Your guide to the wedding rehearsal at Zion Springs

Is the anticipation of your wedding day building up?

Wondering how to ensure everything goes smoothly during the ceremony?

Navigating the ins and outs of wedding preparations can be daunting, and this includes the wedding rehearsal. 

At Zion Springs, we've been privileged to host couples celebrating their rehearsal dinners for over 15 years, and we are focused on every aspect of making your wedding meet your dreams. Our highly professional team works cohesively to make sure you are relaxed and stress-free at every step of your celebrations, and this includes your rehearsal ceremony and dinner. 

This guide walks you through the pivotal steps of the wedding rehearsal, from understanding its purpose to mastering the rehearsal dinner. With sections dedicated to each important aspect of the rehearsal, you'll feel confident and prepared for your big day. 

The purpose of the wedding rehearsal

The wedding rehearsal is a practice run for the real event.  Much like actors preparing for their show, you run through the program for your wedding.  It is a time for everybody in the ceremony to get the feel and timing for each stage, practice walking up and down the aisle, and check for issues that could cause hiccups on the wedding day.  It can help alleviate the stress on your wedding day as you have already done a practice run.  

After the ceremony rehearsal, you get to relax among family and friends at the rehearsal dinner.  This is where personalized speeches are given to those who have been a major part of the wedding planning, as well as gifts given to the wedding party. 

Who should attend the wedding rehearsal?

Unlike the wedding day celebration, this is a more intimate moment for those directly involved in the ceremony. It is a much smaller affair that affords the couple time to share with close family and friends. There are four parties who should be in attendance:

1.  Bridal party

Joining the bride and groom are:

  • Bridesmaids and maid of honor
  • Groomsmen and best man
  • Flower girl and ring bearer

2.  Immediate family

You might include relatives or friends included in this section: 

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Special close friends or family who have a role in the ceremony

3.  Officiant

We can provide an officiant if you do not have somebody specific you wish to conduct your ceremony. 

4.  Ceremony musicians

We recommend that your musicians use this opportunity to practice for the big day.  This familiarizes them with the sound system and acoustics of our setting and pre-empts any issues they might have with getting set up and plugged in.

What can you expect during the wedding ceremony rehearsal?

This is your opportunity to clearly understand what happens and when, and what it looks like.  Remember that on your wedding day, you will probably feel a little anxious, so it helps to run through the process a few times in advance. 

Arriving at Zion Springs

On your arrival, park in the gravel area next to the barn and join us at the bar and Cucina for welcome cocktails. If you are staying overnight, you will have already checked in and can walk over to the barn. Our photographer will capture all the special moments of the evening.


Heading over to the barn stairs, we give you a brief overview of amenities you can enjoy during your stay and a review of the agenda for your wedding celebrations.  

Our events director begins by positioning you at the archway so everybody knows where they are seated or standing for the ceremony.  Grandparents and parents, along with the bridesmaids and groomsmen, are seated in the front row.  Everybody gets to see where they are sitting or standing for the ceremony. This is important, especially for those who have not been part of a wedding party before. and might be a bit unsure of how it works. It also means that any problems are ironed out in advance. 

You want to do sound checks to make sure you are heard through the mics.  This is all about practice; you practice exchanging rings, practice the readings and any other key elements of your ceremony.

Order of entry

Once everybody is comfortable with the ceremony, we move back to the entrance of each party. Everybody gathers in the Green Room with our events director, except the bride and her father/escort are inside the barn at the top of the stairs. 

The procession traditionally begins with the grandparents and other close family members. Following them are the parents of the bride and groom. Next, the groomsmen make their entrance and are followed by the bridesmaids.  If you include them in the wedding, the flower girl and the ring bearer take their place.  Our events director waits with each group at the stairs to let them know when to proceed. 

Finally, it is the bride’s turn to enter from the barn, walk down the stairs, and glide down the aisle to her awaiting groom under the arch.  If she has been escorted down the aisle by her father, or other significant person, they will take their place in the front row seats. 

What if it rains?

We have you covered. Literally!  In the event of rain or snow on your wedding day, we move the procession inside the barn.  We follow the same order of entry, with everybody walking in through the side entrance of the barn to the officiant, who is standing in the middle and  in front of the barn doors.  We arrange the chairs in the open space at the center of the barn to create an aisle for the procession. 


The newly married couple is the first to head down the aisle, followed by the maid of honor and best man.  They have an important position to hold as they head up the steps; they form the front boundary of the group photo on the stairs.  The bridesmaids and groomsmen gather behind, along with the parents and the rest of the guests.  While they are being assembled, the couple head into the barn for the ringing of the bell.  Remember to be quite firm when pulling that rope, as the bell is quite heavy.  You will then head back to join in the group photo. 

This is the end of our ceremony rehearsal.  You might find you want to go back and practice or run through a couple of things, and if so, now is your time to do it.  Ask questions: if you are unsure at any point, now is the time to get the answers you need.  We are here to make sure you are comfortable and confident in the wedding day schedule. 

Wedding celebration and dinner

While the guests head inside the barn, the wedding party assemble outside the main doors of the barn for the individual  introductions of the bridesmaids and groomsmen and the fanfare announcement of the wedded couple.  You take your seats at a 45° angle at the head table as parents present their speeches.  Remind everybody to hold the mic close to their chin at all times, otherwise the sound is lost. 

Dinner ensues with the maid of honor and bestman speeches afterwards.  

Practice your first dance as a couple, as well as the daughter and father, and son and mother dances. Run through the timing of the cake cutting near the head table, and the bouquet toss, before the final last dance. 

Your wedding rehearsal is now complete, and everybody can head over to the bar for cocktails and charcuterie as you await your guests for the rehearsal dinner.


4 Tips for a smooth wedding rehearsal

  1.  If you are including your pet in the ceremony, the rehearsal is the perfect time to practice the logistics of having them join you in your celebrations.  Let them explore at their own pace to familiarize themselves with the venue.
  2. Stay calm: things may not go as perfectly as you had hoped, and that is expected.  The rehearsal is the time to iron out any kinks. 
  3. Wear a pair of shoes that are similar in height to your wedding slippers so you can practice walking up and down the stairs and up the aisle. (Extra hint: when stepping down each step, lead with your heel, not your toes.)
  4. Have something to entertain young children if they are part of your ceremony.  There are times when they might be standing around and waiting, and will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

The wedding rehearsal dinner

After the ceremony rehearsal, it's customary to have a rehearsal dinner. This is a more relaxed event where the couple, the bridal party, and their families come together to celebrate the impending nuptials. One of the biggest wishes that couples have when reflecting on their wedding celebration is that they didn’t have enough time to spend with special guests.  Well, here is your chance! Take this time to sit with each of them and share this special moment.  

The Green Room Gala: A Feast of Love and Laughter

As the evening unwinds, the bridal party and close relatives congregate by the inviting atmosphere of the Cucina for a cocktail hour that sets the tone for the night. Guests are ushered into the Green Room, where they are greeted by the gracious hosts, symbolizing the official commencement of the evening's festivities.

The dinner, an array of sumptuous dishes presented buffet-style, allows guests to indulge in a culinary journey tailored to tantalize their taste buds. This convivial atmosphere is the perfect setting for what is affectionately known as "the roast and toast." Here, the open mic becomes a podium for personalized messages of gratitude from the bride and groom and heartfelt stories and shared memories of those wishing to share their anecdotes. Amidst the laughter and occasional happy tears, tokens of appreciation are exchanged—a gesture of deep gratitude for the wedding party's unwavering support.

Sweet Endings and New Beginnings

Post dinner, the sweetness of the occasion is complemented by a decadent dessert. It's a moment to savor the flavors as well as the company of loved ones before the night evolves into a more informal gathering back at the Cucina bar. The bar, open till the stroke of midnight, welcomes additional guests you chose to join you, expanding the circle of joy. This relaxed setting, often accompanied by the spirited fun of karaoke if desired, allows the couple to share intimate moments with their guests in a less structured environment, shedding the day's formalities.

A Gentle Retreat into Relaxation

As the clock hands align at 10 pm, the bride takes her leave for a tranquil massage, a serene end to the evening's revelries. This soothing experience is not just a retreat but a cherished ritual, offering a moment of calm before the excitement of the wedding day. It's a thoughtful pause that ensures the bride can retire for the night, feeling rejuvenated and ready for the beautiful journey that awaits her in the morning.

Getting ready for your wedding rehearsal at Zion Springs

Ready to envision your wedding day from start to finish, or curious about the culinary experiences that await at Zion Springs? Dive into our detailed guide at Zion Springs Wedding Timeline, where we walk you through each moment of your special day. Plus, don't miss out on our exclusive peek into the delectable catering options that Zion Springs proudly offers. Whether you're dreaming up your perfect rehearsal dinner or the grand reception feast, our article on catering will leave you inspired and hungry for more.