Are you starting to work on the final details of your wedding ceremony? Once you have them all nailed down the next step is to create a wedding ceremony program! Wedding programs may seem like an unnecessary expense to you, but they’re a huge help to guests, especially if you’re hosting a big or complex ceremony. Our wedding photographers explain what a wedding program exactly is and what you should include in it.
What is a Wedding Program?
A wedding ceremony program, commonly just referred to as a wedding program, is the road map to your wedding day. It outlines all the vital information for your guests. They’re typically handed out to guests as they arrive or are waiting for guests on their seats at the ceremony.
A wedding program is meant to guide your guests through the events of the day. It outlines all the important info such as who is in the bridal party, the day’s schedule, and other ceremony details. Many couples getting married make the mistake of skipping a wedding program because they personally don’t need it, but your guests will thank you for keeping them informed! The wedding program is also a nice keepsake for guests to remember the day.
What to Include in a Wedding Program?
A good wedding ceremony program should include all key information about the ceremony and day. Here are some vital things to include on them:
The first thing on the program should be general info about the event. This includes things such as the couples’ names, wedding dates, and location. You can just take the info you put on the Save the Date cards and use it here. It might seem redundant, but it looks proper and will be great info for people to have if they keep the program for memories.
Some people like to make their programs more personal by including a brief love story of how they met. This is especially helpful if you’re hosting a big wedding full of extended family and friends, with lots of unknown plus ones. It gives people context about who you are and gives them a little glimpse into how you two got to this major milestone.
This is one of the key things to include. Guests want to know what’s expected of them, so including the day’s schedule and wedding event timelines will be super important. This can be as general or detailed as you want. You can keep it as simple as “Guests Arrive, Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Reception” or go into more detail including the order for things such as religious ceremonies, speeches, first dance, cake cutting, etc.
Even if everyone at the wedding knows you and your significant other, chances are they won’t know everyone in the wedding party. Your wedding party has also most likely dedicated time, energy, and money to help celebrate your special day so it’s nice to give them a special shout-out.
On a wedding program, the wedding party usually starts with the officiant, is followed by the names of the parents, then the bridal party. An easy way to remember this is just to follow the order of the procession on the day. You can even include extra tidbits about how these people are related to you if you want!
If you’re hosting extra events as part of your ceremony, such as religious ceremonies that people may not be familiar with, it may be helpful to include a brief description of them. If guests are expected to participate or react a certain way, you should also include that here. This way guests know what’s happening and can enjoy it instead of wondering what they should be doing.
Readings or Songs
Does your ceremony include special readings or songs? If so be sure to include them in the program so that people can follow along! Sometimes it can be tricky for guests to hear what’s being said up at the altar, so including things such as song lyrics or the reading verse can help them follow.
At the end of the program, you should include gratitude for everyone that came and supported you. While wedding events are fun, they also require time, energy, and money commitments so it’s nice to thank people that came to celebrate with you.
If there are any loved ones you’ve lost including them in the wedding ceremony program is a nice way to remember them on your special day. Some people simply list their names and dates, others include pictures and little snippets about how they impacted their life. It’s completely up to you.
Some other details you may want to add include:
- Wedding hashtags
- After-party details
- Reception directions (if at a separate location)
- Meaningful wedding details (ex. Flowers were your deceased grandmother’s favorite, the venue is where you had your first date, etc.)
- Wedding rules (ex. Unplugged wedding, child-free reception, dry-wedding, etc.)
Are you looking for a wedding photographer or videographer to capture your special day? Contact AGI Studio today! Our team of experienced and award-winning photographers would be honored to shoot your wedding day.