When attending any wedding, many people would like to skip straight to the after party. While we can’t jump straight to the night of drinks and dancing, we can make the ceremony a little more interesting for the guests. If we’re all honest, we know that the real part of the wedding we look forward to is the party afterward. While we can’t always skip ahead to the long-awaited night of drinks and dancing, we can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ceremony. One of the best ways to grant a little courtesy to your guests is to prepare a wedding program. Although not required, a wedding program is a good way to let everyone know what to expect during the wedding ceremony so they can prepare for the evening ahead.
The Program Cover
The cover of your program is going to be one of the first times your wedding is reflected on paper. Because every wedding is unique to the couple, the program should reflect the theme of the wedding as well as the personality of the bride and groom. If your wedding is traditional and elegant, you may want to incorporate black and white with script writing. If you’re having a more bohemian ceremony, think about adding floral patterns with a unique font.
The program can be used as a souvenir for the guests or as a personal memento, so you will ideally want to include important details like the date of the wedding and name of the couple. Don’t forget to include the place of the ceremony and any extra information that is important to the big day.
The Inside Cover
The inside cover of the program is going to include the timeline of events during the ceremony. From music choice to the name of the officiant, every detail of the day should be included here. The inside also offers couples the chance to customize their program to fit their wedding day style, including a wedding monogram, a verse of scripture, or song lyrics that are important to the bride and groom.
The Wedding Party
The wedding party section of the program should be included either somewhere in the inside or on the back cover. Because the couple will be bringing two families together on the wedding day, it is highly likely that not everyone will know each other. The couple should list any important family members and friends that are included in the ceremony such as the names of the parents, the maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. The bride and groom may also want to include a few sentences to thank guests for attending and to honor any specific people.
Mapping Out the Ceremony:
The wedding prelude usually occurs before the ceremony and is the time when guests take their seats. The program should include a listing of the couple’s song choice for this moment.
Like the prelude, you will also want to include the music played during the processional as the family and bride arrive.
The Officiant’s Greeting
This section is not required, but could be a good idea to include if the name of the officiant if he or she is special to the couple.
If the officiant, bride, groom or any other family members or friends plan to read something during the ceremony, be sure to include the name of the written piece and the speaker.
Any special prayers or verses should be listed on the program.
Exchange of Vows and Rings
Although the introduction and declaration of intention are included during this time, it can be decided amongst the couple whether to include it or not. Many couples choose to have a short listing of the general exchange as this tends to be the longest part of the ceremony.
Communion, Lighting of the Unity Candle, or Song
If your wedding ceremony is going to include any special religious elements that may be unfamiliar to any guests, the couple may want to include any history or significant meaning behind it.
Pronouncement of Marriage
This should be included at the end to let guests know the party is right around the corner.
Photos Courtesy of:
Alison Mcquain Photography