I am often asked if couples should have wedding ceremony programs – particularly if they are on a limited spending plan. The answer is, “it depends”. If you have an unlimited spending plan, then they are always a nice option and you shouldn’t think twice. But if you have to make some choices with your finances and wedding ceremony programs may be on the “cut” list, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does your ceremony involve a particular religious tradition and some of your guests are not of your religion?
- Does your ceremony involve mixed religions, a blending of both you and your partner’s faiths?
- Does your ceremony involve any unusual acts or rituals that may be helpful for audience members to have an explanation so they can follow?
- Does your ceremony involve any aspect that will involve audience participation or recitation of words or verses?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it is a good idea to have a ceremony program. If you are having any musical solos, entertainment, poetry, or readings, it is especially nice to have programs to cite the works, but not as important as when there are religious (or otherwise) rituals that should be explained so guests can really feel a part of the wedding ceremony experience.
What never to put on any wedding ceremony program:
- Lengthy biographies of the bride, groom, attendants and their families (very brief bios are ok)
- Wedding service provider (vendor) names (making an “advertisement” for your wedding supply partners)
(remember, wedding programs should not be a theatrical “playbill”):
Wedding ceremony programs are typically handed out by the ushers as guests arrive and are escorted to their seat, or placed in pews, or baskets by the entrance to ceremony site. It is also alright (and sometimes really charming and a great way to involve children so they feel special) to have kids pass them out to guests as they arrive.
We help clients determine the wedding program elements essential for their wedding ceremony and are happy to help you. Contact us to see how we can help you with wedding programs or anything else related to your wedding.