Last night I met with an amazing couple who has asked me to help them polish and refine their final wedding-day details and coordinate their wedding day next month! While we chatted about the details of their big day and I was asking about Wedding Ceremony details, the Bride-To-Be mentioned some uncertainty about wedding ceremony programs. She knew she wanted to have programs at the ceremony, but she didn’t know what to include in the text and how to make / display them in a way that will suit their Eco-Chic / Green / Environmentally-friendly themed wedding (to be held next month at a local Conservation Authority).
I realized that, as a wedding planner and coordinator, I have the opportunity to see countless wedding program ideas and read/re-read dozens of program templates and wording ideas… but as a bride, most of you are creating these for the first time! I decided a blog post is in order to help out !
WeddingGirl Tip #1 – Less Programs
First and foremost, I always suggest that brides create one ceremony program per couple rather than one per person. I say this mainly because on the day of the wedding, I’m the one going through the ceremony space after the festivities, picking up (and throwing out) all the extra programs left behind. Definitely a waste of time and waste of money to have too many floating around!
WeddingGirl Tip #2 – Make Programs Interesting!
Standard wedding programs include the basic following information: Program Title (usually the Bride and Groom’s names), order of ceremony service, acknowledgement of ceremony participants, and special messages / notations.
Standard information includes a descriptive phrase (i.e. “Today I marry my best friend…) and the date, ceremony location and start time. Sometimes, music selections are listed (i.e.” Bridesmaids’ Processional, Pachelbel’s Canon”, or “Signing Of The Register, Ave Maria, performed by Cindy Smith – Sister of the Groom”).
Often, programs are concluded with instructions for the remainder of the day…. “While the Newlyweds take photos with their family, please make your way to the cocktail reception on the verandah”, or driving directions to the reception hall.
Personally, I prefer when ceremony programs are less formal, and more a reflection of the bride and groom (and wedding party) instead! I love to see programs that entertain guests while they are waiting for the ceremony to begin. This can include stories like How We Met, How He Proposed, or even Bride and Groom trivia! If you make multi-paged wedding program booklets, you can write about the reason for your theme / colour selection (i.e. Welcome to our Eco-Friendly, Green-Themed wedding….) and tell your guests about the reasons for the wedding planning choices you made or cultural traditions you are abiding by.
TIP: if your wedding ceremony location doesn’t have air conditioning, turn the multi-paged programs into personal fans!)
You can also include specific details about the following wedding reception, i.e. “To make us kiss during dinner, please give generously – all proceeds will go to the local Humane Society” (which promps guests to take some money out of the bank between ceremony and reception!). Some brides choose include wedding vendor details on the program as well, i.e. A Special Thanks To…. page.
For more details on wording for your wedding program, chat with your officiant (who can provide you with the Order of Service), and visit sites like THIS for lay-out and template details.
WeddingGirl Tip #3 – Create and Display with style!
Once you’ve settled on your program wording, make your programs reflect the overall theme of your wedding. Use similar colours and design (not forgetting to use a large enough type-font that even elderly guests can enjoy what you have to share!). If you’re planning a vintage themed event, embellish your programs with lace and pearls. For Eco-Friendly/Green weddings, use plantable paper or recycled products:
When your programs are created, displaying them at your ceremony can be just as unique and creative as the wording and design itself! Whether you choose to make a themed basket….
….. or you personally display each guest’s program on their chair……
… your wedding programs can become just as much an integral part of your ceremony decor as your floral altar arrangements and aisle runner!
If you have any questions about ideas for your wedding ceremony programs, feel free to send an email and ask away!!