First, take a look at your overall layout for the program. If your wedding has a major theme linking all the elements together, play it up to the hilt. Here are some broad suggestions to get you started.
Play bill or movie credits: Actors, playwrights or theater lovers can copy their favorite movie layout or create a unique design with themselves as the lead actors. Attendants become supporting characters and special soloists or readers can be acknowledged as movie credits.
Wanted poster: Use weathered looking paper and Wild West photos for your western wedding. List the bridal party as accomplices.
Scrolls: Place two giant scrolls on poles in the front of your venue for all your guests to read for your medieval or castle-themed wedding. Individual scrolls can be tied up and placed on chairs for your Victorian wedding.
Grade book or report card: Teachers, administrations or tutors can have fun with these two ideas. Provide attendant information as short pupil bios and list the reception time and location as a parent-teacher conference. Use red pen highlights to circle spelling errors or to write complimentary margin comments.
Recipe cards: Bakers, cooks, and gourmets can create a detailed recipe for the wedding. The bridal party becomes the ingredients and the ceremony time line can be the mixing instructions.
Menus: Describe each attendant and family member as a favorite dish and include special songs and soloists as side dishes or appetizers.
News flash: Present your program as if it wore a breaking news story. Articles could include an in-depth feature on the bride and groom and a time line for the ceremony events.
If those ideas are too far from traditional for you, think about ways to present your program in creative ways.
Beach glass: Use beach glass or ocean polished rocks to keep a sea breeze from blowing programs off chairs for your ocean wedding. A few shells can be used as program weights and wedding favors. Even if your beach wedding will be held indoors and far from the ocean, these touches will add to your theme.
Christmas trees: Hang your programs like ornaments from an evergreen in the lobby and let each guest select their own. Have an usher standing near by to offer assistance. Change this up for a fall wedding and shape each program like an oak leaf.
Scribes or pages: Present guests with a fully costumed scribe or page boy with a leather bag to hand guests a program as they are seated. A paper boy could hand out special edition programs or Shakespeare can hand out scrolls.
Garlands: Create garlands with acorns, Christmas lights, chili peppers or any other wedding-themed baubles. Insert a wedding program spaced about a foot apart along your string and hang these strands on the back of pews or chairs. Guests will be able to read the program and all those garlands will add to your decorations.
Wedding programs don't have to be major productions, but they do offer a fantastic place to have some fun. Check out The Paper Studio for unique papers to add to your creations.
Because programs are not mired in years of tradition and rules, many couples feel more freedom to add some levity or creativity to this aspect of their wedding planning. Look to your passions, your hobbies or your lifestyle for creative wedding programs. Give your guests something to smile and chat about while they wait for your grand entrance.