Updated: May 11, 2020
Couples often get to the Day-of stationery (Programs, Menus, Table Numbers, Cocktail Napkins, etc.) and realize they don't want to spend too much. It's wise to allocate your complete wedding stationery budget in the beginning to avoid short changing yourself in the end. Are programs necessary? Often times, yes, because programs help to keep your guests informed of the couple's traditions, rituals and customs. Wedding programs can be simple, yet elegant and compliment the style of the wedding. They can be cost effective and still carry the theme of the wedding. This blog entry provides the 411 on programs!
Covers can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. Most couples will print their names, wedding date, and location. Some will use a photo from their engagement photo shoot or candid photos of their courtship. The programs can easily mimic the couple's aesthetic and carry forward some of the details and colors from their invitation suite.
THE ORDER OF INFORMATION Information should follow the logical order of your wedding so that your guests can follow along. There are no hard-and-fast rules. Some couples have a beautiful knack for communicating; they enjoy the opportunity to share themselves with their guests in a candid and heartfelt way. Others prefer just to give an outline of their day and save the sharing for toasts.
WHAT TO INCLUDE Weddings can be a fantastic opportunity to bridge cross-cultural and religious divides. Letting your guests in on religious rituals and traditions, you'll be incorporating in your ceremony, will allow them to enjoy them more. The program is a fantastic vehicle to inform your guests about the particulars of your day.
When writing about rituals and traditions, you will be including in your ceremony, lean on the many tools at your disposal to get a definitive paragraph on their history, origins and meaning. Then be a good editor, keep it brief and interesting, making sure to add your own personal touches. Why is it meaningful to you? A great writing tool, visualthesaurus.com, can help brings words to life.
Reception information is unnecessary in your program unless you missed something in the invitation or if you need to give your guests a heads up about new information. But, it can be a place, where you can put a map or directions to the reception venue.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FORMAT Some weddings are formal and classic, while some are playful and edgy. Bearing that in mind, the program should represent the wedding.
The most common format is a single or folded card. But, custom programs, such as fans, cartoon drawings of the bridal party, and games and puzzles (like bingo, crosswords, and sudoko puzzles) are trending. Long and narrow is elegant; large squares are grand; rolled and coned are lovely; and tied up with ribbons are celebrated. Z-Cards that keep unfolding can be fun. Sepia-toned booklets are hip, and sewn-down-the-seam is edgy and cool. Finding the format to fit the couple's personality and event is key.
HOW MANY TO PRINT
Depending on the size of your wedding and your budget, you can either give every guest a program or give one per couple. To keep costs down, plan for two per family if you have invited children.