Creating a Unique Wedding Program

One of the most frequently requested subjects – I post this again for all of you planning your weddings!

If you have the time and inclination, a wedding program, or booklet, is a nice addition to your ceremony. It can serve multiple functions. It does not have to take up a lot of your time and energy, especially if you’re handy with a computer. You can create it yourself or give the information to a designer, or a printer to put on the finishing touches.

Most people list the order of the wedding service. But when you think about it, it encourages people to anticipate what is happening next in your ceremony, even possibly distracting them from what is happening in the present moment. It is not necessary to itemize the service. Instead, approach the booklet as a chance to expand, rather than simply outline.  Your program book can enhance the ceremony experience for your guests. While your guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin, they will enjoy reading it. Here are some suggestions to help you do exactly that.

This couple did an amazing job!

When listing the bridal party – explain who they are, your relationship with them, and even where they live. People travel far to attend weddings. You can show your appreciation of their time and effort by making mention of it.

I love what they did with the bridal party.

Use photos  – of yourself, your family and friends. Even your pet, who unfortunately, was unable to attend, but sends best wishes!

Get creative – the program can be made to look like a theater playbill, a menu, it can be in different shapes or colors/

Explain any rituals that are being performed during the ceremony. Give historical, cultural or religious background on it, and share why it is being used. I’m referring to the Unity Candle, Handfasting, Breaking the Glass, Sharing of Wine, Bread and Salt, Jumping the Broom, or any number of beautiful rituals that are performed in weddings. This is true for religious or secular ceremonies. Remember not everyone is versed in your traditions and will appreciate learning about them.

Give music credits – details on what songs or selections were played.

If your ceremony is in a unique location – explain why you chose it.

Readings, poems, lyrics –  just as with rituals –  explain why you are using them in your ceremony, especially if there is particular story to accompany it. Or, include a poem, song lyric, or other writing that you could not fit into the ceremony.

Anecdotes, such as how you first met, the proposal, or any story you feel you guests would enjoy, are fun to read.

Honor departed family members with a tribute to them by using a meaningful quote with their name – explaining that they are missed today.

For multicultural or multilingual families, have translations of the entire ceremony or selected readings.

Just so cute!


 If children are involved in the wedding party, they can create the cover or write something special. They might also help by assembling or distributing the booklet. Don’t forget to credit children for any role they play in the wedding, and thank them for their support of the marriage. They will appreciate the sentiment, and love seeing their names in print.

Other thank-you’s can be listed, so everyone will be sure to see who helped you make your wedding day special.

If you have the time and energy, I hope you can make your program booklet special, but if you are stressed, too busy, or simply cannot take on one more task – don’t do it! While your guests may be delighted to find a program booklet full of surprises, truly, no one will be disappointed that there is no program book at all. Be true to yourself, and give yourself a break. I hope your wedding planning is fun and not a burden.

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