Get with the Programs
What to Say
“Programs are important!” says Christina Friedrichsen, founder of IntimateWeddings.com. “They let your guests know how your ceremony will unfold.”
A simple version will include your names, wedding date and time, the location, the order of the ceremony’s events with titles of songs and readings, and names of the wedding party, including the officiant and parents.
But programs also can be so much more than just a dry, chronological listing of the day, says Deborah Hefter, co-founder and design team lead for paperie company Envelopments. She suggests offering more in-depth information about your bridesmaids and groomsmen, such as anecdotal quirks, photos and the reason why you chose them to stand up for you, as well as the story of how you and your spouse-to-be met, when you fell in love and/or your engagement.
Friedrichsen also recommends adding details like thank-yous, tributes to loved ones who are no longer with you, why the readings you chose have special meaning to you, and the background for rituals or customs included in the ceremony.
How to Get It Said
The actual physical program can be made in any shape, size or format that will hold your information, and on any paper with any typography that works for your unique day, says Hefter.
Feeling creative? If you’re having a summer wedding, fan programs are a huge hit, says Friedrichsen. Numerous stationers offer printed-paper or wood variations, or go online for a DIY tutorial. More options: include a receptacle for rice or confetti, or attach programs and ribbon to wooden dowels to make flags for guests to wave as you walk back down the aisle.
You also can model your program after a notebook, complete with a pencil holder, and have people fill out a page that will become part of your guest book, or include personalized crosswords or mad-libs, advises Friedrichsen, to entertain your guests before the show begins.