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What A Couple Should Include in Their Wedding Ceremony Program

Updated on May 31, 2014

What A Couple Should Include in Their Wedding Ceremony Program

Wedding Ceremony Program

For many couples, the wedding ceremony program might start out as an unimportant item. It's not realized how important it is until late in the wedding planning process. It just so happens, the wedding program is just about the only document that serves as a written testament of a couple's wedding and it allows wedding guests know what's going on and be able to follow the wedding ceremony.

It tells the couple's ceremony story, it includes the location of the ceremony as well as the date and time of the wedding. It includes the order of the wedding plus who the participants are including the bridal party, readers and musicians and may also include the wedding vows and any other ceremony functions such as a unity candle lighting or unity sand ceremony.

This piece of paper often becomes an heirloom document of the ceremony. For generations, this simple piece of paper often does not get thrown away after the wedding day is over, it ends up being placed into the back of a couple's wedding album, scrapbook, and memory boxes.

This booklet outlining the ceremony is typically handed out to wedding guests as they arrive to take their seats at the wedding. There are no standard guidelines for the creation of this document. The important thing that really matters is that the structured order of the wedding is included in it's content. It's up to the couple getting married to design and decorate the wedding program into a style and format that they like and is eye appealing.

The couple getting married should consult with the house of worship and wedding officiant who is conducting their ceremony before embarking on the project to create their wedding program on its format and what can and what cannot be included in its content. Officiants and houses of worship often provide templates of the format associated with the order of the ceremony associated with their religious affiliation. Each officiant might apply their own personal spin on how best to display the wedding ceremony order.

Before a couple discusses their ceremony with their wedding officiant, they should identify passages readers are going to read and what selections musicians are going to play. Many houses of worship only allow specified religious music selections to be played and any music must be played live, taped music for many houses of worship are not allowed at weddings.

A couple getting married should listen to how the reader's state their passages, a reader's voice needs to be strong and pronunciation's stated properly and they should personally hear musicians play the music selections chosen and are satisfied with the musician's performance. Make sure the officiant okays the readings and musical selections that have been chosen. Some officiants may provide ideas and recommend passages and musical selections that they think will be good choice for the wedding ceremony.

How To Compile a Wedding Program

Creating Your Wedding Ceremony Program

A wedding couple has a number of options available to them to in creating their wedding program. They can hire a calligrapher to create their program, they can hire a professional company to prepare it for them, they can use a wedding program software package found online or they can create it using a word software package and create it as a craft project.

There are also a number of wedding programs found online. Some of the more popular program packages found online include www.paperalchamy,com , www.weddingprogramsfast.com , www.weddingboutique.us , www.templatetrove.com , divineweddingdesigns.com , and www.cherishpaperies.com . They can be made into a simple design, couples can incorporate their color scheme from their wedding into them and can incorporate their personality into the design by using clip art and cartoon figures to make the program look more beautiful and eye appealing

Some couples add a little elegance to the cover. They can punch holes to the top left corner. The holes should be spaced one and a half inches from the edge of the paper. The holes can be placed side by side or on top of one another. They then can add a piece of colored ribbon, yarn, or string that matches to your color scheme, then secure the string by tying a bow on top.

At the wedding, ushers can be assigned to hand out programs to guests entering, covering each aisle of the wedding ceremony site. When not handing the programs out to arriving guests, the programs can be placed in a nice basket near the wedding guest register table in order to be picked up by late arriving guests.

There are basically seven components you might think of including inside the wedding program. The components you might include include 1) Wedding Program Title, 2) Order of Wedding Service, 3) Acknowledgement of Wedding Ceremony Participants, 4) Messages and Notations, 5) Wedding Week Activities, 6) Wedding Directional Maps, and 7) Wedding Vendors Participating in the Wedding.

How To Make a Wedding Program Booklet

Wedding Program Title

The wedding program title is visually the cover page in large print. The wording on the cover page looks best centered on the page with text going down the page. The title might include something like "The Wedding Ceremony of", skip a space, "Bride's Name", to "Groom's Name", skip a space, day of week, date (spelled out in English), time (spelled out in English), skip a space, Ceremony Location, city and state. Optional, at the bottom of the cover of the wedding program, include the name of the wedding reception location, skip a space, show the address and time of the wedding reception.

Order of Wedding Service

Usually in this section of the wedding program include the order of the ceremony. Many wedding officiants will provide a template in which the wedding couple can use as a starting point. The template usually includes a prelude which include a bridesmaid's procession and the bride's procession, parts of the ceremony which includes musical interludes, a statement of vows and finally the recessional.

Many wedding programs includes text portions of the ceremony in which the congregation is expected to respond or sing hymns. They often include passage readings and musical selections. They might include passages from the Bible or Holy Books. One should include the number of the passage and the book that it came from, for hymnal books, notate what hymnal book was used and notate the hymn number in the book. For musical selections, include the name of the song, the name of the performer and musical instrument that is being used to play the music.

For some wedding programs, the "order of wedding service" may just be a summary and fit on a single page. For others, the service may be very detailed and include all the words of the wedding service which includes all the words said by the officiant, all readings, poems, wedding vows, and special features of the wedding such as a unity candle lighting and the pouring of ceremony sand. Please note, all musical selections used in a wedding ceremony, everything in the music title and the name of the author must be spelled correctly, pay close attention to tricky spellings and be careful of the placement of apostrophes into the right spot, have the wedding program spellings double and triple checked by the officiant and by any church secretaries.

Wedding Program Blank Black Border

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Acknowledgement of Wedding Ceremony Participants

The third component of the wedding program is the acknowledgement of the participants going down the page. This page might show on top "The Wedding of "Bride's Name" and "Groom's Name", Date and Time of Wedding, Location of the Wedding Ceremony, space, participants and witnesses, space, parent's of the bride, parent's of the groom, grandparent's of the bride, grandparents of the groom, the officiant, the maid of honor and best man, bridesmaids and groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer, program attendant, ushers, wedding director, church secretaries, readers, organist, musicians, and soloists.

All names should include the appropriate titles before the names such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Miss in front of all parents and grandparents, also use proper titling such as Doctor, Judge, Captain, and the proper titles for Armed Forces Personnel. Also use proper titling for the wedding officiant whether it be Reverend, Rabbi, Pastor, or Justice of the Peace.

Messages and Notations

Use the fourth component of the wedding program for messages and notations. In this section, the bride and groom often write a personal note, thanking wedding guests for coming and participating in the special day. They may use this section to make a comment about some individuals who have been very special to the couple. The couple might include a special mention of recently departed loved ones.

Wedding Week Activities

This section is optional. The wedding couple might need to leave some notes specifying other week activities and notations. They may leave notes such as the wedding reception location has valet parking or include information on where to park at the reception or that a bus has been arranged to take guests to the wedding reception venue and what time to meet at the church parking lot.

This section also might be used to inform wedding guests about a welcome cocktail hour, or where the rehearsal practice and rehearsal dinner are to take place, or that guests are invited to attend the day after morning brunch at the bride's mother's house or at the hotel or venue somewhere. This section might provide information about a wedding week activity such as a hot air balloon ride, a golf outing, or a day trip somewhere such as to a museum.

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Wedding Directional Map

Weddings are generally happy occasions, but could become an unhappy occasion should any wedding guests that get themselves lost trying to find a venue. Should wedding venues be off the main drag, it might be worthwhile to include a wedding directional map. You either could include a general map of the area and note where wedding venue spots are on the map. You might also include a directional map on the routes to take to the wedding ceremony from the main roads and how to get to the wedding reception from the ceremony location and place a marking where the photo shoot is to take place. The map might include step by step roads to take and note the miles to tenth of a mile before making turns and include important road names to take and mention. A wedding directional map could be created by using an online map software or by creating a trace map using an atlas.

There are a number of online map creation programs that you can use, many of which are free to use. Some of the more popular wedding software programs include www.weddingmapper.com , www.mapfling.com , www.cccarto.com/freeweddingmaps/ and www.dabu-designs.com . You can also create maps using microsoft maps, google maps, bing maps, and mapquest. You might add some clip art to the map that you create and you might mark on the map of a local pharmacy nearby to pick up headache medicine or throwaway cameras should a guest need them.

Wedding Vendor Participants

This section is also optional. In your wedding program you might include a page listing all the wedding vendors you have selected for your wedding. You give your wedding vendors recognition and the listing may allow some of your wedding guests who have become impressed with some of your wedding vendors able to contact them for other upcoming weddings. Some wedding couples just show the names of their wedding vendors while others show vendor names, address, phone number, website address, and contact name.

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Wedding Program Fans

Many couples consider creating wedding program fans for outdoor weddings. The wedding program fans serve two purposes, they include the order and participants of the wedding ceremony and serves as a fan should the atmosphere get hot. Some couples create a decorative Chinese fan for certain outdoor ceremonies. Should the wedding be at the beach, wedding planners recommend to have the wedding at sunrise or sunset so that older wedding guests won't be subject to heat stroke and winds tend to be calmer at the beach early or late in the day.

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