I want to talk about ‘wedding programs’ because they have come up a few times as a question from my brides. I am all about the details, especially when it involves stationary. I am also a huge fan of the small things, even if that means picking the right picture or the perfect shade of pink. To me, everything matters in your wedding. Every detail- and in this particular case- every piece of stationary will have meaning down to the font family used. I am going to work on it like I am getting it ready to walk down the runway or like its about to have a 6 page spread published on it. This may seem a little exaggerated, but this is exactly what created Michelle Isabel.
I’ve taken the questions I received directly from my brides and listed them below. I hope to help those that may be pondering the same questions.
Why should I have a program?
Plain and simply put, details, details, details. What makes a wedding spectacular are the details specially crafted to reflect the bride and groom. Not only does it make for great pictures, but you will be surprised to know how helpful programs are to your guests. Without realizing it, you’ve actually eased the nerves of some of your unprepared or rushed guests.
A great program lays the framework for the entire wedding. All your planning, ideas and Pinterest-ing have been put forth in this program. Your long nights and late text messages to your planner are all tied together and written down using this simplified guide to your wedding.
What content does the program contain?
When it comes to your program its important to sit down with your planner and carefully discuss how you want your schedule to be like that day. Your planner/coordinator plays a huge part in the program because the schedule has to be planned down to the T and then communicated to the relevant vendors. It’s especially important that your MC/DJ is on the same page to ensure that they don’t play a ‘garter toss’ song when you don’t plan to throw the garter. The trend these days is to not follow the trend. Sometimes a couple wants a ring-bearer, while others opt out. Or the money dance may not sound like a good idea to you. Your planner should review your program to make sure your guests aren’t expecting something that never ends up happening. It’s as if you go to a restaurant and you’ve requested the restaurant’s ‘staple appetizer’ only to have your dinner brought out and learn that your wait staff forgot to enter the appetizer. Don’t you hate when that happens?!
Another great perk to having a program is that it provides a space to add elements of your wedding theme. For example, if you are having a whimsical wedding, the program may include the hanging wisteria or twinkly lights. This is also a place to include pertinent content such as who is in your wedding party or the wedding hashtag. If you would like to get more personal, a dedication could be included to honor a lost loved one.
When should I order my programs?
Planning closely with my brides, I’ve learned that change is inevitable. At the beginning of your wedding planning stage there may have not been a budget for hiring a performer. As the time draws near -thanks to your planner- your budget is better than projected, and now there is some room to pay the $800 for your performer. Its important to add this to your program so your guests expect that dinner is to be served after the performance or whenever you decide to have it.
As for the timeline for printing the programs- this should be managed by your planner. If you have a stationer (a person who sells stationary), please check with them on turnaround time for printing. Be especially mindful of turnaround time if the items have to be mailed out. Depending on your print vendor, I would recommend sending the items to print no later than 2 weeks before the event. They should be ready for pick up no later than a week before the wedding. If you are getting them from a local office supplies store, they may offer same day print services. Please note that this is something you do not want to have on your list of To-Do’s the week of your wedding. Plan your wedding schedule ahead and stick to the plan. At the very least, two weeks prior to the special day, all plans should be solidified.
Below I’ve provided a complimentary sample of a simple wedding program. I also provided a version that you can download and edit. Once you customize it to fit your wedding schedule, save as a PDF. I created the file to be able to print 2 programs per page. When you are ready to print your PDF you can choose to print 2 programs per page then cut each page in half.
If you have any questions or if you are interested in having me design your program, please leave me a note. I am so excited to hear all about your wedding experience.