Wedding Program Design

Creative wedding program design offers your guests a unique guide to your ceremony.

black and white roses
Your wedding program design sets the tone for your wedding, is your guests' road-map to your ceremony, and may be a keepsake for years to come. Creating wedding programs can be as simple or detailed as you like, and can be custom printed or made at home with relative ease.

The colors, wording and style of your wedding program design should match those of the ceremony. Some couples choose to have the programs made to match the invitations, which is nice because your guests will recognize the style and feel comfortable right away.

Some churches have certain requirements as to the order that you list items on the program. If you are getting married at a church, check with them in advance to find out what is acceptable or recommended. Items mentioned on a program usually include:
  • the wedding date
  • location of ceremony
  • names of the bride, groom and wedding party
  • names of the parents
  • prelude (music played as guests are being seated)
  • processional (music that plays while the bridal party walks down the isle, and then the music that plays during the brides' entrance)
  • opening prayer or greeting
  • readings
  • marriage rites
  • exchange of vows
  • blessing of rings
  • nuptials, closing prayer or reading
  • recessional (music played while the bridal party leaves, followed by several songs played while the guests leave.)
Other details you may consider including in your wedding program design are the names of other party members (musicians, ushers, etc.); a mention of whether flash photos are allowed; the officiant's name; and directions to the reception.

You also might want to include a brief introduction of each member of the wedding party, including a little story about how each person is connected to the bride or groom and how long they have known either one or both.

Including a poem or Bible verse on the front and/or back of the wedding program design is a creative touch. Some couples choose to thank the parents who are funding the wedding. A nice touch is to have a brief paragraph thanking all of your guests for coming, with a special mention to those who traveled from far away. You could even go as far as to mention who your florist is, or include lyrics to each of the songs, but these details are extra and by no means necessary.

Programs can be printed by the same company that is making your invitations, or you can print them at home. If you are using stock art for your invitations, menus and place cards, consider using the same pattern for the program. If you choose to make your own, choose a paper that is sturdy and on which the ink won't bleed. A stationery or church supply store can help you choose the right materials.

If possible, put off printing the programs until a week or so before the wedding, as you'll most likely make changes to the ceremony as time goes on. Remember to print out more than you need, the extras can be kept as keepsakes and added to your wedding album or scrapbook.

Creating wedding programs can be a lot of fun. Let your wedding program design reflect your emotions regarding your special day, and incorporate information that will draw your guests near to your hearts as you wed.