Are you thinking of having a wedding program at your ceremony? While not totally necessary, a wedding program can definitely be a fun and helpful handout.
After all, everyone wants to know who’s who in the wedding party, and it’s also nice to give guests an idea of what to expect at the ceremony. They’re also a great keepsake for you as a couple, and guests will have something to look at while they’re waiting for your ceremony to begin. Plus, if you’re having an outdoor wedding, there’s always the bonus of guests using your wedding program as a fan! (Seriously, this is a thing!)
Wedding programs can vary greatly, and like all other aspects of your big day, it should fit the vibe of you and your partner. For example, if you’re having a formal ceremony in a ballroom, a more elegant cardstock will probably set the tone. But if you’re having a BBQ at a campground, they can be more fun and relaxed. There are a lot of cool features you can incorporate into your wedding programs (check out our favorite wedding program examples!) but how edgy or creative you want to go will depend on the feel and theme of your wedding.
What to Include On Your Wedding Program
A wedding program can include just about anything you want, but will generally include these important details, below:
The Order of Events
The most important thing to include in your wedding program is the order of events. Whether you’ll be having an hour-long church ceremony or a 10-minute unity candle lighting, people like to know what to expect. List out the order of events that will be taking place, including any songs or poems so that guests are able to follow along or participate. Here’s an example of what a Christian wedding ceremony program might include:
“Higher Love,” by James Vincent McMorrow
“You & Me” by Dave Matthews Band
Call to Worship
Pastor John Mitchell
Lighting of the Unity Candle
Closing Prayer and Benediction
“All You Need is Love” by The Beatles
All About Your Wedding Party
Another feature of wedding programs is the “who’s who” of your wedding. List out the parents of the couple getting married, the name of the officiant, and any readers, musicians or other participants. You’ll also list out the names of those in the bridal party, as well as their relationship to the couple. This is a great way to highlight the people you’ve chosen and make them feel important, as well as help everyone know who’s standing up there with you! Here’s an an example of who to include in your wedding program:
Pastor George Green
Parents of the Bride
Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Brown
Parents of the Groom
Mr. and Dr. Christian and Sarah Smith
Maid of Honor
Caitlin Brown (Sister of Bride)
Drew O’Brian (Best Friend of Groom)
Ella Jones (Friend of Bride)
Jennifer Smith (Sister of Groom)
Anthony Tate (Friend of Groom)
Peter Marx (Cousin of Groom)
Fun Extras You Can Include
While you could just stick with a basic listing of events, you can also include any one of these fun additions in your wedding program:
- A thank you note to someone who means a lot to you as a couple, whether it’s your parents or the friend that introduced you. (Example: Thank you for coming to our big day! We’re so excited to spend the rest of our lives loving each other. We’d like to thank our parents for always supporting us, and our friend Amanda for introducing us to each other in college (Go Badgers!). Without you, this wedding wouldn’t be taking place, and we are so grateful for your love and friendship!)
- Pictures of the couple with a short synopsis of your love story.
- An infographic of your relationship timeline, from meeting each other to your wedding day.
- Explanations of any family or religious traditions you’ll be embracing.
- Any additional family members, like the names of your grandparents, particularly if they’re being walked in formally.
- A note honoring any deceased loved ones.
- A small packet of bird seed or rice for guests to toss after the ceremony.
If you do choose to have a wedding program, make sure there’s one available for every couple. You can place them in a basket at the front of your ceremony venue, or better yet…assign someone to hand them out. This can be members of your bridal party or another friend or family member. This way you can make sure nobody forgets the wedding program you worked so hard on!
How Much Do Wedding Programs Cost?
While having a wedding program is a fun and informative addition to your ceremony, they aren’t totally necessary. If you’re on a tight budget, they’re one of the details of your wedding that guests can do without. On average, you’ll most likely spend anywhere from $100-$500++ for your wedding programs. For example, this wedding program on Minted would cost $350 for 125. And keep in mind that unlike wedding invitations where you would send one per household, you need one wedding program per guest.
You can read more about how much the average wedding costs here!
Whether you decide to have a wedding program or not, you’ll want to make your ceremony a highlight for guests! Read more about your wedding ceremony order and other important details for your big day.