What to Put on a Wedding Program: A Complete Guide!

I’m a big fan of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story, but they’ve endured some non-fairytale treatment by the tabloids!

Even the 22-page order of service for Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding contained a so-called “scandalous bit.” The wedding program said her father (and royal wedding no-show) was walking the bride down the aisle. The horror!

So, you’re wondering what to put on your wedding program? Or maybe you’re questioning the necessity of a program because you’re not getting married in a church (let alone Windsor Castle).

Well, this “What to Put on a Wedding Program” guide will help you document one of the best days of your life!

Wedding Ceremony Program Checklist

Since our guide is comprehensive and offers you plenty of options. Here’s a quick checklist:

What to Include in a Wedding Program

How you word your wedding program (and how creative you can get) depends on whether your ceremony is traditional, informal, or taking place at the same venue as your reception.

What to Include on the Back of a Wedding Program

This depends on your style of program, your vision, budget, and wedding venue, but the backside of a wedding program offers excellent real estate to use!

How Much a Wedding Program Should Cost

There are plentiful, budget-friendly choices with printing styles and paper.

How Many Wedding Programs You Should Print

Use our handy tip to calculate your final number.

What to Put on an Informal Wedding Program

A wedding program may not be on your radar if you’re planning a casual backyard or boho beach event. But one of our favorite weddings (a super-relaxed early evening ceremony on a Sarasota beach) featured a hilarious program that doubled as a fan in the late summer heat.

Here’s a fun example of an informal wedding program that will be entertaining and memorable:

What About a Wedding Program for Same-Venue Locations?

More couples are choosing the same venue for their ceremony and reception. Whether it’s a barn setting, a local vineyard, or a splashy city banquet hall, you can have traditional wedding booklets or get creative with a funny or unique wedding program.

When I got married, I digitally designed my program, printed on antique deckled paper, and my mother handmade bookmarks with the order of service for each program. It was affordable, and our guests loved it.

What to Include on a Wedding Program Cover

Your names are front and center, along with your wedding date and the location. Here’s a perfectly minimalistic way to outline the essential details in your program:

What to Put Inside a Wedding Program – Traditional Service

A ceremony inside a church or temple will have different faith-based traditions, and it’s an excellent idea to describe these significant moments for your guests in your wedding program.

For more information on a program for a church or temple of your faith, you can find examples online by searching for your faith (i.e., Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindi) + wedding program template.

The Inside Details of Your Wedding Ceremony

Generally, the first order of business inside a wedding program is briefly describing words, music, and other significant moments during your ceremony.

Here’s how this might look:

  • A musical selection list including your chosen wedding song to walk down the aisle to, any ceremony hymns, and your recessional tune as a newly married couple (invite people to sing along with the hymns if they know them!).
  • Ceremony readings or prayers in a church or temple service, including who wrote it and who’s reading it.
  • Your exchanging of vows and rings
  • Significant religious details, especially when inviting guests outside your upbringing or faith (for example, a Chinese wedding and Tea Ceremony will have traditions your guests will love to learn about).

The final detail in your Order of Service can be a “Signing of the Register & Marriage Pronouncement.” Then it’s time to give some shout-outs!

Announce Your Wedding Party, Parents, and Officiant

Your wedding guests are watching your love story unfold during your ceremony. Pay tribute to your officiant, bridal party, and immediate families by naming them inside your wedding program in this order:

Officiant, Parents of the Bride, Parents of the Groom, Maid (Matron) of Honor, Best Man, Bridesmaids, and Groomsmen.

You can also name children who are flower girls, ring bearers, or your four-legged best friend if the bowtie-wearing pooch is center-stage with you too!

What to Put on the Back Cover

We mean the “back cover” of a wedding program printed in a greeting card style. If you choose a trendy wedding booklet, it could be the last couple of pages or even the backside of a piece of paper if your wedding program is an affordable scroll style.

Here are some fun and creative details to include:

Your Wedding Story

Include your favorite engagement photo along with your origin story. People love to read about your love!

Your Wedding Hashtag

People are increasingly tech-savvy, and they’ll appreciate having a timeline of your wedding day on their mobile, including when cocktails start and directions to the reception if it’s a different venue.

Your Thank Yous

Add a personal touch and put a thank you note from the two of you to everyone who made your day extra special. Bonus points if you can make it a touching surprise!

In Memoriams

Make special mentions of loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s an incredibly thoughtful gesture and guaranteed to touch everyone’s hearts.

How Much Should a Wedding Program Cost?

The truth is, a wedding program can be so affordable that it’s a no-brainer to include one at your ceremony!

We’re focusing on budget-friendly here, and you’ll be amazed at how beautiful and top-quality your programs will look and the variety of styles and print options available.

An Extension of Your Wedding Stationery

Thanks to digital downloads and “DIY” print solutions, the costs of wedding invitations are more affordable than ever.

In addition, we find many wedding programs in printable stationery bundles, which is perfect because your program will match your whole stationery theme!

Cost of digital download for wedding stationery bundle with 30 editable templates: $41.37 (paper not included).

A Separate Wedding Booklet

We’ve got two ideas: a printed option and a print-at-home template. Both are beautiful and customizable with your details and images, including a wedding monogram.

The designer prints these booklets for you on lush paper with a tactile font. The size ranges from 4 to 12 pages, and a four-page brochure-style program for 150 guests is under $200.

This selection is a digital template to download and conveniently edit and print at home. It’s a bestseller and is currently on sale for under $7.00 for a file emailed to you,

Wedding Program Scrolls

Here’s an eye-catching, affordable, and easy wedding program to create: the scroll style printed double-sided on quality paper and wrapped in a pearlescent bow to hand out to your guests.

This option is printed for you and includes a bow in your color choice—the cost for 150 programs: is $193.50.

Wedding Program Infographics for Your Faith

The “infographic program” is a fantastic idea for a faith-based ceremony because everyone can understand and appreciate the significance.

For example, here’s a wedding program infographic for the Jewish faith.

This program is a digital template to edit at home, and the cost for a file emailed to you is under $23.00 (paper not included).

How Many Wedding Programs Should Be Printed?

The best way to ensure that you have enough wedding programs for every guest is to wait until you have a final head count, or as close to definitive as possible, and that’s generally within six weeks of your wedding day.

This can be a concern when ordering printed invitations since most couples order wedding stationery in advance. But, of course, you can always negotiate with your printer to do your invitation suite first, followed by your program closer to the date when the numbers are confirmed.

If you’re choosing an editable template to print at home, you’ll have more freedom to complete your programs closer to your big day using our handy-dandy calculation tip!

To get your number, add up your wedding “yes” RSVPs and add a safety figure (up to 25 additional programs) for anyone who might be a “plus-one” joining a guest at the last minute.

You may have leftovers, but in my experience, your BFFs and fam will snap up extras, and you’ll have more wedding keepsakes to love!

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