What to Include in Your Wedding Ceremony Program

Discover helpful tips on how to fill your program with important details.

For a lot of brides, what to include in the ceremony program is somewhat of a mystery. The following is a basic guideline of what to include in your wedding program.

Invitations & More
Photo: Amanda Sudimack for Artisan Events

For a lot of brides, what to include in the ceremony program is somewhat of a mystery. I get a lot of clients asking what they should or should not include in their wedding day programs. I always tell couples that they can basically include whatever they wish, with as little or as much information as they deem necessary.

The following is a basic guideline of what to include in your wedding program:

The Details
Your Names
Wedding Date
Ceremony Location
Wedding Participants
Parents of the Bride
Parents of the Groom
Grandparents of the Bride
Grandparents of the Groom
Maid of Honor
Best Man
Flower Girls/Ring Bearers

Order of the Ceremony
You would typically get this timeline from your officiant, as each ceremony is a little bit different. Here is an example:

Prelude (list music if you wish)
Seating of Mothers
Processional (list music if you wish)
Opening Words
Wedding Vows
Exchange of Rings
Recessional (list music if you wish)

Tone It Up Katrina Hodgson wedding program

You may also want to include the following:

Note of Thanks from the Bride and Groom. Typically only a few sentences, this is a note of thanks written to your guests, usually thanking them for coming and celebrating with you.

Explanation of Any Religious Ceremonies. If you’re having any religious ceremonies, or other special ceremonies at your ceremony, you might want to explain what they mean, or the purpose of them. This is an option, but certainly not necessary if you’re limited on space.
Dedications. It’s always nice to list dedications to any special people who have since passed on, or those loved ones that could not be with you on your special day.  Simply listing their names and a message such as “We would also like to acknowledge [insert name], who could not be here to share in our special day, but remains in our hearts and thoughts”.

Relationship Information. Another fun addition to include – if you have a lot of space to take up on the program – is how long you have known each person in your bridal party. You can also list how you met each member, if you have the space. 

Types of Programs
There are many different types of wedding programs available. Traditionally, wedding programs were a folded sheet of paper, perhaps with a ribbon along the spine of the fold. These days, brides are opting for more unique options. Below are four popular choices:

1. The Traditional Fold
Zenadia Design folded wedding ceremony program
Although traditional, this option is still a popular choice as it allows ample room for information. Try adding unusual elements, such as a band of paper down the spine, for an updated look. 

2. The Fan
Zenadia Design wedding ceremony fan
This is great for outdoor weddings where it may get a little hot, or beachside celebrations.

3. The Flat Program
Zenadia Design flat wedding program
If you have a small amount of information, perhaps just a flat card is the best option. Although not as formal, this style can be dressed up with pretty fonts, design elements, or thick paper with an upgraded printing style such as letterpress.

4. The Accordion Fold
Zenadia Design accordian wedding program
A fun twist on the traditional folded program, the accordion-fold program allows for ample space and is also a fun keepsake for attendees.

Wedding ceremony programs can add a unique and personal touch to your celebration, creating a treasured keepsake for you and your guests. Have fun with them! For more wedding invitation advice, define your wedding invite style and learn the ins and outs of invitations.

Photos courtesy of Zenadia Design

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