When your guests arrive for your wedding ceremony, you want to make sure you’ve planned every detail to make your wedding enjoyable, memorable, and meaningful! Many couples focus so much on the reception—the food, the flowers, the music—that they forget the ceremony will be their guests’ first impression of the wedding! One of the best ways to immediately make your guests feel welcome and at ease is to hand out an informative and unique program. Make a perfect first impression with our fresh and fun program ideas.
What to include
Your ceremony program can include as much information as you would like, but there are a few main points one can add. First, you should introduce your wedding party. List your bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and so on. It is always nice to also specify their relationship to you. It will make your guests feel more included.
Next, outline your ceremony. Most ceremonies will begin with a welcome from your officiant and include the vows, exchange of rings, and pronouncement of marriage. Many ceremonies will also include a blessing, readings from friends and family, and maybe a hymn. If you have chosen to do a unity ceremony like candle lighting or sand mixing, explain the significance of the ceremony, so your guests see how meaningful and thoughtful your wedding will be.
After the information about your ceremony, it is nice to include a mention of the time and location of your cocktail hour and reception. Your guests will feel more comfortable knowing what is to come. However, you should avoid going overboard on schedule information. You want your guests to relax and enjoy the reception, not feel they are being rushed to keep to a schedule. Other fun things to add can include music selections, your wedding hashtag, and even trivia about you and your spouse-to-be.
Once you have decided to distribute a wedding program to your guests, it is time to get designing! There are endless options for fun, beautiful, and interesting programs, so make sure you have some ideas in your head to avoid getting overwhelmed. You can mix and match our ideas below to create a program that guests will cherish as the perfect memento of your wedding day.
1. Make It Meaningful
Your guests want to attend your wedding because they want to support you and celebrate your special day. Include a heartfelt thank you note in the program to show your appreciation for their presence and support. Write a little on why the music or readings you have chosen are important to you and your relationship. If special people in your life have passed away, include a short memorial to remember and honor them during your wedding day. These thoughtful touches will give your guests even more insight into your special and unique relationship.
2. Make It Entertaining
Add a little humor to the program. Include some trivia about your relationship or interesting facts about your bridal party. You can even include trivia on the history of wedding traditions. Instead of using formal descriptions for the parts of your ceremony, change them to tongue-in-cheek quips. Do you have a theme for your wedding? Pull it into your program with illustrations. Your program is the perfect place to express your personality.
3. Make It Beautiful
A plain program can seem like an afterthought, so give it a little flair. Use the same stationery as your wedding invitations or choose your wedding color for the paper for a cohesive feel. Pay attention to the typography and choose fonts that flow well together. Do you have a wedding monogram or theme? Any special touch will make it feel polished and professional. Tie it with a ribbon or print it on wood tablets. You should see your program as an extension of your decorations, not just as something to be thrown away after the ceremony.
4. Make It Interesting
Once you’ve included all the necessary information, go above and beyond. If you’re marrying at a historic venue or a family farm, give background information on your ceremony and reception sites. Do you have a friend or family member performing your wedding ceremony? Give your guests a little story on why you chose that special person to unite you in marriage. If you and your spouse don’t know each other’s families well, include some information on each other as an introduction. Not only will your guests be entertained while they wait, but they will also have more topics for dinner conversation.
5. Make It Unexpected
The perfect way to make your program memorable is to make it stand out. Give it a little different design than the rest of your wedding paper goods. You can even use your program as a way to subtly incorporate your favorite book, TV show, or movie by using the font, episode titles, or format. Do you or your fiancé have a hobby you’d like to include? Design your program like a professional sports program or a program from a Broadway play. Let your imagination run wild and give your guests a fun surprise.
6. Make It Useful
Who said a program had to be a little paper booklet? Make your program work double duty by giving it another purpose. If you are getting married outdoors in a warm area, print program information on a fan to keep your guests cool. Have you and your fiancé written vows that will get the waterworks going? Use handkerchiefs as your program. If you would like your guests to toss flower petals or blow bubbles as you walk back up the aisle after your ceremony, attach program information to their pouches or bottles. You can even replace escort cards by printing table assignments on the back. Break tradition and make your program as fun as it is informative.
A program is not a requirement for all weddings, but it is a thoughtful touch that will help your guests to truly feel included on your wedding day. You can make it as elaborate or as simple as you would like to fit your time and budget. This is also a great project to hand off to a helpful friend or family member! It is sure to become another wonderful keepsake from one of the best days of your life.