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One of our favorite portions of the wedding ceremony is the pre-wedding arrivals. Guests trickle in, polished shoes, freshly powdered faces, gleaming with jewelry and the anticipation of the ceremony. Hugs are exchanged and long-lost friends greet one another.
That preamble is also the time when wedding attendants offer up a wedding program—a written agenda of what guests can expect from the ceremony and beyond. Letting one or two people hand out the programs makes the perfect opportunity to involve someone else in an active role in your wedding. Plus, wedding programs make nice mementos for guests long after the ceremony.
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Not sure what you should include in the wedding program wording? We’re here to give you some ideas.
On the program front:
Keep it simple and clean. Include the couple’s name, the wedding date and location. If desired, include a small graphic such as a monogram, a small icon—scrollwork, floral—or a small photograph of the couple.
When you open the program:
List the order of the ceremony, which may include, for example:
It’s nice to provide a specific list of the music used in the ceremony as well as the source of the readings.
Acknowledge the wedding party
Provide a list of who’s doing what in the wedding. Include:
Provide more information as space allows
Want guests to sing along to ceremony music or follow along with the readings? Consider including the lyrics and reading text in the program.
Consider acknowledging those that can’t be there for your wedding in an “In Memoriam.”
If desired, include brief biographies of the bride and groom (or groom and groom, or bride and bride) or a paragraph about how they met.
For religious-based ceremonies, you may want to include an explanation of rituals. If, for instance, half of your guests aren’t religious, but you’re holding a Catholic wedding, consider explaining the kneeling and the Communion process.
Where should your guests head post-ceremony? Consider including information about the reception—a map or directions and any parking information guests need to know.
Here’s a sample program wording to get you started:
The wedding of
Patrick Stephen Williams & Elizabeth Claire Kennedy
Saturday, June the tenth
Two thousand sixteen
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church
St. Louis, Missouri
Inside Page 1:
Reverend Joseph Vath
Parents of the Bride
Mr. and Mrs. Randolph and Colleen Kennedy
Parents of the Groom
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Williams
Maid of Honor
Mary Huso and Heidi Kennedy
Inside Page 2:
Order of Worship
“Spring” from the Four Seasons, Vivaldi
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Bach
Seating of the Mothers and Grandparents
“Canon in D,” Pachelbel
“Clair de Lune,” Debussy
Genesis 1:26-28, 31
Psalm 145: Our God is Compassion
1 Peter 3:1-9
Sacrament of Marriage
Exchange of Vows
Blessing of the Rings
Prayer of the Faithful
Response: Lord, Hear Our Prayer
Presentation of the Gifts
“How Beautiful,” Paris
“Trumpet Voluntary,” Clarke
Reception to be held at The Club
From the church: Turn right onto LaSalle. Go three miles and make a left into the parking garage.
2345 Chase Avenue