A wedding programme involves guests by informing them about the day’s schedule, introducing everybody that is participating in the ceremony and reception, explaining certain wedding traditions and thanking guests for their sharing in this occasion with you. As such, it is a very special memento for them to keep and assists you, as the bridal couple, to accomplish much of the “admin” in one easy form. The wedding programme should have a design that is in line with your wedding theme. It can be creative, classic or funky. As with other wedding décor elements, there are no specific rules, as long as the programme reflects what your personal wants and needs.

Information that can be included on the programme:

  • The full names of the bride and groom (usually the bride’s maiden name)
  • The wedding date in full
  • The wedding venue (including the city)
  • The order (and possibly times) in which each part of the ceremony and / or reception will occur
  • The name of the piece to which you will be walking down the aisle and / or into the reception venue
  • The name, role and relationship to the bride and groom of everyone in the wedding party
  • The name of the officiant
  • A personal message to both the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents
  • Optional – a generic message to all the guests
  • An explanation of the religious or cultural traditions with which not all guests will be familiar

Some couples have added a romantic poem or quote that is meaningful to them, or a photograph of and message to a love one that passed away before the occasion.

It is a personal choice whether to have a programme for the ceremony and one for the reception, just to have one for each, or to have a both events on one programme. Although they should have a similar look and feel to the rest of the wedding, you can definitely play around with the ‘programme’ theme by styling it in the form of a theatrical performance or making it appear as a personal modelling portfolio (for example). This will likely be kept by guests and should, therefore, be more than a photocopied A4.

Should you decide to do a programme (or a section within your programme) for the reception, include the name and the artist of the song to which you have your first dance and explain why it is so special to you. Likewise, it may be appropriate to mention the MC, Wedding DJ and cake-maker.

You may find it easier to omit specific times to avoid the possibility of guests becoming anxious over the time-keeping. Rather, simply place the events in order (which will require special planning) so that guests feel informed.

The programme can be handed out by ushers before the ceremony, left on guest seats or placed in a large tray or basket for guests to fetch retrieve at the leisure.

The aim of a wedding programme is to make your day easy and orderly. It can also add a touch of glamour or enhance your overall theme.

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