After months of planning, it’s such an exciting feeling to know your wedding day is right around the corner. You’ve hired professionals so that your day runs smoothly, and it’s time to let go of the reigns so that they can do the job your hired them to do.
To ensure you are organized and prepared for the day of, there are a few documents you’ll need to provide your vendors. Read below about each of them so that you can go into your wedding day worry-free!
Ceremony & Reception Song List
These days, lots of DJs and bands have online platforms for you and your partner to enter in your general wedding information, song requests, don’t play list, and more. If you’d like to get a jump start (or your DJ doesn’t offer this service), there are a few different music-related decisions you’ll want to think through.
When considering what genre of music and what specific songs you want played at your wedding, remember that your DJ is a professional! We definitely don’t recommend making a whole three to four hour playlist for them to play because, well, that’s what you hired them to do. While you can definitely let them know a handful of songs you want played, giving them a general gist of your musical likes and dislikes will allow them to do their jobs to their best abilities.
There are some songs that you’ll want to specifically pick if you’d like. For ceremony, these would be:
Prelude songs: Any songs you want played while guests are being seated prior to the ceremony
Processional song(s): Noting if there are different ones while certain groups walk down the aisle, such as family members, wedding party, and you and/or your partner
Ceremony songs: For example, if you’ll be doing a unity ceremony and want a specific song to be played during it
Recessional song(s): Couples most commonly just pick one song for their recessional, but if you want to pick multiple songs, go for it!
Postlude songs: Any songs you want played while guests are transitioning to cocktail hour
Moving into your reception, there are several moments you can select songs for:
Special dances (i.e. parent/family dances)
Last dance of the evening
Beyond these moments, DJs will typically ask for you to select 10 to 30 songs that you like and/or want played during dancing. From there, they’ll be able to gauge your music preferences and curate a playlist for the evening.
Similar to your DJ, your photographer may have an online system or questionnaire for you to fill out. Beyond this, they may ask you for a shot list. This will list out every family photo that you would like taken. For wedding party photos, group and individual photos are generally taken, but if there are certain groups of people you would like in addition to these, it’s helpful to list those out as well.
Most commonly, family photos are done after the ceremony, and your photographer will utilize the shot list to keep this running as smoothly as possible. It’s also helpful to let any family members know that they’ll be included in photos post-ceremony so they know to hang around and not head to cocktail hour quite yet.
When compiling your family photo list, first break it up between the two sides of the family. From there, try to list the photos as strategically as possible so that family members are removed or added to photos with as little shuffling as possible For instance, if the first group photo is you, your partner, and your parents, add in your siblings to the next photo rather than switching over to an entirely new group of family members.
Entree Selection & Allergy List
If guests are selecting their meal for dinner, you’ll need to provide your caterer with an entree selection list. This will detail the guest’s name, what table they are sitting at, the meal they’ve selected, and if they have any dietary restrictions or allergies. This way, your caterer can make any adjustments necessary to their entree. It will look something like this:
Jessica - Chicken
Sarah - Beef (nut allergy)
Peter - Chicken
Paige - Vegetarian
Andrew - Beef
Beth - Vegan
Ian - Chicken
You’ll do this for each table at your reception, and of course don’t forget your wedding party and you and your partner! On this document, it is also helpful to include the overall counts for each entree (i.e. 35 chicken, 60 beef, 12 vegetarian, 3 vegan), along with a key for your entree indicator on your escort or place cards if it isn’t intuitive (i.e. pink dot = chicken, blue dot = beef, etc.).
Along with entree selections, you’ll also provide your venue and/or caterer with your seating plan. This will be used for a few things. For whoever is setting out the tables and chairs, this will be a quick reference of how many chairs need to be set at each table. Similarly, your catering staff will know how many place settings need to be put out. If guests have assigned seats, you can specify which guest will be at each seat for whoever will be setting out your place cards.
Staying organized in the weeks leading up to your wedding is so important, and providing your vendors with these documents will help you focus on the things that matter on your big day. It’s time to enjoy your work and let your vendors work their magic!
Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?