Wedding Program Wording

What to Include in Your Wedding Program

Wedding Programs have a long and rich history. Originally, they were used to explain the order and rituals of the ceremony. Today's programs for weddings are often a reflection of a couple's individual tastes and creativity. Printed wedding programs are one of the little details that add that extra special something to the big day. Express yourself (beautifully!) with a wedding program that will impress your guests and reflect the real you by using one of One Heart Weddings program templates.

Who Should Receive a Wedding Program?

In order to know how many programs to create and print out, you'll need to know who expects to receive one at your wedding. Generally, wedding programs should be given to all teenagers and older – but occasionally little ones will want to hold a program too.

If you are using ushers, they can hand out the programs. If you have children in the family who would like to be involved, you may have them hand out programs. Printed programs may also be placed in decorative baskets at the entrance to the ceremony or on the chairs or pews.

The Elements of a Great Wedding Program

Now that you know how many programs you'll need, it's on to the fun part: deciding what your wedding program will contain and putting it all together!

Generally, a wedding program has four parts:
  1. The Introduction
  2. The Ceremony Order
  3. The Names of the Wedding Party
  4. The Closure (or special note)
  1. The introduction includes the names of the bride and groom, the day and date of the ceremony, time, location, city and state.
  2. The ceremony order outlines the segments such as the prelude, seating, vows, readings and processional. You may also list the titles of the musical pieces, selected lyrics and wording of prayers here; this is a nice touch and gives a nod to those who are offering their talents on your special day. Be sure to list the events in the order they will occur.
  3. The wedding party section lists all participants in the wedding. Use full names rather than nicknames, and use titles such as Miss, Ms. and Mr.
  4. In the final section, used for a closure or a special note, thank your guests and those who are hosting the wedding if you wish. It is also nice to include a short sentence about each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen, describing why they are important to you. This is also the place to honor a deceased friend or member of the family. Try ending with a poem or quote to make your program truly memorable. For some inspiration see our section at One Heart Weddings.

    You might also want to include an explanation of the significance of the location, theme or first dance. For example the reception will be held at the site of the bride and groom’s first date. If you didn’t include directions to the reception with the invitation it might be a good idea to print them here.

Wedding Program Wording

Following is an example of wedding ceremony program wording. By no means are all elements necessary; this a guide will help you determine how you'd like to organize your program.
The Marriage Ceremony Uniting

Allison Mae Johnston
Henry Chad Meyers
on Saturday, May 1, 2004
at half past six o'clock in the evening
St. Mary's Church
Portland, Oregon

Prelude .......................... "You Came Along"
Solo .................................."Love is in the Air"
Lighting of the Candles
Seating of the Mothers
Processional ..................."Canon in D"
Wedding Message .........Rev. Tom Anderson
Solo ..................................."On Bended Knee"
Exchange of vows
Exchange of rings
Announcement of marriage
Solo .................................."Forever More"
Presentation of the Bride and Groom
Recessional ..................."Ode to Joy"
The order of the wedding party should be listed in this order:
- Parents of the Bride
- Parents of the Groom
- Grandparents of the Bride
- Grandmothers of the Groom
- Maid of Honor
- Matron of Honor
- Bridesmaids
- Junior Bridesmaid
- Honorary Bridesmaid
- Flower Girl
- Best Men
- Groomsmen
- Ring Bearer
- Officiant
- Pianist
- Soloist

By using this guide as a basis for your wedding program wording, you will be sure to end up with beautiful, informative programs that your guests will treasure.

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Written by: Melanie Henson