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Are Wedding Ceremony Programs Really Necessary?

Here's how to decide if you need one.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Abby Jiu Photography

Like a wedding invitation, a ceremony program contains information that benefits a wedding's guests. But while an invitation's details are essential in letting family and friends know where to go and what time to show up, a program is optional. The wedding will go on whether or not people know where a reading came from or the flower girl's name. If you're on the fence about whether or not to do programs, check out the following truths to help you decide.

 

Related: Classic Wedding Ceremony Programs

 

Having a program depends on the complexity of your ceremony.

If you're having a short service with limited readings and songs, and your bridal party is minimal, you can probably skip the program. On the other hand, if your ceremony will be multicultural or interfaith, say with both a minister and a rabbi officiating, it would be helpful to have a program that lists the main prayers and blessings, song lyrics, and significance of any rituals so guests can follow along.

 

It's a nice way to give a shout-out to the bridal party.

To get your wedding guests familiar with who's walking down the aisle besides you and the groom, including short bios of your peeps in the program is a sweet gesture. If you forgo programs, post the bios on your wedding website instead.

 

A program's usefulness only lasts as long as your ceremony.

While some guests will keep their program as a memento, many others will leave it on their seat or toss it. And that's okay. It's also why a simple design that doesn't cost much may be best. A program is easy to DIY on your computer then bring to a local printer's, Staples, or UPS Store for copying.

 

They keep guests cool.

If you're getting married on a warm day at a ceremony that's outdoors or in an un-air-conditioned house of worship, shape the program like a fan so guests can cool themselves off with it.

 

They give you another way to add a personal touch to your day.

If your budget can handle the cost, you can design a program that shows off your wedding's style. Customized programs can say a lot about you and your new spouse.