Putting it all Together in Your Program

by Jenny Bryde 20. August 2010 00:31

Whew!  As the time is winding down towards our wedding, I am starting to feel the weight of my to-do list.  My major problem is that I keep adding unnecessary things to my to do list such as “make pinwheels for the kiddies”.  While I hope to get to the pinwheels (post coming soon), there are other things that just must get done and get done soon.


The above program is a from Etsy shop MTK Designs

One of those line items is that I need to create our programs.  Originally, I didn’t think that we were going to have programs, but then I thought of all the good reasons why programs are helpful…

1)       A keepsake not only for the bride and groom but also for the parents.

2)      It gives adults a rundown of what’s going to happen next and how many things have to happen before they can run over to the bar.  J

3)      It gives kids paper to draw on if they get bored.  Let’s face it…kids get bored, and programs are made of paper. 

4)      If it’s hot, the program serves as a fan.

5)      You can make the program fit into your wedding theme.

6)      If you and/or your fiancé do not especially care for the spotlight, it gives your guest something else to stare at rather than at you. 

So when I came to the conclusion that we’d be making programs, I thought to myself that at least I’d get to play around with the design and fonts and such.  I’m kind of a fontaholic.  I probably have at least five hundred fonts on my computer, and I’m always adding more.  You can get many for free at sites such as Dafont.com, which is where I found all the fonts for our invitations, programs, table numbers, etc. 

Anyhoo, once I had in mind the design and the fonts that I wanted to include, I became stuck.   What exactly goes into a program?  What do you have to have?  What is optional?  How should it be organized?  Here’s what I’ve gathered:

Things you might include: 

1)       There might be some sort of cover or title area where the full name of the couple, date, location, and maybe a monogram or design can be included.

2)      Generally speaking, the ceremony starts the wedding, and so the events of the ceremony should be listed next, possibly including: the prelude, seating of any important family members, vocal/music selections, processional, entrance of the bride, call to worship, statement of intent, prayer, scriptures/readings, charge to the couple, exchange of vows, exchange of rings, pronouncement of marriage, special parts of the ceremony (i.e. unity candle), blessing of the marriage, presentation of the couple, recessional, postlude, and a line inviting the guests to the reception. 

3)      A listing of the wedding party including:  your officiate, parents, grandparents, bridesmaids, flower girls, groomsmen, ring bearers, musicians, bell ringers, attendants, hosts/hostesses and possibly your wedding director and/or coordinator.  You may want to also list the relationship of your wedding party members to the couple. 

4)      A thank you to those who have helped or contributed to make your wedding day possible.

5)      Directions to the reception site.

6)      A dedication.

7)      Your new address.

8)      Special poems/scriptures/lyrics.

9)      Notes of interest.

10)   Explanations of special ceremonies.

11)   A brief story of how the couple met.

What you may NOT want to include:

1)       Generally, those who are paid vendors at a wedding are not thanked in a program, however, you may feel differently and can do as you please if you feel the need to thank people.

2)      Please do not mention anything about gifts, money trees, etc.  Not nice.

3)      Too much embellishment.  This is where I have problems as I love embellishments!  But keeping your program simple is probably a good idea.  Sigh…

4)      Keep away from hard to read ink colors especially if you are in a darker area.

My big mistake so far in this project is that I started to create our program before we’ve even settled on details for the ceremony.  So this weekend’s absolutely to do activity is to pick music and finalize the ceremony wording.  Then, I’ll keep strong and carry on with my fonts.  And embellishments.  I can’t help myself.  J

By the way!  A fantastic resource if you’re not sure about what to do for a program can be found on Martha Stewart’s Wedding site. 


Ceremony Events | Stationery

Just When You Thought You Had Paper Under Control...

by Jenny Bryde 4. June 2010 01:39

Where do you see paper in the wedding spectrum?  Invitations, right?  Well of course, but just when you thought you had your invitations under control, people will start to ask you about other paper-al elements that may appear in and around your wedding.  Programs, escort cards, menus, etc....  Today's post takes the many printed elements that you might consider for your own wedding...

Rule of thumb for this post?  All these elements are optional!  Don't think to yourself, "My goodness, I don't have custom letterpress coasters printed for my guests!  I fail at weddings!"  No, no, dear friends, as always, your wedding is an extention of you, and YOU may not need or want some of these elements.  Then again, you may be greedy like me and want them all...  *sigh*.

Let's begin, shall we? 

Programs - This one is a biggie and pretty popular.  Often times found at the entry to the ceremony area or on the seats for your guests, a program gives your guests a play by play account of the day's events.  It may include a schedule, readings, names of family members and the wedding party, pictures, etc.  The program can be in the form of a booklet, flyer, printed fan, or some other fun object that has this info printed. 

Menus - Everyone will be interested in what they get to eat at your wedding, so a menu card is a nice gesture that will get your guests salivating.  Place them on each plate, each table, or just one big menu sign as guests enter the area. 

Escort Cards/Place Cards - These two cards are brother and sister in that the escort cards will show a guest which table they should go to, and a place card is placed at the seat of each guest to identify which place setting is theirs.  Sometimes you may want to do one or the other, both, or neither, depending on your seating needs.

Napkins and Other Personalized Items - You will definitely need napkins, and it is often the case that brides and grooms will have their name and date printed on napkins, matchbooks, pencils, candles, or other favors for their guests.

Here is a collage of pictures of various wedding paper products (including a custom letterpress coaster) that you can find on Etsy:


1. program fan by scrappinginnovations, 2. program handkerchief by artfulbeginnings, 3. program birds of a feather by paperthickink, 4. placecard candle by illumienate, 5. placecard on glass timelesspaper, 6. program fortune teller by katskrafts, 7. menu wrap by printyourparty, 8. napkins by bellabridedesigns, 9. lettepress coaster vintagescriptpress


Alright, all you paper-savvy people, what other paper wedding elements am I overlooking?  What else came in handy?  What else did you have printed?  Do tell in the message board! 

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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the QCWeddings.com blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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