How to Write a Wedding Program: What You Need to Include

Lots of brides start to stress over their wedding programs. It’s usually a forgotten piece of the wedding – you’re on the last dollars of your budget, you’re super busy with last minute wedding plans and then you realize that you haven’t really thought about the wedding program.

The, in a week, you’re franticly asking for the groomsmen’s middle names and asking your officiant to send the order of ceremony. Since you’re already in a panic, here’s an easy list of things you can include on your wedding invitation.

Typically, the first part of the wedding program looks a lot like your wedding invitation and includes your names, date, and ceremony time, and the location of the ceremony with the city and state. There is no need to include the street address or zip code of the ceremony location.

If you are hosting a more casual wedding or an outdoor wedding, which is very popular here in Nashville, you can get creative with your style and make the program double as a fan to ensure the comfort of your guests; and they won’t fly away as easily as a traditional program.

The wedding ceremony.

Programs traditionally start with “The Wedding Ceremony of”, your names and the location. Then, the Order of the Ceremony follows. The Order of ceremony is something you should get from your officiant.

This is the part that leads your guests through your ceremony. It usually goes something like this:

  • Prelude (that’s the music)
  • seating of the mothers and grandmothers these can be listed separately if you have difference music for each
  • processional (bridal party)
  • bridal processional
  • greeting (usually given by the officiant)
  • giving of the bride / declaration of intent
  • exchange of vows and rings
  • unity candle (optional)
  • declaration of marriage
  • prayer or blessing
  • presentation of the couple (this is the kiss!)
  • recessional

This can drastically change depending on religion, beliefs, or personal preference, so make sure you talk to your officant about the order of the ceremony.

The Wedding Party.

You will obviously include your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but also include the officiant, parents, grandparents, flower girls, ring bearers, ushers, etc.

Guests love to see how each of your bridal party is related to you and your groom. For example, you can include “friend of bride” or “groom’s brother” after the attendants’ name.

Some bride and grooms take the opportunity to write a few lines of how each member became to be so dear. You can also include the names of anyone you’d like to highlight, like a soloist or musician here.

Reception information:

Any information about the following reception appears at the end. If it is in the same location, let them know it is following the reception, by saying, “Please join us for a reception following the ceremony in the Great Hall.” Or, if it is at a different location, list directions and the address – maybe even a map.

Some Optional Information to include on your wedding programs:

Poems or Scripture.

Including a special poem, reading or scripture is nice. If it is important to you, include it! You can also include anything of significance. If the flowers are in honor of someone, you are wearing your grandmother’s pearls or if the Pastor is reading from your family bible, include it!

These sorts of things add a special touch and guests love to know the personal details and stories behind all your wedding choices. It makes them feel closer and more included.

In Memoriam.

Weddings are about celebrations but also they are a time to remember those who cannot be there with you on your special day. So, I suggest including an “In Memoriam” to list those names.

There are a lot of great ways to say it (check Pinterest or Google for good inspiration), but simply put “We would like to remember those who are not with us today.”

Thank You.

Thank your guests for being there with you and sharing your big day! Perhaps there are specific family or friends who put in a huge amount of assistance in your wedding planning, thank them! We have lots of great ideas for thank you notes on our Wedding Inspiration board on Pinterest.

New Address.

Let your guests know if your mailing address has changed (or will change) so they can update their address books. You’ll want to make sure you receive all their Christmas cards! You can also include your wedding website here, as they now are used to publish your lives as “newlyweds.”

Stressed about your wedding programs? We can create one in a snap! Email us for last minute projects or if you’re on top of things and ahead of the game, we’d love to help you create a full wedding invitation suite. Contact us for a consultation or meeting.