How to Create Awesome Wedding Programs

wedding program
Photo by Asteria Photography

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, program fans are a thing! More on those below.)

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 card stock with calligraphy 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, but how edgy or creative you want to go will depend on the feel and theme of your wedding.

ceremony program

Find the perfect wedding ceremony program on Minted, where you can choose from hundreds of designs from independent artists.

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 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:

Prelude

“Higher Love,” by James Vincent McMorrow

Processional

“You & Me” by Dave Matthews Band

Call to Worship

Wedding Message

Pastor John Mitchell

Marriage Rite

Lighting of the Unity Candle

Closing Prayer and Benediction

Recessional

“All You Need is Love” by The Beatles

A non-denominational wedding program would instead include something more like this, below:

  • Prelude
  • Processional
  • Introduction of the Couple
  • Reading
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Pronouncement
  • Presentation of the Couple
  • Recessional

WGM Says: Not sure what to put on your wedding program? Talk to a free Minted concierge, who can advise you on not only the right design for your wedding, but the details you should include on your invites, programs, and more.

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:

Officiant

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)

Best Man

Drew O’Brian (Best Friend of Groom)

Bridesmaids

Ella Jones (Friend of Bride)

Jennifer Smith (Sister of Groom)

Groomsmen

Anthony Tate (Friend of Groom)

Peter Marx (Cousin of Groom)

Vocalist

Tiffany Saunders

Pianist

Ashley Jones

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 and fun facts about each other.
  • 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 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 program is a fun and informative addition to your ceremony, they aren’t totally necessary if you’re on a tight budget. With that said, if you’re having a more involved ceremony or special readings, they’re definitely something you should consider.

On average, you’ll most likely spend anywhere from $1.25-$4+/per program. And keep in mind that unlike wedding invitations where you would send one per household, you need to purchase one wedding program per guest.

Where to Find the Perfect Wedding Program

Just like with your wedding invite and even your wedding menu, there are lots of unique wedding programs available online. Ideally you can buy them from the same place you’re getting your wedding invites from so everything has a cohesive look with the same design elements. Or, if you’re specifically looking for a wedding program fan, for instance, you can take a look on Etsy which has a large selection of those!

I’m a big fan of Minted for matching wedding stationery, including your wedding programs. Below are a few of my favorite wedding program designs, which can work for so many different wedding themes and styles.

floral wedding stationery

‘July Garden’ Wedding Program

Modern type accentuates a floral bouquet on this design from Napa, CA artist Olivia Kanaley Inman.

wedding stationery

‘Love love love’ Wedding Program

Make a bold statement with this wedding program from Salt Lake City, UT artists Robert and Stella.

gold leaves wedding program

‘Bianca’ Wedding Program

Real gold foil accentuates the gold-leave design of this program from Akron, OH artist Kristie Kern.

calligraphy font wedding program

‘Violet’ Wedding Program

Playful calligraphy from Vancouver artist Kelly Schmidt would work for a casual or black-tie wedding.

purple wedding program

‘Veranda’ Wedding Program

St. Charles, IL artist Angela Marzuki lets the font do the talking with this simple yet chic wedding program.

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.


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