What to Include in Your Wedding Program

The typical wedding program is a black and white folded piece of paper with the names of the wedding party listed and the order of ceremony, including the titles of the processional and recessional musical pieces.

But with a love story as unique as yours, why settle for the average program? In this article, we’ll go through how to create a meaningful, keepsake program worthy of your beautiful love story.

Our wedding program template includes the following components:

  • Front Cover
  • Wedding Details
  • Table of Contents
  • Note from the Couple
  • Order of Ceremony
  • Reception Details
  • Love Story
  • Wedding Party
  • Bridesmaid Introductions
  • Groomsmen Introductions
  • This Day in History
  • In Memoriam
  • Scripture & Hymns

Front Cover

The front cover of your wedding program should have the bride and groom’s names, the date and location of the wedding ceremony, and the theme for your wedding. My husband and I got married on the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, so our theme was based on the sweet line “I love you to the moon and back” from a childhood classic. Our program cover and cake topper both stated “To the Moon and Back.”

Wedding program front cover with name of bride and groom, location of wedding and wedding theme "To the moon and back" over a landscape photo of the moon and a mountain at sunset.
Our wedding program cover

A good wedding theme is something that you can continue to look back on, refer to, and enjoy throughout the years. For example, my husband recently bought me a locket for Christmas that’s inscribed with our wedding theme. What a beautiful way to remember our special day!

Cake topper states "Love you to the moon and back"
Our cake topper

Wedding Details

Just inside the front cover of your wedding program, share the key details of the ceremony, such as the wedding livestream link.

Table of Contents

This is a bit of a preview of all the goodness on the upcoming pages of the wedding program, so that your guests can go straight to the pages that interest them most!

Note from the Couple

It’s a nice touch to show your appreciation for your guests with a note welcoming them to your wedding and inviting them to be a part of your future life together as a couple.

Components

The perfect note should accomplish the following:
1. Express appreciation for the presence of your guests on this special day.
2. Describe your immediate post-wedding plans as a couple and where you plan to settle down, along with an invitation to keep in touch.
3. Thank your family and friends for their love and support over the years.

Example

Here’s an example note from the couple:
“Dear family and friends,
We are privileged that you have chosen to share this special day with us.
After the wedding, we will be heading to the Caribbean for our honeymoon cruise before we settle into our new home in Alexandria, Virginia. Please come visit us in the Washington, DC area. We would love to see you!
Thank you for all your love and support!”

Engagement photo of couple with their note to wedding guests
Example Note from the Couple in a Wedding Storybook Program

Order of Ceremony

The order of ceremony helps your wedding guests to follow along with the ceremony. Most wedding programs are really little more than an order of ceremony, but in a Wedding Storybook Program, this is just one element of a much more multi-dimensional document!

Simplicity is best with this element of the wedding program. All that is needed is to list what will happen and when.

Reception Details

To help things run smoothly between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception, give your guests a little guidance about what comes next. You may have already told them these details in the wedding invitation or on the wedding website, but chances are most guests will have forgotten those details by the time they arrive at the wedding. A little map and photo of the venue along with a request to sign the wedding guestbook are all candidates for inclusion in this handy section of your wedding program.

Love Story

Your love story is really the showcase of your wedding program. After all, it is the reason you and all your guests are gathered together today! Sharing the details of how you met and got engaged will be the primary item of interest to all your family members and friends, especially those who may not have heard your story yet. What is more, this foundation of your future family’s history will be preserved in the program for your children and grandchildren to enjoy and cherish.

Wedding Party, Bridesmaid Introductions and Groomsmen Introductions

This is your chance to shine a bit of the spotlight on your supportive friends and family. Listing some details about how each of you met your bridesmaids and groomsmen and how your friendship has blossomed over the years will help to serve as a conversation starter for your wedding guests as they mingle during the reception and get to know your wedding party.

Remember, a wedding is basically a launch party for your marriage and the rest of your lives together, so helping to build relationships among your family and friends is of prime importance.

Photos and names of bridesmaids with explanation of how they met the bride

This Day in History

Share some interesting historical tidbits about your wedding date–making this special date even more memorable for you and your wedding guests.

In Memoriam

Share a photo and a beautiful memory of your loved ones who are no longer with us for your wedding guests and for future generations.

Scripture and Hymns

Allow guests to more easily follow along with the ceremony readings and the music by providing them in the wedding program. Your chosen verses and hymns not only share what means most to you as a couple, but also help to establish the legacy that you want to share with future generations. You may want to also include information about the meaning behind different elements of the service for wedding guests who do not come from the same religious background.

We hope these ideas and examples have inspired you to get started on your own Wedding Storybook Program. Check out our template on Etsy to help give you a jumpstart on your personalized, meaningful wedding program.