Wedding Planning - Wedding Programs
Your guests will attend your wedding to witness a stream of events evolve into a beautiful day: the day that the two of you become husband and wife. Your wedding will be replete with unique touches added by you and your fiancé-- each detail providing a sense of your styles, tastes and personality traits. By providing your guests with a wedding program, you will basically be filling them in on those special touches you’ve both chosen to include in your ceremony. The program will act as their guide-- possibly curing any curiosity they may have about a special religious procedure, ethnic tradition, piece of music or any other important detail upheld in your wedding ceremony.
Wedding programs aren’t mandatory, of course. It’s entirely up to you whether or not to include them. Many brides like the idea of giving their guests programs because they will not only guide their guests through the stages of the ceremony, they also make great mementos for their guests and themselves as well. Don’t fret if you like the idea of wedding programs but don’t know where to start or what to include in them. You will find that wedding programs are fairly simple and inexpensive to make (depending on the style you had in mind.)
Your programs can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. There aren’t any strict guidelines or exact formats you have to follow. Your programs will give you a chance to truly create a lovely memento, made the way you want it to be. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what kind of content to include in your programs, just imagine that it’s your wedding day. Think about each detail of the ceremony as it unfolds (since you will likely have the most knowledge of every detail planned.) Start with the prelude music and follow through each ceremony event until the processional. Think about your wedding party and the special guests present. Now, recreate your thoughts onto paper—jot down each detail you want included in your wedding program. The content you use for your programs will be used to sort of explain the events of your wedding ceremony to your guests. Remember, you can include as much or as little as you wish. You may want to share everything with your guests-- including the words to your vows, readings or even words to a song that may be sung at your ceremony. Have fun making your programs one-of-a-kind.
Decide how you want the programs designed. You may opt for a simple postcard-style program made of white or ecru cardstock, or you may choose to have many pages to form a small booklet. One folded sheet of cardstock or paper is a popular option for the design of wedding programs. The style you want is entirely up to you and is really dependent upon how much content you plan to include inside of them.
Programs usually have a cover page (even if it is just one side on the postcard-style programs.) The cover page will usually include the bride’s name, the groom’s name and their wedding date. Below are the basics you may want to include on the inside of your programs:
- Ceremony music selections (prelude, processional, etc)
- Any religious observances/procedures
- Any ethnic customs/traditions
- Introduction to wedding party and special guests: Maid of Honor, Best Man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl(s), ring bearer, parents and grandparents of the bride, parents and grandparents of the groom, ceremony officiant, musicians, any other special guest or attendant at ceremony.
- Thank-you message from bride and groom to family and friends
- Dedications to deceased loved ones of the bride and groom
You may decide to use less in your programs, or more depending on what you want and/or the kind of ceremony you will have. You can even include pictures of you and your soon-to-be husband and/or stories of how the two of you met as well as your engagement story.
You can easily make your wedding programs on your computer and print them off yourself, or you could have a copy store print the bulk of your programs for you (this is probably your best option if you have many guests or if your programs have many pages.) You will have quite a selection of cardstock and special paper to choose from. You can add any embellishments to your programs as well (cording or ribbon to hold the pages together, etc.) Most programs contain text printed in black ink, though it is up to you what color you will use.
If you don’t like the idea of making your programs on your own, you could have them made for you at a stationary/printing shop or bridal specialty store. Call around and ask about this service and also compare prices. Of course, this option will be more expensive than making them on your own.
It’s a good idea to have someone (preferably an usher or other trusted individual) to hand out the programs at the ceremony, rather than setting them out on a table and relying on guests to pick one up. Handing them out at the entrance doors-- or as the guests are being seated-- will ensure that every guest receives a copy.
Be sure to proof the main copy of your wedding program several times. Have your fiancé and at least one or two other friends or family members look them over as well. Your programs will make a helpful ceremony guide for your guests and will serve as a cherished memento as the years go by.