A wedding program booklet or order of ceremony outlines what is happening throughout your big day and contains all the important details about your wedding ceremony.
For a church wedding, the booklet is usually called an Order of Service and is mainly to help your guests follow the service. It should include things like the music, readings and the words for hymns so they can sing along. You can read more about order of service for a church wedding here and what goes in them.
In this blog I’ll be talking about what details you can include in a wedding program for a civil or celebrant led ceremony. For these celebrations, your wedding program will not have any religious content but it is still a useful way to guide your guests through the ceremony. There are no rules as to what you can and can’t include in a wedding program, it’s really up to you. Start with the basics, your names, wedding date and venue if you like and then add as much or as little other detail as you want to. Here are some ideas.
1. Include details of any music in your wedding program booklet
If music (either live or recorded) forms a part of your ceremony, let your guests know what it is. What will the bride or groom walk down the aisle to, is anything being played during the ceremony, what will play as the happy couple leave? If you’ve chosen pieces of music or songs for a special reason, tell your guests – they’d love to know! If you have live music planned, perhaps a string quartet or harpist, you can also mention who they are and what they are playing.
2. Readings, poems and why you’ve chosen them
Couples often choose to include readings and poems as part of their wedding ceremony. If you are, why not put a note about them in your wedding booklet. I don;t advise having the whole transcript printed (unless it’s a relatively short passage) as your guests will be tempted to read rather than watch and listen, but the title of the piece, who it’s being read by and why you’ve chosen in is a lovely detail to include.
3. Do you need to highlight any wedding rules?
Now I’m not suggesting you should go all out and create a complete rule book here. But, if you are planning an unplugged wedding and are asking your guests not to post pics on social media, then your wedding program is a great place to note this.
Tip: put it on a sign at the ceremony too and ask whoever is conducting your ceremony to mention it too.
4. Include an order of the day in the wedding program booklet
Wait, is a wedding program booklet different to an order of the day? Yes, an order of the day is a simple timeline of what is happening throughout your wedding day (read more about them here). But, you could include an order of the day within your wedding program if you like, either as a graphic timeline or a list of times and main events.
5. Tell your guests about your bridal party
Not all of your guests will know who all of your bridal party. Why not give them a name check in your wedding program? You could go a step further and introduce them with a witty little bio, or even their relation or association to you as a couple.
6. Include something interesting about your venue
If your wedding is taking place in an interesting or historical venue you could include some background about this in your wedding booklet. If your guests have time to explore while they are there they will appreciate a bit of history or points of interest.
7. End your wedding program booklet with a personal thank you note
Many couples choose to include a personal thank you note in their wedding booklet. It’s a lovely way to finish off the keepsake, put it right at the end on the last page.
So there you go, some ideas about what to include in your wedding program. Remember that a wedding program is different to an Order of Service for a church wedding. But, it’s so more than just a simple Order of the Day. It’s a lovely way of giving your guests an insight into your wedding ceremony. Include details of the music and reading that you’ve chosen. Plus, it’s a great idea if you have interesting things to tell your guests about the venue. Why not introduce your bridal party too. Including a thank you note from you turns your wedding program into a fantastic keepsake for your guests too. Whatever you choose to include in your wedding program booklet, remember there are no rules. Make it personal to you and have fun with it.
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