pro tips :: creating a wedding dossier

Hi friends, we hope that you’re all staying safe and thinking positively during this time. We’re continuing to share our tips for helping couples and wedding and event industry creatives navigate developments and changes to gatherings amid COVID-19. I’ll share a link to a past article we wrote (also embedded with links to places we’ve been quoted for helpful tips and 6 FUN wedding planning tasks you can be doing right now) and I wanted to elaborate on something we’ve been talking about over the last three weeks: a wedding dossier. 

What is a wedding dossier and why is it important?


As planners and designers for our clients and the team behind all of the finite details and vendors for their big day, we have all important plans on-hand both in print-out version in individual client files, but also easily accessible on our office desktop and in an online portal our team can quickly access. Having all information available to find quickly and at-a-glance enables us to forward details to our creative team, answer mapping questions, load-in details, and share design plans with our team or others at any time. We keep scans of all vendor contracts, payments, planning calendars, and week-of timelines ready. Here we keep menus and tasting notes, photography timelines, rental order, color swatches, and really every detail that could be helpful to tell the story. You can think of this collection of information as our clients’ wedding dossier.So why do couples need their own Wedding Dossier? If you have a good planner, they’ll take great care of you and you likely have all of this information readily available. But for those of you without a planning team, having all of your wedding details at-the-ready makes the planning process easy to manage, you can find details quickly, and keep yourselves on target, as well as share information with your creative team (catering, photographer and videographer, musicians designer, etc.) With the current state of events during this pandemic, we highly recommend creating or updating your Wedding Dossier right now so that this “go bag” is ready to pass to your vendors if you have to postpone to a new date or make any changes. You can also share these creative details with your wedding party, parents, or best friend. What should you put into this dossier? We suggest that you include:

  • A separate tab for confidential contracts that you wouldn’t pass along to other vendors but for your reference – this tab can also include confidential payments made/due
  • The detailed wedding week timeline – broken down by day/deliveries/who is tasked with what
  • Your wedding day/portrait/music/videography timelines
  • A roster of each and every creative artist taking part in the day – including hair and makeup, transportation, your stationer, musicians, etc. Include names/best day-of contact with email and phone numbers, and what they’re responsible for
  • Your design plan – include photo inspiration, pictures of flowers, colors, and other design details (this can come from you or more formalized from your designer or florist)
  • Your menu, with any and all tasting and cocktail notes
  • Music ideas – your play list through each chapter of the day
  • All rental orders – include tenting deliveries, chairs, linens, tables – everything you will be bringing in
  • Include a list of anything your team should be privy to that might not be obvious on your day – a family member who might need help walking into the ceremony,
  • Copies of your insurance policies, banquet beverage orders, and anything you’ve obtained that’s required by your venue

Photos: Ryan Flynn Photography for Valley & Company Events

So what do you do with your Wedding Dossier? Hopefully it helps to keep you on target during your planning process and gets you excited seeing things in print! Having one created will enable you to communicate logistics more easily to your team and, if you have to postpone because of COVID-19, you’ll be ready to easily flick all of these details to your team or to new vendors if they have to step in for a vendor who isn’t available on the new date. It will get everyone up to speed – and we suggest getting them all on board with a ZOOM call where you can go through each tab pretty quickly. The idea is to be prepared but to still have fun with the process!

Take good care, and please message us hello@valleyandco.com if we can answer any other questions. We’re here to help!