What to Include in your Wedding Ceremony Program

Wedding ceremony programs are a huge help to guests attending your wedding. The purpose of these pamphlets is to act as a guide explaining the sequence of events. They also mention who will be walking down the aisle, and explain any religious or cultural proceedings that will take place. We recommend adding wedding ceremony programs to your stationary order as they are not only helpful, but also act as a lovely wedding keepsake for your guests.

The cover page of your wedding ceremony program should be the introduction. Although at this point everyone should be familiar with the details, the introduction is where you state your spouse’s and your name, along with the date of your wedding. If wanted, you can include the location of the venue, it’s all up to personal preference.

Order of Ceremony
The order of the ceremony provides your guests with the timeline of events at your wedding. It should include everything from the prelude to the recessional. It is important to mention an explanation for any religious or cultural proceedings for those who are not familiar. Finally, you can include any readings or songs if desired. This will make it easier for your guests to follow along, and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Wedding Party Members
Along with you and your partner, you will want to list everyone who will be walking down the aisle. The order should follow the wedding processional. Generally, you will list the officiant first, followed by the parents, members of the wedding party, flower girl, and ring bearer. Depending on space and preference, you can write a brief statement about how you know the person.

Thank You
Finally, you should end your wedding ceremony program with a thank you note to thank your guests for being a part of your special day. You can also highlight those who assisted in the planning process and helped make your day turn out the way it did. Lastly, this is a spot where you can honour loved ones who were unable to be a part of your special day.

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Wedding Music Dos and Don’ts

Picking the music for your wedding is easier said than done. It can be surprisingly difficult to create what may be the most important playlist of your life. Before throwing together all of your favourite songs, we’ve created a list of wedding music dos and dont’s to help you plan the soundtrack for your special day.

DO – Have assistance with creating your soundtrack
Although you are more than capable and probably already have several pre-made playlists, it is important to have assistance with creating the soundtrack for your wedding. When it comes to creating a playlist, everyone has their go-to songs. That’s why you should consider the opinions of others when picking the music. We’re not saying to ask every guest attending your wedding what their favourite song is, but an option would be to have an online guest request portal (which MacMillan can provide!) where guests can make pre-wedding song requests. Finally, to make things more special, whomever you’re dancing with should have a say in the song too, such as your first dance track, and parent-child dances.

DO – Have your DJ finalize your playlist
It is beneficial to go over your song selections with your DJ, and have your DJ give feedback on your playlist. They’ll be able to give you their advice on what songs they think you should keep, and what songs they think should be cut. When working with a DJ, take into consideration the songs and sequencing they suggest. Remember, DJs are professional and have the knowledge and experience to read the crowd, keep things flowing, and your guests on the dance floor.

DON’T – Skip Soundcheck
Before your ceremony begins, it is very important for the wedding musicians and/or DJ to complete their soundcheck. Event spaces all have inherent sound issues that will need to be addressed before your event begins. To avoid mic checks and sound issues during your grand entrance, it is mandatory that your DJ completes a soundcheck prior to guest arrival.

DON’T – Make your playlist too short
Make sure your playlist has enough songs to accurately reflect your music preferences. We recommend providing your DJ with around 20-30 of your favourite songs. This will help your DJ get an understanding of your music tastes and will allow them to keep the night flowing in that direction.

DO – Be aware of the volume
Lastly, it is very important to be aware of the volume of the music. You don’t want your wedding music to be too loud as it can be distressing to your guests. You also don’t want your wedding music to be too quiet as it can be too hard to hear and therefore too hard to dance to. A confident DJ knows the appropriate volume to use, turning it down while guests are chatting at dinner, and turning it up when it’s time to hit the dance floor.

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Frequently Asked DJ Questions

1. Why do I need a DJ?
For a once in a lifetime event, where everything should be perfect, a professional DJ has the experience and willingness to take on the responsibility of many things, not the least of which is to pack the dance floor by incorporating the wide range of musical tastes the guests may have with the couples’ choices and vision for their wedding. The couple have enough to do and that shouldn’t include making a playlist, renting equipment, packing up and returning the gear, the liability aspect and either managing it themselves or putting someone in charge of the iPod. All of that can really detract from not only the success of your event but also your enjoyment. What if your playlist doesn’t get people on the dance floor and keep them there? What if there is a technical issue with equipment you aren’t familiar with? What if people become bored and leave early? DIY music is probably appropriate for some other events but your wedding day isn’t one of them! Professional DJs also handle the flow of your event, any announcements or MC duties required and know how to get and keep your guests on the dance floor. You can’t predict the timing or what your guests will want with a pre-determined playlist.
2. How does lighting add to my wedding?
Depending on the vibe you are looking for, adding lighting can provide the right atmosphere at the right time or accentuate your décor. For instance, the very popular “up lighting” can shine beams of light in your choice of colour, up walls to add a décor element or highlight an area like the head table, cake table or pillars in the room. Dance floor lighting, in particular intelligent lighting, can bring the “party atmosphere” to your dance floor or be used for things like lighting up the grand entrance, speeches or your first dance. Intelligent lighting enables the DJ to control the speed, colour and movement of the lighting fixtures for the ultimate functionality. Even basic sound activated dance floor lighting usually gets people in the dancing mood and out on the floor!
3. How do I pick music that everyone will like?
The great thing is, that if you hire a professional DJ you won’t have to! They have years of experience in reading a crowd and programming music. They know what to play, when to play it and what to follow it up with to keep the party going. Of course, professional DJs invite the couple to be as involved as they want to be in choosing the music for the night. We are very good at doing our jobs but we aren’t mind readers so we encourage couples to fill out their “must play”, “play if possible” and the most important “do not play” lists. These selections are added to the guest’s requests and then the DJ uses his music knowledge and programming skills to make sure everyone is having a great time. This is done song by song. Pre-set playlists are very restrictive and can sometimes tie the DJs hands to do what you hired them to do.
4. How do I pick a DJ that works with our style?
Generally, couples find picking a DJ is hard. This is because many have never done it before and most don’t know what to look for. Picking a DJ by a promo video you’ve seen might work but unfortunately many of these are staged and do not accurately reflect how well the DJ might do at your wedding. In my many years of managing DJs I do know that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and there are very few “one size fits all” DJs out there. Key things to look for are 1) Experience (by far the most important), 2) Third party verification (like reviews and referrals from friends, family or your venue) and 3) Personality. As a larger company we have the ability to find out what the clients want and assign a DJ that is best suited to their needs. The clients are happy and our reputation for providing quality entertainment endures. When matching clients to a DJ I usually ask 1) what general age ranges will be attending? Is it mostly friends of their age group, family, or a mix of both? 2) General types of music they like and dislike as well as their read on what their guests might enjoy and 3) The level of interactivity they are looking for from their DJ. Are they looking for the DJ to be the MC? To be overly outgoing and more prominent in the event or are they looking for more of a laid back, low-key music master that won’t say much but will play the best music they’ve ever heard? Discussing these general aspects with your potential DJ or DJ service will help narrow down suitable choices for the couple.
5. Can my DJ be my MC?
Absolutely! All professional DJs are trained MCs and although many people don’t like public speaking, we do! Some services such as mine include basic MC services in all of our packages and this can include grand entrance introductions, announcements, speech introductions, centrepiece and kissing games and announcing all of the special dances. DJs are great MCs however we also recommend that, if possible, we work in conjunction with a guest or bridal party member that can add the personal touch of welcoming the guests and introducing the speakers. They can say something nice or tell a story about the couple and be more relatable to the crowd. If you don’t have someone in mind, no worries we can handle it all!
6. What happens if equipment fails or the DJ is sick?
Equipment failure or an issue with the DJ such as sickness, car breakdown, accident or other personal catastrophe can be a stressful predicament for everyone involved. Unfortunately, most single operator DJs can’t provide coverage for many of these issues. They may have a “DJ friend” they could call, but on a busy date they are most likely already working or at least should be. At least once or twice a year I get calls from frantic brides and grooms that another DJ that they hired hasn’t shown up or bailed on them last minute. Dealing with a larger company may solve this issue as for example we actually have a staff member on call, paid to be available each and every night we have events out, just in case. Our DJs are reliable and punctual, and we use only the best gear but we can’t control all things. We always have critical equipment back up gear on-site but also having that emergency back-up staff is peace of mind for our clients, our staff and me!
7. Why do I care if the DJ is using licensed music or has liability insurance?
Most people don’t know that a license is required to play music at your wedding. The licensing body called Connect Music Licensing allows a DJ to play legally sourced, high quality music at private events. YouTube, Spotify or other streaming might sound great on your phone or laptop but believe me on a pro sound system that isn’t the case. Also, a DJ you hire should never be reliant on the internet or Wi-Fi at your wedding. That could spell disaster! Enforcement officials from the licensing body representing the major record labels can do an inspection and for that reason many venues are now requiring proof of the license or legally sourced music. Liability insurance is also an important but rarely considered factor. Professional DJs have it in place to protect all parties involved including the client, the venue and the staff. Many venues are also requiring proof of liability insurance so make sure to hire someone who already has it in place!

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Enhancements for your Wedding

Along with DJ Services and Photobooths, MacMillan Entertainment Group offers many add-ons to your package to enhance your wedding experience. To learn more about a few of these add-ons, keep reading below!

Ceremony Coverage
The most popular add-on is our ceremony coverage. Our ceremony coverage is a secondary sound system that is independent from the main sound system, allowing for continuous music as your guests move from one area to the other. Early set-up, all additional time, and a wireless microphone for your officiant is also included!

Up Lighting
Following Ceremony Coverage, Up Lighting is our second most popular option. Add some great atmosphere to your event with warming static “pillars of colour” that can accent your walls, columns, or other key focal points. Including 65 pre-set colour options (including several shades of white) to compliment the ambience of your venue, our Up Lighting is perfect for a classy cocktail hour and dinner. When it’s time to get the party started these cool to the touch LED fixtures can also change colour to the beat of the music, creating the ultimate dance party!

Marquee Love Letters
Another popular add-on is our Marquee Love Letters. Standing 3 feet high, the letters offer multiple colour options, do chases, and can even change colour throughout your wedding. Along with adding charm and elegance to your venue, they also act as a lovely photo prop. Guests love to gather around them to take photos. Make a statement of love at your wedding with our marquee love letters!

If you want to customize your wedding, we offer monogram projections as another option. Project a custom message, name or logo onto the dance floor or wall! We offer dozens of customizable templates to choose from. Share your message or logo in lights with our custom monogram projections.

Have you booked your DJ or Photobooth yet? Click here to book today: www.macmillangroup.com/info

Advice for Hiring your Wedding Photographer

Your wedding photos are going to be cherished for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have the comfort of knowing they are in good hands. We’ve put together some advice we recommend to help you prepare for your wedding. Follow these wedding photography tips and you’ll be sure to capture all the memories from your special day.

Choosing Your Photographer
This might be pretty obvious, but you want to make sure you hire a professional wedding photographer for your wedding. Do your research, and narrow it down to potential candidates for the job. A successful wedding photographer will have a portfolio showcasing their work. We recommend viewing the photographer’s portfolio before making your final decision. This will show you their style, and give you an idea of what your wedding photos will turn out like if you choose to have them as your photographer.

Connect with your Photographer
It is important to hire a photographer that you are comfortable with. You don’t want to feel awkward in front of the camera, so it may be helpful to connect with your photographer before your wedding day. Your photographer will be following you around throughout the duration of your wedding, so you want to make sure you don’t feel distressed by them constantly being around you.

Be Relaxed
It’s your wedding day, and all eyes and cameras are going to be on you. With that being said, try not to feel intimidated by the camera. Some photos will be planned, and others will be candid. For the planned photos, don’t stress about having the perfect pose. Just relax and act natural. Focus on your wedding and having fun, not worrying about how you will look in your photos. Your photographer knows how to make you look your best, just let them work their magic.

Give Direction
If there is anything specific you want your photographer to do, we recommend discussing it together prior to your wedding. This is also an opportunity to schedule general time slots for photos such as classic shots and family portraits. In addition, you can leave them a list to remind them of things you really want them to capture. Give your photographer directions, however don’t micromanage them. Remember, you are most likely hiring an experienced professional, so trust that they are capable of fulfilling your needs.

Have you booked your DJ or Photobooth yet? Click here to book today: www.macmillangroup.com/info