors especially if you are in a darker area.

My big mistake so far in this project is that I started to create our program before we’ve even settled on details for the ceremony.  So this weekend’s absolutely to do activity is to pick music and finalize the ceremony wording.  Then, I’ll keep strong and carry on with my fonts.  And embellishments.  I can’t help myself.  J

By the way!  A fantastic resource if you’re not sure about what to do for a program can be found on Martha Stewart’s Wedding site. 


Ceremony Events | Stationery

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk...

by Jenny Bryde 15. August 2009 15:53

Today, my fiance and I had a very important conversation.  It was our first chance to sit down with our minister to discuss our wedding ceremony.  Our minister just happens to be my uncle, my father's only brother, and a wonderful person.  Asking my uncle to marry us was the first decision that we made as an engaged couple, and it just came naturally as deciding that I'd be wearing white and that we wanted a fall wedding.  We didn't even have to think about it.  Until now...

My fiance and I live together, and we do not attend a church.  I would describe us as "good people" but that doesn't tell a whole lot about our faith.  I knew that my uncle is certainly religious, and I was concerned that a lack of formal religion in our lives would be an issue.  In a way, I was kind of dreading this first sit down conversation with my uncle in the role of our minister.  

Today was a family reunion in Des Moines, so our big conversation with my uncle was drawing nearer.  After everyone ate three helpings of everything, and after my fiance and I lost miserably at Washers, it was time to face the music and have a most important discussion with my uncle about our ceremony.  

An hour later after the meeting was over, I felt so relieved and silly for being nervous about this event.  My fiance smiled and shook my uncle's hand, and I gave them both a big hug.  We are good.  We are great!

In a nutshell, we had a fantastic and realistic discussion about where we stand in our faith, formal or not, how we deal with challenges and triumphs as a couple, and overall advice that my uncle had for us as his first blessing of our upcoming wedding.  As a minister, he did encourage us to consider pursuing a more "regular" relationship with The Man Upstairs, but beyond that, we were never made to feel like we were doing something wrong or that my uncle was less than thrilled to be marrying us.  Rather, he is elated and honored that we asked him!  

I am curious, readers, how your first face to face conversation with your minister/judge/friend/whomever went.  Was this someone you've known for a long time?  Did/do you feel comfortable with this person?  Did/do you feel that you need to change things in your relationship based upon the conversations you've had with this person?  

I know that everyone faces a different scenerio when getting married, but I think I have to thank my lucky stars that we have a supportive and loving person to start our married life.  I wish that for all of you as well!

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Ceremony Events

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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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