Wedding planning has a ton of items on its list. Most people focus on the bigger things first before paying attention to the little details. And in this case, the wedding program is part of the latter.
Programs, much like invitations, contain your wedding’s details. They’re 100% optional, so you don’t necessarily have to make one. But if you want a little extra something for your guests, then, by all means, go for it! They can help give structure to your wedding and allow wedding guests to remember the special day.
Does it sound simple? Sure. Is it easy to make? Not quite. This fancy piece of paper takes quite the effort to pull off. Allow this entry to help you craft one yourself.
How to Make A Wedding Program
Step 1: Consider your respective backgrounds
By this first step, we don’t mean it from a financial standpoint. This part pertains to your cultural upbringing and religious beliefs.
If you two come from similar backgrounds, that’s great! There’s no need to add or leave anything out. However, if you two adhere to different faiths, you and your partner should sit down and talk about how your program will play out. Will you two have a one-religion wedding or have an even mix of both?
Figuring this out helps guests follow along with the formalities smoothly. All they need to do is read the program to keep up.
Step 2: Cover your bases
Before you bust out that blank canvas, think of your inclusions first. These are the basic details your wedding program should have:
Your program should feature your name and that of your eventual spouse. Think of it as a welcome sign of sorts. Although most of your guests know you, some may not be familiar with your significant other.
Adding your names helps out in photoshoots too. Photographs will want to focus on your stationery in some shots.
- Date, Time, and Venue
Although your guests will be present at the ceremony, adding these three details still help. These give them time to pace themselves before and during the formalities. They also make for a lovely remembrance!
- Officiant and Wedding Party
Your names shouldn’t be the only ones in the program. Give props to your officiant and everyone else in the entourage by giving them a mention. Listing them down gives guests an idea about who to talk to after the wedding formalities.
There isn’t a textbook format in naming your wedding party. Although the best man and the maid of honor are listed first, you’re free to do it however you’d like.
- Schedule/Order of Events
How will your wedding play out? Give guests a head’s up on what to expect by inserting the schedule. You don’t have to go all out and explain everything in this section, though. Just list the events in chronological order, and they’ll follow from there.
Step 3: Add some extras
There’s nothing wrong with keeping your program simple. But if you want to make it look extra special, feel free to add these bits:
- Songs and Readings
What’s a wedding without these two? Regardless of your theme, there’s no such thing as a silent ceremony. If you’ve got tons of readings and songs in your ceremony, why not list them down? This allows your guests to keep up with what’s happening—especially if you have many people over.
- Appreciation Message
Like novels, dedications aren’t unfamiliar concepts in wedding programs. Did you play a part in writing a couple’s love story? Chances are, they’ll give you a shout-out in this section. In some cases, they dedicate it to their departed loved ones.
- Love Story
Add a personal touch to your program by sharing your love story. You can recount momentous occasions like your first meeting, your relationship’s beginning, and the day your man popped the question.
- Venue Directions
Got a different reception venue? Help your guests out by including its directions! This lets them know where to go, how to get there, and when to arrive. Feel free to add a map so that no one will get lost en route to the venue.
Since weddings are sacred, you can use a small space in your program to gently remind people to keep it that way. Don’t want reminders? That’s okay! You can also go the opposite route and add something fun like a wedding hashtag (#JustMarried, for example) for online photo sharing.
Step 4: Get your design elements in order
Here comes the nitty-gritty part of program making. Unleash your creativity by making your program’s design come alive! Here are the necessary elements to get the job done.
This part sets the program’s (and, by extension, the ceremony’s) tone since it’s the first thing guests see. It’ll give guests a sense of what to expect during the whole shebang.
You can opt to keep your cover sweet and simple by only including the basics mentioned in Step 2; this is a perfect option if you’re planning a low-key ceremony. But if you’re having a themed wedding, this is where you can go all out with the motif.
Your color palette will depend on your themes. You can always go for classic white and other traditional colors if you aren’t into the fancy stuff. For specific themes, choose relevant tones that go well with them. Let’s say your wedding has a rustic aesthetic. Pick neutral, rich, and earthy tones to keep up with the theme.
Since there aren’t textbook wedding fonts, you’re free to choose whatever you like. Make sure it goes well with your theme and color selection; sometimes, the fancy-looking ones may not be the best choices.
Gone are the days where wedding programs were just two-page cards. Play around with shapes to add a fun and personal spin! Just make sure everything fits, okay?
While there isn’t a rule that dictates program sizes, you should pick one that’s light enough for guests to read and carry. You can always settle for the typical 8.5 to 11” x 5.5” dimensions or go a little bigger by opting for a booklet.
Are you stuck in a pinch? No worries! You can always use customizable pre-made templates if you don’t have the time to design your program from scratch.
Step 5: Elements, assemble!
Turn that blank canvas into something magical and get all the elements from the previous steps together! The cover should ideally include Step 2’s first three items, while the last two and Step 3’s first four items can go in the main body. You can add the reminders in the back to jazz up an otherwise blank space.
- Be mindful of your tone. Set everyone in the mood by evoking the right feel in your program. If you want to be a little playful and break from tradition, insert a few jokes to ease the tension.
- Choose the right paper and finish. There’s a multitude of options out there, from satiny smooth to subtly metallic.
Wedding programs may be small, but they’re still significant in the big picture. Don’t be afraid to get loose and have fun with it to make it an extra special keepsake for everybody.