Wedding programs help to guide the guests on the steps and timing of the wedding. They are a great way for the guests to see what’s next, identify the members of your wedding party, and just add an overall organised feel to your day. One of the most challenging aspects of a wedding program is writing the text inside. Follow a basic template for the order of your wedding events, being sure to include all of the important information.
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- Order of ceremony
Meet with the officiant for your wedding to find out the order of your ceremony. Depending on the type of wedding you are having, some religions have certain requirements that must be included in the ceremony and therefore, must be listed on the program. For instance, some Catholic masses have a specific order and wording for their mass and other elements of the ceremony that must be included in the ceremony.
Choose the order for your bridal attendants. By listing the names on the program in the order that they walk down the aisle or enter the church, your guests will be able to recognise who each person is and how they are related to you or the groom.
Write or type out a sample program that will allow you to make edits. This is especially important if you are hand-making your own programs, because this will ensure that your text is exactly how you want it before you begin.
Write a title at the top of the program, such as “Our Wedding.” If the bride and groom’s names and wedding are not listed on the front of the program, you can include this information at the top, such as “The Wedding of Sarah and Andrew, September 20, 2010.”
Write “Prelude,” and then list the name and composer of the song you are using. Do the same for the “Wedding Processional,” and any other music you are using during the ceremony, such as the lighting of the unity candle and the entrance of the mothers. If you are breaking your program into sections, you can title this the “Processional” section.
Outline the order of the ceremony, using exact wording if your officiant requires it. For example, a Catholic ceremony includes the Liturgy of the Word, the Rite of Marriage, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Concluding Right. Be sure to list the song and singer or artist for each song that is used during the ceremony.
List the parents of the bride and groom at the top. If you have a deceased parent, list that parent’s name as “The late …” For instance, if the father of the groom is deceased, and the mother of the groom is unmarried, write it as “Anne and the late Jim Smith.” There are a variety of ways to handle deceased and divorced parents, depending on the situation. Choose the style that you are most comfortable with; there is no right or wrong answer as long as you show all the parties involved respect.
List the bridesmaids and groomsmen, starting with the maid/matron of honour and the best man. List the bridal party in the order that they will be entering and standing during the ceremony. Beneath or next to each name, list the relationship you have with each member of the party.
List the flower girl, ring bearer, and ushers, also including each person’s relationship to the bride and groom. Finally, add the names of musicians, personal assistants, alter servers, and the officiant.
Write a thank you to your parents, family and friends for their continued love and support over the years. This personal note is a way to show your appreciation to everyone for being in your life.
Add a special memorial to any lost or deceased family members or friends on the back of the program.
Check and double check every word for typos. Confirm the spelling of everyone’s name. Finding an error after the programs have been made or printed can be unbelievably frustrating.
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