Wedding Planning Tips: Ceremony Program 101

A common question that comes up in the planning process, specifically in the selection of wedding day stationery, is “do I need a ceremony program?”. The short answer, no. It’s not a must have like the invite, RSVP or thank you card. But does it make for a really nice touch for the ceremony? Absolutely. To help you decide whether or not to include one, here’s a rundown of the basics of its role and benefit, and what to include if you opt to use one.

Why to Use One

There are plenty of good reasons to use a program but number one comes down to the guest experience. Providing your guests with a ceremony program, no matter how simple or complex in content, allows them to follow along and get involved. Like a personalized guide to the most important aspect of your wedding day, outlining those key pieces you find most meaningful, the program helps your guests feel better connected to the ceremony and to you as a couple.

What to Include

Start with the Basics. Your names, the location and the date make up the given standard. Beyond that, for a simple program all you need is an outline of the key activities that will make up your ceremony, i.e. your processional, the signing, any readings and the recessional. Consider marking these moments on the program by listing your song selection for each. For a more complex program, ideal for religious ceremonies or those including cultural traditions, make note of all significant rituals, including a brief outline of their relevance to you and your ceremony.

ceremony program

Who to Call Out

Listing out all bridal party members is another basic program inclusion. It honors their special involvement in your wedding day and acts as an introduction for guests who may not know them. Both sets of parents should of course be included, whether just in name or within a special Thank You note. Deceased loved ones can  also be honored with a memorial mention.

When to Order

Because the program is a “day of” stationery piece it generally finds itself on the “Three Months Prior To” list. Most of the details you’ll want to include are not usually ironed out any earlier than within that planning time frame. That said, take the time prior to the three month mark to confirm that the source or vendor you plan on using will be able to meet your turn around time.

Where to Get One

Naturally your best bet is the same supplier that you used for your wedding day invitation suite. They are best suited to keep a consistency in the design of all your stationery pieces. Should your invitation supplier not be available, or if you’re looking for another resource who can offer a complimentary design, use a trusted online source like

Interested in Browsing Some Ceremony Program Options?

Visit the Ceremony Program section of for 50+ program designs.



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