Wedding Planning Guide

Wedding Program Examples

You’ve just finished planning your beautiful wedding ceremony and reception, now it’s time to make your wedding programs to share the details of your day with your guests.

The most important pieces of information to include in a wedding program are: the couple’s names, the date of the event, the location of the event, an outline of the proceedings, and the names of people in the ceremony.

How exactly you share this information is up to you. There are a number of types of different styles of wedding ceremony programs you can choose from: single page programs, trifold wedding programs, or even wedding program booklets. As you decide which information you want to include and possible wedding program layouts, consider which wedding program size and style would best suit your event.

For more unique wedding programs you can make DIY wedding programs or, for a summer wedding, you can provide your guests with program fans.

Wondering what to put on a wedding program? Let’s break down wedding program wording by the sections of the program:

The wedding program cover traditionally features the couples names, the date and location of the event, and whatever image or wedding program design the couple desires, for example a picture of the couple, their wedding monogram, or a motif in line with the theme of the wedding. It is also common for couples to include a message of welcome to their guests, a meaningful verse, or poem either inscribed on the front cover or the inside of it.

The wedding program outline of the proceedings for the ceremony typically follows a structure similar to this:

  • Processional
  • Officiant’s greetings
  • Special readings the couple has chosen
  • The exchanging of vows and rings ceremony
  • The pronouncement of marriage
  • Recessional

Some couples may decide to include a transcript of their vows in the wedding program or include the names of songs they’re including in the ceremony.

This outline changes depending on the formality of the event, the couple’s religious beliefs, and family traditions. Wedding programs can play an important role in making sure that all of the guests understand the significance of the rituals that take place during the ceremony.

A traditional Catholic wedding program may include: the entrance rite, greeting, opening prayer, first reading, responsorial psalm, second reading, gospel acclamation, gospel, homily, the Celebration of Matrimony, the address and statement of intentions, the exchange of consent, the blessing and giving of rings, the lord’s prayer, the nuptial blessing, the blessing, the dismissal, and finally, the recessional.

A traditional Jewish wedding program may include: the Kabbalat Panim, Badeken, Ketubah, Chuppah, Circling, Kiddushin, the Ring Exchange, 7 Blessings, the Breaking of the Glass, Yichud, and the Seudat Mitzvah.

It’s not uncommon for couples from any faith to only include a few rituals in their ceremonies or modify the traditional layout to make a more personal and simple wedding program.

Following the ceremony proceedings, it’s typical to include a list of the wedding party and family. You can order this list whichever way you prefer, but it traditionally follows this order:

  1. The couple
  2. The officiate
  3. The Parents of the Bride
  4. The Parents of the Groom
  5. Maid of Honor
  6. Best Man
  7. Bridesmaids
  8. Groomsmen

You may decide to list people in the order in which they walk down the aisle or appear in the ceremony to help guests connect the name to the face. It can also be helpful to include a few words next to each name to describe their relation to the couple.

On the back or end of the program, it can be a nice touch to include either a thank you to the guests or the host of the wedding. Also, if someone close to the couple has recently passed, this place can serve as a lovely memorial.

Examples of wedding programs: