Not every wedding needs a program, but in certain situations you may find it helpful. It can help make the experience more meaningful and personal for your guests. For example, if you are having a religious or cultural wedding, with many guests who are of another faith or culture, a program is a useful way to let everyone know what to expect. A program is also a great way to say your “thank you’s” and introduce family and wedding party members.
Here are some ways to dress up your programs in order to make them as fun and fabulous as they are functional! All photos are from The Knot.
A multi-functional fan kept guests cool and included ceremony information along with a photo of everyone in the wedding party. The “programs” (left) included a simple printout folded over a Popsicle stick—an easy DIY project. The five-leaf program on the right, decorated with bright yellow lily burst also doubled as a fan for the warm summer day.
The bride and groom made their programs themselves. They printed their large oak tree design (left) on pearlescent paper and tied the programs with Hanna Silk hand-dyed ribbons. The programs on the right, bearing the peacock motif, were especially important because they explained the significance of the Hindu ceremony.
On the left, postcard-sized ceremony programs detailing the wedding party and ceremony information mimicked the Wild-West style of the custom-designed invitations. Comic book lovers designed a custom-made program with a cover featuring cartoon images of themselves, on right.
The bride made the programs on the left herself using heavy bronze and cream card stock. She added eucalyptus leaves and a brown silk ribbon to incorporate the wedding colors. On the right, the program features a glued-on starfish for a waterfront wedding.
Roll it up
On the right, a scroll program features the events of the day, the delicious menu, and a Rumi poem. The programs on the left were rolled around twigs and tied with brown velvet and satin ribbon.
Ribbons and Bows
The beautiful programs on the left picked up the black-and-white pattern of the wedding invitations, made eye-catching with crimson and gold ribbons. The chocolate-brown programs on the right are tied with gorgeous yellow-and-white gingham ribbon.
One inventive couple included a crossword puzzle in their program, with questions about the couple. (“We said that the puzzle was meant for early-comers and shouldn’t be done during the ceremony!”) Be creative and think of ways to make your program a personalized, fun, and interactive part of your wedding.
What to include in the Program
Basic Info: Names, wedding date, location, and time.
Order of events: What will happen during the ceremony, including processional music, greeting, readings, prayers, exchange of vows, ring ceremony, unity candle ceremony, etc.
Members of the bridal party: Officiant, parents and grandparents of the bride and groom, maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, readers, and anyone else you’d like your guests to be acquainted with.
Other things you may wish to include in your wedding program (from About.com)
- An explanation of traditions or customs used in your ceremony
- A request for audience participation in certain parts of the ceremony (e.g. affirmation of the marriage, communion, singing, offering of the peace, standing or kneeling)
- Thank yous
- Memorials (for example: The memorial candle is lit in honor of the bride’s mother, Shirley Fielding.) More advice on honoring a deceased parent or relative
- A short sentence about each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen, describing why they are important to you.
- An explanation of the significance of the location, theme, first dance song, etc.
- Quotes or poems about love or marriage
- Directions to the reception
For more Wedding Program inspiration, visit The Knot to view hundreds of real wedding programs!