The itinerary for your wedding is located on the back of your Request and Format Worksheet. If you need a copy of this form, please contact us and we can send you another copy with all of your pertinent information pre-filled in on the form. If you would like a blank copy of this form, please click here. You will need to clearly identify your Client Name or Agreement # as it is listed in our system, so we can direct the completed form to the correct event.
Your disc-jockey will use this information to guide the evening along. He will make the appropriate announcements to your guests and discreetly remind to you what is coming up next so you can be prepared. This will allow you to have fun at your reception with this task in our hands, and you won’t have to wonder, “What are we doing next?” If you have a wedding coordinator, we will easily work with them and they will be the ones with direct contact with you. We will also work with your photographer so he is always “in the know” and is not caught off guard.
We recommend that you have your itinerary in front of you or click on the link above so you can follow along. We run through each point on the itinerary below, and you can go through the entire list, or click on a single item for just some assistance with that particular item. This itinerary is intended to give the disc-jockey a list of things he will need to announce, the order in which they are to happen, and the approximate time for them. Please note that these times are specified for each item are approximate times and you can adjust these at any time during your event.
This is the time that you think the guests will be arriving into the exact room where you have us set up, not necessarily to the facility itself. You may have a “cocktail hour” prior to your guests entering the room of the reception, so this time is to indicate to us when we will first see your guests. Be sure to allow enough “mingling time” after your ceremony as well as travel time to the reception site.
Bride and Groom Arrival
This is the time that the two of you will arrive your reception. This is typically 20-40 minutes after your first guests start arriving. Most brides don’t allow enough time for pictures and therefore this time will throw off the rest of their itinerary. Please check with your photographer and have him give you a true estimate of how long pictures will take after your ceremony. This time is important for the disc-jockey as he will be closely watching the door so he can properly announce your arrival.
You have the option to choose whether you would like for us to announce just the two of you as you enter the room, or your entire bridal party. If it’s just the two of you, please specify HOW you would like to be announced (i.e. Mr. & Mrs. John Smith, John & Mary Smith, etc.) Also, if it is just the two of you, be sure to either signal the disc-jockey or send someone up to let him know that you have arrived. If you would like for us to announce your entire bridal party, then you will need to send us a list of those names in advance in the order in which you would like them announced. If there are some difficult names, please include phonetical spellings. You can have us announce your group in any order that you choose, but this is the order that is most popular and the order that we recommend:
Once your group is ready to be announced, your disc-jockey will put on a long song, and then physically line everyone up himself. It is strongly recommend that you have the disc-jockey do this so he knows for sure that everyone is lined up according to the list that HE has, and he also has a last chance to check the pronunciation of each name. Once he has everyone lined up, he will return to his system, fade out the music that he is playing, and then start the announcements. It is important that no one “runs off” during this time, especially children! If you have a particular song that you would like playing while these announcements are made, please specify that. There are some suggestions on our “Key Song Suggestions” page.
It is also recommended that the announcements of the entire bridal party happen here, although some clients prefer it to happen later leading into the first dance. That’s fine if that is your preference, but you lose some of the “grandeur” effect of being announced for the first time as husband and wife if you’ve already been in the room for an hour.
This itinerary item rarely happens at the reception. It most often takes place at the church or site of the ceremony. This is where the two of you line up with your parents and usually your bridal party and all of your guests file through the line to offer their congratulations. If you do decide to do it at the reception, remember to make sure that the reception ‘room” is left empty until you arrive. You would then go into the room first, form your line, and your guests will file through your receiving line as they enter the room.
Whether it be a sit-down dinner or a buffet, you will need to identify this time with your caterer. You will then want to allow enough time for this to take place before listing the time for your cake cutting. Usually 45 minutes is adequate for 120-150 guests, but you will want to allow an hour if you have 200 or more guests. Before we continue on with the itinerary, we will always walk the room and make sure that most of your guests have finished eating. Once you have finished eating yourselves, the rest of this time is usually spent visiting with tables and mingling with your guests. If you have someone designated to lead everyone in grace, please specify this person’s name so we may properly announce him or her.
This is usually done right after dinner, although it may happen later in the evening. We feel that it works well here because it doesn’t interrupt the dancing portion of the evening and it is a great lead-in into the toast. If you decide to have it at this point of the itinerary, we strongly recommend that this time is for the ceremonial step of cutting the cake and not where you would serve the cake. If you decide to serve the cake here, a large line will form at the cake table and you will lose the attention of your guests for the next 20-30 minutes, and the next two items on the itinerary or clearly important items where you will want everyone’s attention. We will make this announcement and ask everyone to grab their cameras and head over to the cake table to witness the cutting of the cake.
We will often check with you first to see if you will be serving champagne to just your bridal party, or to all of your guests. Once the champagne has been distributed, we will announce the toast. Before doing so, we will make sure that we have the name of the best man and that he is in the room. If you have other toasts that will be made, they usually happen after the best man. If you would like to speak to your guests, that is usually done here. This is one of the only times that there is no music playing in the background.
Simply put, if you don’t know what the grand march is, you probably don’t want it. The history of the grand march is slightly vague, although it does date back at least 100 years from Polish and German descent. Essentially, it is a march around the room of your reception by all of your wedding guests, led by an experienced couple that has done it several times and knows how to lead it. The bride and groom are usually first in line after the leading couple. You will march around the room, forming tunnels, and marching 2, 4, and 8 abreast up the center of the room. For tips on how to lead a grand march, try clicking here for suggestions. The disc-jockeys role is to simply announce it, help get people lined up, and then play the music. We will usually play “Under The Double Eagle”, “Roll Out The Barrel”, or other polka music. This usually lasts about 11-12 minutes.
Bride and Groom First Dance
This is usually the big turning point for the evening, where the mood goes from elegant and formal with a medium tempo, to, well, uh, a party! We make a big deal about this. We usually ask all of your guests to stand and get everyone excited as you go in to your FIRST DANCE AS HUSBAND AND WIFE!
Bride/Father & Groom/Mother Dances
Given your own personal situation, there can be many different variations at this point of the itinerary. There is usually always a bride/father dance and the groom may dance with his mother at the same time, or immediately afterwords to a completely different song. If there are divorced or deceased parents, then a bride may dance with two dads, with her mom or brother, or her new father-in-law. Again, given your own situation, you may eliminate this from the itinerary altogether.
Bridal Party/All Guests Dance
We think it’s great to have a bridal party dance for two reasons: First, it allows your photographer to get a good picture of each couple dancing together. Second, it helps with the “snowball effect” of getting your guests warmed up to the dance floor. If you have just the two of you dancing first, then maybe four of your with your parents, then twelve of you with your bridal party, then your guests are much more apt to “jump out there” if the dance floor has been warmed up first. What we will usually do is announce the rest of the audience to join them on the dance floor about halfway through this song. The song can be either fast or slow, so you may want to ask your bridal party what they prefer.
The dollar dances are a series of dances that are done by the bride and the groom as they dance with their guests to a series of several different songs. You can specify these songs, or we can just select standard slow songs based on the categories of music that you have specified on your request and format worksheet. Traditionally, it’s purpose is to give the couple a little extra money to spend on their honeymoon. It is more prevalent in some families than others, so you will want to decide if you are comfortable in having the dollar dances at your wedding. From our experience, it never comes across as a “tasteless” event and some guests will even ask us when they will be held, even if they’re not scheduled. We seriously see the dollar dances happen at approximately 50% of all of the weddings that we do. Prior to the dollar dances beginning, we ask for the bride, the groom, the best man, and the maid of honor to all assemble on the dance floor. Once the song he is currently playing is over, he will then position the four on the dance floor appropriately, with the bride and groom at the head of the dance floor, and then the best man and maid-of-honor at the edge of the dance floor, each collecting the money from the guests. The best man will usually collect the money for the bride and the maid-of-honor will usually collect the money for the groom. Alternatively, safety pins can be provided so the money can be pinned to the clothes of the bride and groom, although we don’t see this happen all that often. When everyone is in position and the disc-jockey has explained to the audience how it works, he will begin playing music, usually having the best man and maid-of-honor kick it off. Once people start to form the lines, then the two of them will let others cut in with the bride and groom. The dance usually lasts 30-45 seconds per person before the next person cuts in and they may offer more than a single dollar to the bride and groom for the dance. Towards the end, the disc-jockey will assist the BM and MOH in adjusting the length of the dance per person to even the lines out. Once everyone has had a chance to dance with the bride and groom, the disc-jockey will thank everyone on behalf of the bride and groom and then go back into regular dancing. You will want to allow 20 minutes for this event if you have less than 200 guests and 30 minutes if you have more than 200 guests.
This is your standard & traditional tossing of the bouquet that doesn’t need much explanation. Your disc-jockey will begin by playing upbeat music and announce all of the single ladies to report to the dance floor. He will have them all group together, get them excited, and then count down for you to toss your bouquet. Remember, the first toss is always a fake! That is done for the photographer’s sake and to also psych out the girls in the front of the group.
For this, a chair is placed in the center of the dance floor for the bride and all of the single men are asked to report to the dance floor. The groom will then kneel down and remove the garter from the bride (teeth are optional). Once the garter has been removed, the bride is excused and the groom will then toss the garter to the group of men, again the first toss being a fake. Once the bouquet and garter have been tossed, then a picture is usually taken with the bride, the groom, the woman that caught the bouquet, and the gentleman that caught the garter.
There are many other ceremonies that you can add to your list for the disc-jockey to announce and execute. They may be ethnic in nature, or may be a family tradition of yours. One example is the “couples dance” that is done in place of the bouquet toss. This is where all of the married couples report to the dance floor for a dance, including the bride and groom. The disc-jockey starts playing a song, and then asks all of the couples that have been married for less than 24 hours to sit down. Of course, the bride and groom exit. Next, he’ll ask if there is anyone that has been married less than three months. Then six months, then a year, then two years, and so on until there is only one couple on the dance floor. The bride and groom will then present them with their bouquet. If you have any additional ceremonies, announcements, special dances, dedications, birthdays, etc that you would like announced, it is strongly recommended that you submit those to us in writing and then verbally talk about them with your disc-jockey when you speak to him just prior to your wedding.
Please remember that any of these events can be altered and changed according to your specific tastes. It is YOUR wedding and we are here to help make your day special as best as we can!