How to make your own wedding program fan

A wedding budget can begin to dwindle quickly as the bride and groom pay for a venue, vendors, flowers and more. If you're trying to make the most of your wedding budget, you can cut costs with some do-it-yourself crafts, including making your own programs.

For warm-weather weddings, programs fashioned as fans can be informative, decorative and functional. Recruiting the bridal party to help for a night can make this project go quickly and serve as a fun get-together as well.

Download a free template for a wedding program fan (see Resources below). When downloading, the template will open in your word-processing program. The template will have two identical shapes that are connected to each other so that they form a mirror image when folded.

Determine what you want to have on the front and back of the fan. Typically, the wedding-program text is on the front, and you can put something decorative, such as the wedding date in a pretty font or a photo of you and your new spouse, on the back.

Type the text for the wedding program on the left side of the fan template, which will be the front. Most wedding programs include information such as the names of the bride's and groom's parents and bridal party, the order of the ceremony, any songs or readings in the ceremony and a personal note from the couple.

Insert a photo, date or monogram on the right (back) side of the template.

Print out the completed template onto a piece of card stock in a colour that coordinates with or complements your wedding colours.

Cut the template out of the card stock, carefully following the outline. Do not cut the strip that connects the front and back of the template, as you want them to be held together.

Flip the template over so that the text/graphics are facing down, and fold the template in half along the strip where the two halves meet. Be sure that the sides are lined up evenly before heavily creasing. After folding, the text will be on the outside and visible.

Apply glue to the top half of a tongue depressor. Insert the tongue depressor into the opening on the bottom of the fan, in between the front and back created by folding. Press down firmly to secure both sides of the card stock to the tongue depressor, which is the handle of the fan.

Tie a decorative ribbon around the handle where it meets the fan, or affix a fabric flower directly underneath the fan on the handle.