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Wedding Program Etiquette

The Wedding Ceremony Program is one of the items we’re busy working on throughout late summer and early fall.  In addition to save the dates, wedding invitations and rehearsal invitations, it’s the one item that couples tend to have a lot of questions about.
 
Since the same questions seem to pop up again and again, I thought it would be fun to give you some basic etiquette when it comes to wedding programs to help you figure things out.
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The Style or Design of the Wedding Program

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While there are virtually endless possibilities for your wedding programs, when beginning to plan for them, you should make sure the general style and feel match the type of wedding day that you are planning.  While the programs don’t have to perfectly match the wedding invitation, both should represent the style, colors, and overall feel of your wedding day.
 

What Information Should Be Included on your Wedding Program?

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Just like with wedding invitations, rules can be broken but in general, wedding programs should include things like the names of both the bride and the groom, the wedding date and time as well as the wedding venue.  The wedding party should be included and if you want to, include how they are connected to either the bride or groom.  Traditionally parents and sometimes grandparents are also listed as well as any special people such as the officiant, musicians, etc.
 
While some couples we have worked with choose to get a little creative with listing the wedding ceremony, it is a good idea to list the order of events including any special religious rituals that will take place during the ceremony.  Also, it is proper to include any songs (with titles) that will be played or sung during the ceremony as well as any Bible passages that will be read.
 

Make your Wedding Program Your Own

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Many couples wish to personalize their programs beyond just the basics by including a brief story of how they met, a thank you to family and friends for being a part of the day, a memorial to family or friends that have passed away or even fun things like a meaningful song quote or details about the reception.  Some couples add photos, tie bags of rice or confetti or even sparklers to their programs too.
 

Your Takeaway for your Wedding Programs

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When it comes to your wedding programs, there really are few rules.  Aside from making sure the look and feel matches your day, the key is really just remembering that these are for your guests.  It clues them in to who you have chosen to stand up with you and how you know them.  It lets them know what to expect for your ceremony and provides them with some fun facts or stories to keep them occupied while they wait for the ceremony to begin.