After you’ve completed all of your essential wedding tasks like booking your vendors, inviting your guests, and preparing accommodations, it’s time to think about smaller details like your wedding ceremony programs. Similar to the information you provide in your wedding invitations, wedding programs contain important information that will help your guests navigate your wedding day. If you’re ready to complete this task for your wedding, check out our article below that will walk you through every part of the wedding ceremony program process.
What is a Wedding Program
A wedding program describes the order of events planned for the day or weekend and it lists the members of the wedding party. This not only serves as a keepsake but updates guests, vendors, and those involved in the planning regarding the order of events. See our wedding timeline which serves a similar purpose but only lists the order of events without listing the wedding party. For more wedding printables see how to plan a wedding.
Simply put, a wedding program is a paper booklet or page that contains all of the details about your special day. Your wedding ceremony program could include information on your ceremony’s breakdown, information about your reception, a copy of the ceremony readings, or explain your wedding timeline. It’s a great way to present information to your guests and answer popular questions ahead of time, so you’re not bothered during your big day. Wedding ceremony programs add a personal touch to your wedding day.
However, wedding programs are not necessary. Your wedding can still function perfectly without them. You could choose to update your guests via an online wedding website with the same type of information if you don’t want to create a paper wedding program and save extra money.
A wedding program’s appeal is providing information on the day of your wedding because you know your wedding guests won’t be visiting your wedding page to remember those little details. It’s an easy way to communicate with all of your guests at once and explain essential information about your wedding ceremony or timeline that may not be easily understood.
Wedding Program Template
There is no standard wedding program size and you can make any size you want. There are, however, the most common sizes.
- 8.5″ by 5.5″
- 4.25″ 11″
- 5.5″ by 5.5″
Wedding Program Template Word
We offer free wedding program templates for Word. You can also delete the background and print a blank program without a border.
With our free online app, you can edit the text and select any border or background to create your own custom wedding program design for free.
Wedding Program Examples
You can create your own wedding ceremony program on this site in two different formats: Word or with our free online app. The wedding program sample is modern and secular. If your ceremony is more religious then simply add the religious elements to the list. Each element should be on a separate line.
The following are a few of the free wedding program templates available on this site. However, since you can choose any border and you can add your own photos and icons, the possibilities are endless. We offer many different wedding printables on this site. Choose a similar border for all the printables for a cohesive look.
Here is an example of a simple wedding program with two different borders:
Here is an example of a newspaper design:
To edit the text, click on the line you want to replace and type your text. Delete the sample text.
To replace the photo, click on the photo, then click on “replace photo” and select your own photo.
Here is an example of a wedding magazine design:
This is a free wedding reception program designed like a wedding magazine cover. It has a photo of the bride and groom which you can replace with your own photo. It also includes information about the ceremony and the wedding party. You can edit the text and include any information you want. It is free to create and download.
Wedding Program Printing
Now that you’ve created your wedding ceremony programs, it’s time to print and make sure they’re ready to be distributed at the wedding. DIY wedding programs don’t have to be complicated to create. Once you are satisfied with your layout and your text, give the wedding program wording to one or two people to double-check. You don’t want to print enough copies only to find out you have a typo. Once you have had the wording double-checked, you are ready to print. You can make cheap wedding programs on your home printer if the quality is good enough. However, you might want to have it professionally printed at your local copy store. If you’re doing the programs yourself, print out one to test out your program’s quality and look.
If you are going to print it at home or at your local office supplies store, then check out the paper below.
Once it looks right, you will want to print one for each guest attending your wedding. You can give your wedding ceremony programs to your wedding planner to distribute. If you don’t have a wedding planner, recruit a family member to help distribute your programs on your wedding day.
Wedding Program Paper
There are many different ways to print your program such as a full-page program, a folded or tri-fold program. If you are organizing an entire weekend full of activities then you might even need a booklet. The following paper is suitable to print your final product once you have customized it.
How to Write a Wedding Ceremony Program
1. Decide Who Will Create Your Programs
Before you dive into writing your wedding ceremony program, you need to decide who will create your programs. You can create them for free on this site with our free wedding program templates and distribute them on the day of your wedding. You can also choose to have them professionally designed with the wedding invitation company you worked with or you can select a new vendor to print out your ceremony programs.
Choosing who will create and print your wedding ceremony programs might be based on factors like budget, time restraints, and quality. If you decide to design them yourself, use a template that will be similar to your other printed items to create a cohesive look. We offer many designs and templates and they are all free. You can use the same template to create your wedding menu, etc.
2. Pick Out Your Wedding Ceremony Program Cover
The next part is to create the cover of your wedding program. Often, couples will include photos of their engagement, their names, and the ceremony/reception’s date and location. However, it’s up to your personal preference what you’d like the front to look since it is your wedding. If you don’t want a traditional wedding cover program, you could monogram the letter of your last name as the wedding cover or even leave it blank.
3. Wedding Program Wording
You will probably have many questions, such as how to make a wedding program or what to include in a wedding program. We will take you step-by-step and offer free printable templates that you can customize with your details to create your own free custom wedding template.
It should be noted that the following are only suggestions and you can include anything you want in your wedding program. There is no set format.
The Cover or the Introduction
On the cover you will list the:
- Names of the bride and groom
- Location of your wedding ceremony
- You can start with a welcome message
The Order of Ceremony Events
This part is where you get to customize your wedding ceremony program. The inside of the ceremony program is where you’ll list all of your special details. You can choose to share as much or as little information as you want. Include the wedding ceremony order of events so that your guests know what to expect and when. Here are some common considerations for writing a wedding ceremony program:
- Timeline of the Wedding: A timeline is an easy way to communicate with your guests, so they know what to expect. The timeline can start from your guests’ arrival time at the ceremony to the end of the reception. Important moments you may want to highlight could include special readings, the husband and bride’s arrival at the reception, first dances, cutting of the cake, or other moments you feel are important to your wedding. Writing out a timeline will help your guests know what to expect and prepare for those special moments. If you are having a religious wedding, you can write the prayers, songs and Bible verses to be included in your ceremony. However, for a more modern secular wedding, you will outline the order of events and activities. You can add songs and poetry as well.
- Introduce Participants in Your Ceremony: You can use the space in your wedding ceremony program to introduce important people in your wedding like the wedding party, officiant, your parents, musicians, or anyone who will be reading and giving a speech. You can either list them their name or add more information about each person, including why you choose them or a fun fact. Many people also include the names of their parents, and some also include the names of their grandparents.
- Explain Meaningful Wedding Details: Did you choose the venue because you had your first date there? Or is there a unique story behind your dress? Your wedding ceremony program is a wonderful place to share any special details or stories with your wedding guests. You can even use the space to share your wedding hashtag or your love story. Remember, everyone is there for your special day, so providing extra details or stories will be enjoyable for your guests.
- Introduce Cultural Traditions: If your wedding is specific to your culture, use your wedding ceremony program to explain these traditions. You can define the history, meaning, and how your traditions are performed, so your guests will understand what is happening during your ceremony or reception.
- Thank Your Guests: Use the space of your program to thank your guests for attending your wedding. You can even use the space to honor the memory of guests who are unable to attend. Showing your gratitude for your wedding guests adds a personal touch to your wedding.
- Provide End of Reception Details: The end of wedding receptions can be chaotic if not organized correctly. Use your program to explain details like transportation, the time your reception ends, or any other important information your guests need to know before leaving.
Back Cover or Bottom
You don’t really need a back cover. However, if you do want one you can add a:
- Thank you message to your parents or your guests (instead of the section above).
- Map or directions to your reception if the reception and ceremony are not at the same place.
- In loving memory message for loved ones who have passed.
If you don’t have a back cover and want to include these sections then you can add them to the bottom of the page.