Your invitations have officially been mailed! Cheers!
Take a moment to celebrate and enjoy the excitement of guests opening these beautiful envelopes—inviting them to share in such a precious occasion.
And… you can breathe for a moment! We have a little bit of time before we dive into the day-of paper goods.
The program is often one of the last wedding elements to come together: usually, it can only be printed after all the ceremony details are finalized (reading selections, song selections, bridal party procession order, etc.). I typically begin the program design process about 1 month prior to the wedding day, as that is when the content is all coming together.
However, it’s never too early to start thinking about the overall program design and what it might entail.
Some couples opt for a modern and minimalistic program… others embrace a more robust and traditional format.As always, your stationery is personal to you: the program is your tool to share ceremony details with guests. My goal is for you to have all the information available to decide what appeals to you.
What follows is a list of information traditionally included in a program—just so you know your options. You may embrace as much or as little of it as you like.
Procession of the Bridal Party (Song Title Optional)
Procession of the Bride (Song Title Optional)
Welcome and/or Opening Prayer
Readings (Reading Title Optional)
Message / Reflection / Sermon / Homily
Exchange of Consent
Exchange of Vows
Blessing and Exchange of Rings
Pronouncement of Marriage
Presentation of the Newlyweds
Parents of the Bride
Parents of the Groom
Best Man / Maid of Honor
Bridesmaids / Groomsmen (in order of procession)
Officiant / Celebrant
House Party / Ushers
Thank You from Bride and Groom
Looking for something a bit more streamlined? A minimalistic program can be a beautiful choice, and it draws more attention to the items listed. Pare down your wording to just the essentials:
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
These items are not always necessary, but may provide a personal touch if you see fit.
Bride and Groom’s Love Story
Parents’ and Grandparents’ Wedding Dates
In Loving Memory of…
Unplugged Wedding (request that guests refrain from using cell phones during the ceremony)
Explanation of any meaningful symbols (choice of venue, flower selections, etc.)
Explanation of any unique ceremony rituals (washing of the feet, honeypot tasting, handfasting, etc.)
I hope this is a helpful start to designing your program! As always, you are welcome to reach out with questions along the way. There is a special place in my heart for programs—a keepsake from the sacred ceremony that united two people as husband and wife. It’s an honor to help preserve the memory of that sacred occasion.
Still need a little inspiration? Take a peek at the samples below: