Wedding Wednesday: What to Include in Your Wedding Programs

Hello, everyone!  It’s another Wedding Wednesday, and since I don’t have a new design to show you (yet! I’m working on a couple things I’m super excited about), I thought I’d write an informative post.  Several of the brides I have worked with haven’t had the slightest idea where to start in regards to what information to put in their programs, so I’ve come up with a list of wedding program “must-haves” and thought I’d share it with you all! Hopefully it will be of some help to all the other brides out there who just don’t know where to start and want to know what to include in wedding programs:

The Basics

First things first, make sure you’ve got the basic information somewhere.  Who’s getting married?  What date?  What time?  Where?  Usually this information is found on the front or first page of the program and looks something like this:

Alice & Joseph

November 9, 2013

Six o’clock in the evening

First Presbyterian Church of Badin

Badin, North Carolina

There are several little variations possible, including (but not limited to):

  • include full names (Alice Jane Smith & Joseph Timothy Matthews)
  • add a line like “The Wedding Ceremony of” or “The Marriage Ceremony Uniting” or just “The Marriage of” before listing the couple’s names
  • include the day of the week; Saturday, November 9, 2013
  • leave out the time of day

The Wedding Party

Let your guests know who’s who and give everyone the recognition they deserve for being a part of your special day

  • Officiant
  • Parents of the Bride
  • Parents of the Groom
  • Grandparents of the Bride and Groom
  • Great-grandparents, if present
  • Maid or Matron of Honor
  • Bridesmaids
  • Flower Girl
  • Best Man
  • Groomsmen
  • Ring bearer
  • Ceremony musicians
  • Ushers
  • Guest book/Registry/Program attendants
  • Wedding director
  • Honored guests

I’ve had a couple people ask about including family members who are not present; generally only those present are listed with the wedding party, but often a line or two is added at the bottom of the list honoring those who “could not be with us today” or “are watching from heaven,” etc.  It’s really up to you!

The Ceremony

This section lets your guests know what’s happening, what to expect, and when to expect it.  It can vary greatly from one wedding to the next, so be sure to check with your officiant and/or wedding director to be certain you have included all pertinent information.  Here are some general guidelines:

  • Prelude
  • Seating of Grandmothers and Mothers
  • Processional
  • Bride’s Processional
  • Order of the Ceremony (specifics generally provided by the officiant)
  • Recessional

Be sure to list the titles and composers of musical pieces, titles/verses of any special readings, their author(s), and names of readers, hymn numbers and in which hymnal they can be found, and any special instructions (for example, whether guests should stand, kneel, remain seated, holler and dance and carry on, or to see the back of the program for the words of a verse they’re all supposed to recite).

Other Stuff

There’s always more!  “Other Stuff” is what makes a wedding program more personal.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Include a thank you note to your guests for coming, everyone who helped make your big day a success, your parents for making it all possible, etc.  I’ve had couples write one or two lines and I’ve had couples write novels.  Some people don’t even worry about this part.  On my designs, notes typically go on the back of the program. If they’re short they might fit on the inside.  If you have a multi-page program, you could write thanks on the very first page.  So many options, I know!
  • Add a line informing your guests that you have made a donation to a charitable foundation in lieu of giving favors
  • Write a quote, Bible verse, or poem that has meaning to you as a couple
  • Display your monogram, initials, or a nice wedding-themed image for a touch of personalization

I hope you found this helpful!  If you have any questions or concerns, are interested in placing an order, or just want to say howdy, feel free to contact me!  Thanks for stopping by!

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