How to Format a Wedding Program

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Because programs are not a necessary piece of wedding stationery, incorporating them into your wedding day makes them even more special. They act as a guide to your ceremony, drawing attention to the key players in your special day. They are also a helpful resource for those who don't know you or your fiancé very well, as they inform them of your parents', officiant's and bridal party's names. Because utilizing wedding programs is optional, the rules regarding their creation are relaxed. There are, however, a few main components that need to be included.

  • Name the hosts. If one or both sets of parents are hosting the event, state that "Margaret and Jonathan Boucher welcome you to the marriage of their daughter, Emily Marie, to Samuel Ericsson." If you are hosting the event yourselves, write: "Welcome to the marriage of Emily Boucher to Samuel Ericsson."

  • State the date of your wedding and the location of the ceremony. If your wedding is a very formal affair, write the date using the alphabetical format. If your wedding is more casual, the ordinary "mm/dd/yyyy" is perfectly acceptable.

  • List the order of different aspects of the ceremony itself, beginning with the prelude. You may also note the pieces of music used during each interval of the event. A typical order of ceremony looks as follows:

    Prelude: "Air on the G String," Bach

    Seating of the Mothers

    Processional

    Greetings

    Readings: 1st Corinthians.13: 1-13

    Exchange of Vows and Rings

    Pronouncement of Marriage

    Recessional: "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Mendelssohn

  • Provide a list of the officiant and the bridal party's names and titles. Additionally, if you did not mention your parents in the opening greeting of the program, take this opportunity to name them above the rest of your bridal attendants. The final list of attendants should retain a similar structure to the following:

    Parents of the Bride

    Parents of the Groom

    Officiant

    Maid of Honor

    Bridesmaids

    Best Man

    Groomsmen

    Flower Girl

    Ring Bearer

  • Conclude with an invitation to join you at the reception and specify the location and time. You may also simply write that the reception will take place "Immediately following the ceremony."

Tips & Warnings

  • Give each phrase of the wedding program its own line.
  • This is the traditional format for a single-sheet wedding program. However, if you wish to incorporate several wedding traditions, scripture readings or dedications into the program, feel free to expand on this format and make a booklet-style keepsake. A good example of this type of wedding program can be found in the Resources.

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