Do I Need a Wedding Program?You're not required to have a wedding program as a principle of wedding etiquette, but there are several reasons why it might be a good idea:
- Programs help involve your guests in your ceremony; they can follow along with your vows, chosen songs and traditions.
- If you have a particularly long ceremony, your guests will enjoy having a little reading material.
- You can use your program to explain any unusual traditions or aspects of your ceremony. Not everybody might know about the medieval tradition of the bride wearing a blue dress or about the Jewish tradition of the groom breaking a wine glass underfoot.
- A program is a nice memento of your ceremony, both for you and for your guests.
Parts of a Typical Wedding ProgramYou can include anything from baby photos to sheet music in your program, but there are a few common elements usually contained in wedding programs:
- Basic info: the names of the couple, date, location of ceremony.
- Event schedule: the order of your ceremony, from processional to vows to recessional, including any music played or performed, any prayers or speeches, the text of your vows or other information.
- Bridal party: Names, roles, and, if you like, a blurb on how you met each person or a brief biography.
- Explanation of any uncommon traditions or ceremonies.
- Instructions for any desired audience participation such as chants, songs or taking communion.
Designing Your Wedding ProgramYou can hire a stationer or designer to develop a polished, professional program or you can design it yourself and run off copies on your home printer or your local copy shop. Either way, you want to make sure that your program matches the tone, theme and style of your wedding. Stick to a clean, simple design without much color for a traditional wedding or indulge in bright colors and images or unusual papers for a less conventional ceremony. If you want to include too much information to fit on a single sheet, you might need a longer booklet, best printed with the help of a professional.
Picking a Program DesignerMost vendors offering custom invitations will also design and print programs; if you can find a designer that explicitly offers program designing services you'll be best assured of quality work and solid experience.
A few stationers and designers offering wedding program designing in North Carolina:
Renaissance Writings (Raleigh): Triangle-based stationer focusing on wedding invitations, programs, menus and other paper-based wedding products.
Everything But the Bride (Wake Forest): General wedding supply also offering custom programs with multiple themed designs.
The Green Kangaroo (Triangle): Online invitation boutique offer invitation design and ordering online, and also with a physical design studio open to the public upon appointment in Cary.
Cape Fear Images (Wilmington): Designer offering myriad personalized products, from wine labels to seed packets, including a line of wedding programs.
Stir Studios (Charlotte): Designer of custom paper products with a specialty in wedding programs.