(Closed) Are programs necessary?

posted 10 years ago in Paper
Post # 3
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

I think you could easily do without programs. I’ve been to many weddings were the programs had no useful information in them and they seemed to be something the couple did because they were "supposed to". I’ve also been to many that did not have programs and I never missed them.

We’re having programs but it’s because we’re having a few unusual elements (i.e. there will be no "who gives this bride" and I want to explain why. Also we’re having a "handfasting ceremony" and I want to explain that since most of our guests will have no idea what it is). Plus I’m a dyi addict and needed another project.

If you don’t have anything you feel you need to explain, you don’t have any directions from the ceremony to the reception that need to be handed out and you don’t have any special people you want/need to highlight (example: folk who you are honoring who have passed away), then I’d say feel free to skip the program thing.

Good luck!

Post # 4
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

Nope. Programs aren’t needed. While we would have liked them (to introduce the small wedding party), we didn’t do them. It was a choice of time and stress for us. It was only a bonus that we saved money by not doing them.

On the other hand, they’re a nice keepsake for the guests. Still there’s a good chance that anyone younger than you, and not planning a wedding, isn’t going to know what half the ceremony parts are.


Post # 5
267 posts
Helper bee

No, but they can come in handy if you’re having readings or want to write a thank-you message to your guests. I made sure I had directions to my reception location (different from ceremony location), for people who may have lost their invitations.

Remember, you’ll only need about half as many programs as you have guests, so it’s not a huge project if you decide to do it.

Post # 6
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

In short, NO!  I think no programs would fit well with your "low key" style.  If you think some people might be confused you could do a "master program"…perhaps a 11X17 frame with your program printed out at the entrance to your ceremony site just to let people know what’s in store for your ceremony.

Post # 7
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

Or it could just be a surprise. I mean, they basically know you’re getting married…everything after that is gravy. ๐Ÿ˜€

Post # 8
49 posts
  • Wedding: March 2010

Definitely not, but as penguin suggested, a larger one piece signage may work as an alternative just to let people know the procession.




Post # 10
1 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

The master program is a lovely idea, though you may want to make sure you have two so a crowd doesn’t develop.  Or, if you don’t have anything to explain but still want to give guests a keepsake, you could print up a small card with "your story" on it–many guests won’t know it, and they’ll probably love reading it to get them even more in the celebration mood.

Post # 11
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

you don’t necessarily need to hand out programs to everyone – i like the single program idea. but i suggest having something, contrary to what most people here have said.  we went to a friend’s wedding that was super casual, but we didn’t even know when it started.  150-200 of us sat there not knowing when to be quiet – there were those awkward silences where people think it might start and then it doesn’t.  the whole ceremony lasted literally less than 5 minutes (i guess that’s how they do it down south?).  it was still a happy occasion, but we didn’t really know when we were supposed to sit and stuff.  and i had seen it the day before during the rehearsal!

Post # 12
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I don’t think you HAVE to have it, but I personally like it for introducing the parents, bridal party.

Post # 13
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I will 2nd haselwand on introducing the parents, bridal party, etc. We may also have one non-denominational reading done and I’d like people to know where that’s from..Also to introduce the music if anyone is curious. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s another way to tie in your potentially artistic selves or to put a nice touch but I don’t think programs are necessary.

Post # 14
236 posts
Helper bee

A program is not neceessary but as a guest I prefer one.

It’s nice to have a little background about the bridal party.  Is the Maid/Matron of Honor the cousin you have heard so much about and have always wanted to meet?

Also, if people are of a different religion the ceremony will be different from what they are used to.  There are differences between a Catholic and a Baptist or other protestant ceremony not just non Christian religions.

Post # 15
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2007

A program is not required – but there may be a good reason to have one.  I decided not to based on:

~ It was an intimate family/close friends only wedding.  We’d spent three days bonding so everyone had gotten to know each other.

~ We only had a Maid/Matron of Honor and best man which were my mom and his step dad – so no explaining/introductions needed.

~ We included our memorial to our parents and loved ones who had passed as the first part of the ceremony – said by the preacher.

~ There were no solos, songs, readers, or readings that needed to be explained.  My s-i-l read 1 Cor 13 – but again that didn’t needed to be explained.

~ The wedding/reception were both at the B&B – so no directions were needed.

~ The guests didn’t even sit down – they gathered around a deck/railing to watch the ceremony – so it would have just been somthing for them to hold/keep track of. 

If there is something that you’d like said – the preacher can always say it.  Like at the end of the ceremony "Please join us on the side deck for cocktails while the bride and groom take pics" etc.  "Cocktail hour will begin at 6 at ____ , the wedding party will be taking pics and joining everyone at 7 for dinner"  There are other ways to direct guests – but you will have to make sure it is clear and someone (day of coordinator) is in charge of making sure everyone knows.

As far as thanking the guests – the preacher can also do this – or you can do it yourself at the reception.

I just suggest weighing the pros and cons.  What will the guests be missing if you don’t do a program?  Is there another way to accomplish those goals.  If it’s only directions to the reception – you can always just print a pretty little card with directions to hand out ๐Ÿ™‚

For me – I had planned to have one, and started working on it – but then was like – what do I have to say?  That’s when I realized I didn’t need one.

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