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Wedding Ceremony Program Ideas & What To Include

Planning the ceremony of your dreams should also include what the wedding program looks like. Whether you’re having a small, intimate gathering or a larger ordeal, the wedding program is an opportunity to share about the events of the day, a couple’s love story, dreams for the future, and more. 

This guide will help you brainstorm the perfect wedding ceremony program idea for your memorable day.

What is a Wedding Program?

 

For guests, wedding programs are a great way to have an outline of the day’s events. The program can include everything from the names of those in the wedding party to cultural values that guests will experience or witness.

Anything that couples need to communicate to their guests should be included in the wedding program. Couples can also utilize wedding programs as a way to express their values, creativity, and add to the ceremony and reception decor. 

The wedding program is a chance to share how you met, reveal plans for after the ceremony (like if you’re moving or expecting an addition to the family), or honor those who may have passed and are missing from the day’s event.

There are tons of examples out there. Here are just a few wedding ceremony program ideas to get you started on what you may want at your ceremony.

What To Write on a Wedding Ceremony Program

Some items are simply necessary to include on wedding ceremony programs. Your names, for example, are good to include, as well as the date and location.

But what should you include in wedding programs? Here are a few ideas.

Your Names, Date, Location

 

Yes,  your names are critical information to add to your wedding program. But you also get to decide how formal or informal you’d like to be. You can add a family nickname or middle names if you’d like.

If you are adding names, some couples also add groomsmen and bridesmaids names too. Don’t forget the flower girls and ring bearers.

Adding the date and location for posterity sake is another great idea. Years from now, when you find a few extra copies of your program in a memory box, you’ll be glad you have this extra bit of information.

Ceremony Outline

 

An outline of the wedding ceremony is another vital piece of information for the wedding programs. 

The outline typically includes the processional songs, any readings or special tributes, exchanging of vows and rings, pronouncement of the couple, and recessional.

Wedding Day Timeline

If you’re having a full day of events, this additional information is also great for the wedding program. You can add times, locations, and any special directions that guests may need to know.

If there is a pre-reception cocktail hour or even an after-party already in the works, you can also include this in the wedding program, as long as everyone is invited.

Your Wedding Hashtag

wedding hashtag on table

It seems everyone has their own wedding hashtag to post on social media along with pics from the wedding day. It’s a great way to see everyone’s pictures from your special day on Facebook and Instagram.

When you include the hashtag you want everyone to use in your program, it will, hopefully, get everyone on the same page with an approved hashtag from the couple. 

Explanation of Ceremony or Cultural Traditions

couple's hands tied at wedding ceremony

Your wedding ceremony program is also a great way to share special family or cultural traditions to your guests. Whether you’re hosting a traditional Indian wedding, a culturally Filipino wedding, or you’re incorporating Italian traditions, let your guests know! 

These explanations are helpful for those guests who may not be familiar with your culture and give them more insight into who you are and what’s important to you as a couple.

Learn about other cultural wedding traditions like African weddings, Irish traditions, and more! 

“How We Met” Story

anniversary ideas

Everyone loves a “how we met” story! Although, you may need to rate it PG if your grandparents are going to read the program (and future children too).

You can each share first impressions, where you went on your first date, or the proposal story. You’re sharing this day with loved ones, so why not also share with them the story of how it all started?

In Memoriam 

memory table latern for wedding

While wedding ceremonies are usually a very happy day, it can also be sad knowing that some special people in your life are no longer here to celebrate with you as a new couple.

You can honor these gone-but-not-forgotten people by having an “In Memoriam” section in your wedding program.

Any Helpful Information for Guests

 

Again, the wedding program is a fantastic way to disseminate any information you want your wedding guests to know. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests at your wedding, you may want to list a few of your favorite restaurants or attractions around town.

You can also add puzzles, games, or a coloring page to keep young children entertained during the ceremony.

The wedding program is something that each guest receives as they walk in the door, and is one of the best ways to communicate on your special (and busy) day.

A Thank You to Guests for Attending

 

Last, but not least, consider including a thank-you note to your wedding ceremony program. It can be short and sweet, “Thank you for joining us today,” or something that is more your style and personal.

You could give a shout out to the person who introduced you to each other. Or thank those who travelled far distances to attend. It’s a simple way to acknowledge the people who decided to show up and support you in your nuptials.

Wedding Program Ideas

Now that you know what information to include in your wedding ceremony program, let’s look at some wedding ceremony program ideas that could be the perfect accessory to your already beautiful event.

Match Your Theme

 

If your ceremony has a theme or color palette already, then the wedding program should be an extension of what you’re already planning.

If you have a classic and elegant theme in the works, then don’t have a wedding program with Comic Sans font. Keep it simple and elegant.

In the same way, if you’re having a laid back ceremony or pop-culture theme wedding, then the wedding program should match in style and tone.

Print It on Petal Bags 

 

And who says your wedding program should be on paper? You can create super cute guests gifts that also serve as petal bags for later in the ceremony. 

Of course, you won’t be able to add as much ceremony information as you could with a traditional program, but printing on petal bags, or some other re-usable gift, would be functional and memorable for your guests.

Include Confetti, Rice, or Bubbles

 

Or, consider combining the two: a traditional paper wedding program with confetti, rice, or bubbles attached so you can get the best of both worlds.

Your guests will use these items later in the ceremony as you embark on your newlywed lives. They can blow bubbles, or throw rice or confetti as you walk down the aisle!

This wedding program idea combines the two: form and function – the second-best pairing on your wedding day.

Turn Programs into Fans 

 

If you’re getting married during the warmer months of the season or in an outside setting, consider another pairing of form and function and turn your programs into fans.

Guests may appreciate the sentiment when trying to stay cool on a warm day. To fit more information, print on the front and back! 

Attach Flowers, Herbs, or Greenery

 

Another wedding program example is to add fresh flowers, herbs, or greenery for guests’ enjoyment. Couples may also consider this addition as a thank you gift and something to remember the occasion.

A truly romantic idea is to add seeds of your favorite plant or flower to the wedding program and ask your guests to plant them at home in honor of your special day. So that as the flower grows, so does your love for each other.

Match the Season or Setting

 

Sometimes the wedding ceremony location or setting can set the theme for the day. For example, if you’re getting married on the beach or in a unique setting, consider having a wedding program that matches your location.

For example, have the wedding program in the shape of a seashell or sandcastle if you’re at the beach. If you’re getting married at a family home, include pictures from when you were both kids.

Add a Custom Monogram or Stamp

 

As a new couple, you can also create a new monogram, stamp, or house symbol for your wedding programs.

One of our favorite wedding programs examples includes a bit of pop-culture flair. For example, if you both like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones, you can create your own house or family crest and share with wedding guests. 

You can also keep it simple and elegant and create something that is more aligned with your style and a touch of sophistication.

Make it a Booklet 

 

If you’re not sure how to fit all of the information on one sheet of paper, consider making your wedding programs into booklets! Whether it’s simply a bi-fold or you have several tabs, a booklet makes it easier to include more information without crowding it together on one sheet. 

You can display program booklets upright so that guests find them easily and no one needs to hand them out. If you love the design, they’ll also add to your ceremony decor!

Print on Handkerchiefs 

 

Let guests wipe their tears with your wedding programs by printing them on handkerchiefs! Ceremony program handkerchiefs are not only a unique idea, but they also double as wedding favors that guests can keep, use, or even frame as a wedding keepsake! 

Opt for a Sign Instead

 

If you’re looking to cut stationary costs in your budget, consider sharing ceremony information on a large sign instead! Rather than print programs for each guest, create a sign to put on display at your wedding ceremony. This idea is also eco-friendly since it requires less paper! 

You can create signs to match your colors and theme and include a welcome for guests. Check out some welcome sign design ideas here!

Create a Newspaper Program

 

Extra, extra! Read all about it! Consider printing your wedding ceremony program in a newspaper style, with the headline announcing your nuptials. 

A newspaper style is a fun way to share necessary information with guests, and you can get creative with storylines, puns, and more. 

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