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DIY Wedding Program Basics

Follow our basic guide for picture-perfect wedding programs that will make a wonderful keepsake.

The more guests feel involved with your wedding, the more likely they’ll have a great time. Wedding programs are a wonderful way to help your friends and family follow the ceremony and understand the wedding traditions you’re incorporating, plus they can take theirs home as a keepsake. The key to crafting a good wedding program? Think practically and creatively.

What’s Included

No matter what design you choose for your wedding programs, consider adding the following elements:

  • The full names of the bride and groom, the wedding date, and the city and state where the wedding is taking place
  • The order of the wedding ceremony, including the musical selections (and the lyrics if they’re especially meaningful to you), the composers, and the performers, as well as readings, the source or author, and the readers
  • Wedding party bios with brief descriptions of each attendant’s relationship to you
  • The name of the celebrant
  • A thank you note to both sets of parents; one to all the guests is another frequent addition
  • For religious and secular ceremonies alike, it’s important to keep guests in the know by briefly explaining traditions, rituals, and ethnic customs
  • If you wish to honour deceased loved ones, you can include a memorial on the back page with a photograph, a fond memory, poem, or quote

Personalising Them

Your wedding program is an opportunity to tell guests a little more about you as a couple and to set the tone for the rest of the event. The easiest way to personalise your programs is to add special touches, such as favourite poems, quotes, or photographs. Here are some creative concepts:

  • One couple we know extended their old-world European theme with programs printed on marbled parchment paper rolled into scrolls and tied with a sage-green ribbon and a sprig of eucalyptus
  • Two actors created a Playbill for their programs: a booklet complete with The Players (each attendant’s picture and a short bio), a description of Acts (the ceremony events), and a Producers’ Note (a letter to guests from the bride and groom)
  • High school sweethearts reprinted their Year 12 formal picture on vellum and used it to top the program, setting a light hearted, playful mood

Knot Note: Instead of making just a ceremony program, consider creating a program for the reception as well. Combine it with the ceremony program or create a separate handout for the beginning of the reception. The goal of the event program is to let people know the approximate times for must-see things like the cake cutting and special dances, as well as special symbolism of particular events.

by Allison Micarelli


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