Alternatives to Wedding Programs

Try something different from the traditional wedding program to impart knowledge to your guests.

There's nothing wrong with using the traditional wedding program format to let guests know your important ceremony details. However, many couples decide they'd rather shake things up with a creative take on the typical wedding program.

7 Creative Ideas for Your Wedding Program

Finding alternatives to wedding programs is an easy and fun way to express yourselves on your special day. For best results, choose an alternative wedding program that’s in keeping with the size and overall tone of your ceremony.

1. Wedding Signs

For a small wedding, you could consider skipping programs altogether in favor of large strategically placed signs that showcase the important ceremony details. This idea saves money and time, but you'll need to make sure the signs are readily visible so your guests aren't left wondering what's happening next. If you decide to use signs in place of the traditional wedding program, you can make them visually appealing by choosing attractive fonts and stylish frames. One budget-friendly idea would be to search for unique frames at a local thrift store, then spray paint them to match your wedding colors.

2. Wedding Fans

During the summer months, customized wedding fans are the perfect alternative to a traditional program. Wedding fans are also very easy to create on your own. Choose your basic program design for the front and back of your fan from one of our many templates. Print your design onto sturdy cardstock, then glue a wooden handle in between the two sheets. If desired, you can add charms, ribbons, or tassels to make your fans more personal. Hang a fan on the back of each chair for your outdoor wedding or place them in baskets on the ends of each pew.

3. Wedding Newsletters

If you're known for your way with words, try creating a newsletter for your wedding guests. Your newsletter can include all of the basic program details, as well as the story of how you met the groom and how he proposed. You could also include fun anecdotes about members of the wedding party, such as how you became friends with your maid of honor when you were roommates during your freshman year of college. If many of your guests don't share your faith, you can explain the rituals of your ceremony and why you chose them. If the reception is in a different location, you can include directions and a map.

4. Wedding Booklets

If you're willing to invest some extra time in the project, a wedding booklet lets you tell your story while creating a special keepsake. Using your favorite graphic design software, you can add photos, special tributes, and personal details on the pages. The cover can feature your names, wedding date, and your engagement photo or a large monogram. Bind the booklet together by punching two holes in the sides and tying a small ribbon bow. Ushers can pass out booklets or place them in silver urns on the guest book table.

5. Fortune Teller Programs

The paper children's toys known as origami fortune tellers or cootie catchers can be transformed into memorable wedding programs. Instead of lifting up flaps to reveal their fortunes, guests lift the flaps to learn facts such as who is your wedding party, what special music you'll be playing at the ceremony, and what type of food you'll be serving at the reception. When choosing this type of program, remember to allow plenty of time for program assembly before the big day. You may want to consider asking a few friends or family members to help with the project.

6. Coloring Book Programs

If there will be a large number of children at your wedding, creating a wedding program that doubles as a coloring book is a fabulous idea. This is a simple DIY project, since all you need is an assortment of clip art images that you can enlarge for the children to color. Place the programs in a pretty basket next to small packages of crayons. You can purchase crayons in bulk from most party supply stores, but you may want to repackage them using twine or cellophane bags for a more attractive appearance.

7. Puzzle Programs

For an interactive program that will appeal to children and adults alike, try including a word find puzzle with clues that reveal fun facts about your relationship. For example, you could hide the name of the mutual friend who introduce you to each other, the name of the restaurant where you had your first date, and the location you plan to visit on your honeymoon. Leave an answer sheet for the puzzle at your reception, so guests can fill in the blanks as needed.

Making Your Wedding Unique

Think of wedding programs as a special way to communicate with friends and family. It's the personal details of a wedding that make it unique and special. Searching for alternatives to wedding programs is a sure sign your creative spirit is looking for an outlet.


Written by: The Printable Wedding Team