Wedding programs are part of the wedding stationary which is not mandatory. In fact, only two out of three couples decide to have them in printed form, so the first important question to ask is undoubtly: Do you need a wedding program?
Not so long ago printing a program of wedding ceremony was actually improper thing to do. It was like giving instructions to your guests, as they don't know how to behave. But with rapidly growing number of inter-faith, bi-lingual, multi-cultural and other mixed or blended marriages, the use of printed wedding programs became more popular. They proved to be helpful and they are very likely here to stay.
Benefits Of Wedding Ceremony Programs
A well done ceremony program helps your guests to understand what is going, what to expect to and how to participate. Every human is unique and larger the wedding party grows, more differences will there be.
Everybody carries his own cultural, religious, educational, social, political and other backgrounds with him. With properly designed and informative programs all these possible barriers will be overcomed much easier. When we provide a basic guidance through the ceremony, every guest will definitely feel more like a participant, not just an observer, what is a huge step to every successful event.
Of course a wedding program is not only a guide through the event, it's also a chance to honor your parents, and thank everybody who in any way helped you at creating your wedding. In last years beloved but deceased relatives or important people who for some reason can't attend the ceremony are also included in the ceremony in different ways (forinstance as honorary attendants), so you may consider to do that as well.
Another growing trend is personalization of the event: apart from names of the family members and other important people at the ceremony, a quote or a a verse with special meaning to the bride and the groom, explanation of certain less known elements of the ceremony, names of the songs played during the event, photos of the happy couple (engagement photo is very popular choice), maybe a special thanks to your guests, or a little extra (if you are planning a sentimental ceremony, a paper tissue to wipe off a tear or two can make a world of difference).
The Scenario Of Every Wedding Program Can Be Broken Into Three Groups:
- The cast and the setting: names of bride and groom, place and time of the wedding, with suporting cast of family members and other attendants.
- List of elements in chronological order. Depending on your ceremony, these may be: procession, welcome, vows, exchanging of rings and so on.
- Explanations. You can include the list of songs and readings, explanation of certain rituals, which may be less known to some of the guests and even few personal notes. This is also a place to thank your attendants and guests for their support, as well as the place for warnings (turn off your mobiles, no taking pictures in the cathedral, etc.).
Again, it is up to you, to decide how much into details you want to dig in. One one hand it may be very convenient to include instructions when to stand up and when to sit down during the ceremony, on the other hand you probably don't want to find your guests reading the booklets instead of enjoying the ceremony.
Another thing to consider is translation, if part of your guest doesn't speak English. At some ceremonies there are also people, assigned to translate the ceremony into sign language for the hearing impaired. In this cases your guests will feel much more welcomed and you'll much easier provide an experience to remember, what is probably one of your major goals.
Now, when you know more about the importance of wedding programs, you can decide if you want them or no. We prepared a general guidance through the program etiquette and made several inspiring articles, if you need few examples of ceremony programs according to themes or uniqueness of wedding program designs.