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Accordion Ceremony Program How-To

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2011

Divide your program into four sections with an accordion technique and alternating colors of ink. Our template is set up to print two, side by side, on an 11-by-17-inch piece of paper.

Tools and Supplies:

  • Computer
  • Microsoft Word or other word-processing or desktop publishing program
  • Flash drive
  • 11-by-17-inch white or ivory paper
  • Large paper trimmer or craft knife and metal yardstick (optional)
  • Bone folder and straightedge


These directions and template will help you create your programs in Microsoft Word. Other word processing or desktop publishing programs will work as well, although the individual commands may be named differently.

In Page Setup, create an 11-by-17-inch document (some programs call this paper size "tabloid"). Set all the margins to zero (ignore any warnings that images may be outside the print area).

Download our invitation-design template and save it to your computer. Then insert our PDF file as a picture into your document. To turn the image into a background, "arrange" or "layer" it so that it will lie "behind the text." (If your version of Word has the Formatting Palette, it will be under Size, Rotation and Ordering.)

Then insert text boxes inside our guides, keeping them inside the gray margins. (Note that you will create two programs on a single sheet of paper; we recommend that you finalize the left-hand program completely, and then copy those text boxes and paste them onto the right half of the paper.)

Add your own text, and format it to fit within the boxes. Center your headlines vertically in their boxes; if you have difficulty, add a paragraph return before your heading, and format that paragraph return to be a smaller or bigger point size. (Hint: Choose "Show Hidden Characters" to make this easier.)

Once your design and text on the left side are finished, click on the text boxes and copy them, then paste them into the document to create duplicates, and drag them into position on the right side. Last, click on the background picture (our PDF) and delete it. Save the file to your computer.

Since most home printers won't print on tabloid-size paper, copy your file to a flash drive or CD, and take it to an office-services copy shop for printing. Copy our folding-guide template onto the drive or CD as well, and have one copy of it printed at the shop, too. If you can, have the shop cut each printed program sheet in half vertically (if you must cut them yourself and do not have access to an extra-large paper trimmer, use a craft knife and a metal yardstick).

To fold the programs, lay them on our folding guide. Use a straightedge to guide a bone folder as you score across the paper at each dotted line. Then fold the programs, accordion style, so headlines are showing. 

Folding tip: Start at the top and fold forward at the first scoring; fold backward at the next scoring. Continue alternating all the way down.

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