When planning their wedding, young couples often wonder what the proper etiquette is regarding wedding programs. While they are not necessarily a required part of the ceremony, they can definitely add that extra touch to the presentation. For certain types of weddings – such as long or traditional ones, where some direction can help guide guests and let them know what to expect – they are especially beneficial. Wedding programs provide married couples-to-be the opportunity to greet their guests and show off a little bit of their personality. They also serve as keepsakes of the special day; therefore, they deserve as much attention to detail as the table settings, flowers, decorations and cake.
Wedding programs are quite similar to theater programs in that they tell guests who the main players are in the production, and can include the music, readings, poems and other details that are set to be a part of it. The theme of the wedding ceremony is usually incorporated into the program. Inserts that offer things like directions from the wedding ceremony to the reception, an explanation of traditions and favorite quotes or lyrics may also be placed inside the program.
The basics of a wedding program typically include:
• A cover/introduction
• The order of events
• A list of the bridal party – the parents of the couple, best man, bride’s maids, etc.
• A list of the officiates, wedding planner, musicians, etc.
• A list of readings and songs
Optional Things to Include
Aside from the basics, there are optional details couples may wish to add to their wedding program. For example, weddings that involve religious rituals may include an explanation of their meaning, particularly if the guests don’t necessarily share the same faith; descriptions of the traditions used can be extra helpful if the couple asks their guests to participate at certain points in the ceremony.
The program is another place where the couple may choose to thank their friends, family and guests or add short blurbs about why the people in the bridal shower were chosen to be a part of the ceremony. Memorials are sometimes included in wedding programs as well, particularly when the person the bride or groom wishes to honor was very close to him or her. Mini-biographies and a brief description of how the couple met or a funny story are also optional things to include in a wedding program.