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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Do I really need programs??

I know it's expected to hand out wedding programs before the ceremony, but since I designed and printed all the wedding paper goods by myself we have already spent a good bit on printing everything. Do I really need to print programs for 100 people? People know what's going on. I mean it's a wedding..
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Re: Do I really need programs??

  • Nope. Skip 'em if you want.
    June 16, 2012
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  • It's a nice way to acknowledge the people in your bridal party, and thank the people you want to for supporting you.  But, nobody is going to call the police on you if you don't have them.

    They don't have to be fancy either, if that helps.
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  • I always like knowing how the bridal party is related and such, but totally agree that the programs are unnecessary.  Can you think of any other way to recognize your bridal parents.  (I have a guest list of only 22, so my program includes our story and other stuff, 22 wasn't a huge expense -- it's a little like a booklet.)
  • We did, but mostly because we had a few readings that involved call-and-response stuff, and not everyone would be familiar with the readings and prayers, so we wanted people to be able to read along and decide if they wanted to participate or not.     We designed ours on our home computer, and printed them on my parent's laser printer and ink jet (the colored front page was on the inkjet, the inside black-and-white were on the laser printer).   We bought cardstock for the cover. We punched two holes in the "spine" and passed some ribbon through them to bind the whole thing together.  I think it took us about an hour to make 80 (and cost about $10 in supplies)

    I would strongly recommend programs if you are having a religious ceremony that not everyone will be famliar with, or if there are certain symbolic elements that you want people to be aware of and understand.

    Otherwise, you're fine to skip it.
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  • Last wedding I was at nobody seemed to take one; there was an entire stack at the entrance after the ceremony was over. 
  • I bought card stock ($13.99 for 250 pages at Staples) and just printed them on that, then cut off the extra paper on the sides. It's not necessary to have them. It's just a nice way to let people know who is in the bridal party. My family may not know the best man (my FI's best friend), it can be nice to put a name with the face but definitely not necessary.
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  • If you don't need people to sit, stand, say anything, sing hymns, pray out loud, or follow along then you don't need programs.

  • In Response to Re: Do I really need programs??:
    I disagree that you need programs in order to follow a ceremony. Guests have ears and can listen, and it's not THAT hard for them to figure out what's going on. Programs are entirely optional, and a good thing to cut if money is an issue, or time.  Miss Manners dislikes programs on principle....she says weddings aren't theatrical productions.  I never saw a program at a wedding until the late 1980s.
    Posted by RetreadBride
    Although I do agree with this - to me the wedding ceremony was more of a church service than a theatre production.  And at all my church services we have "bulletins" that contain the exact same information we had in our "programs" - words to prayers, when to sit/stand, names of readers, hymn numbers, things that were being said/recited.  The only addition would be the "Thank You" we put on the back of the program.  So I don't see them being out of place at a ceremony, particularly in a church.

  • We went to Habitat for Humanity and bought a door for $10.  We painted it, antiqued it, then sprayed the middle with chalkboard spray paint.  Then we wrote all the normal program info on there.  Total cost was about $15.

  • I would also add that they make nice keepsakes for moms and grandmas and people who like to hold on to sentimental items like that.

    I was going to skip the programs as well but in going to weddings as a guest AND planning bride, I realized that I appreciated knowing who the bridal party was, the officiant, songs, etc. 
  • We are having a small wedding with a small bridal party and are not doing them.
  • edited August 2012
    In Response to Re: Do I really need programs??:
    We are having a small wedding with a small bridal party and are not doing them.
    Posted by shaina925
    Same here. I actually asked here on TK about whether people thought we needed programs for our simple ceremony and ultimately decided against them.
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  •  We're having a guest list of 30 ppl max. One Matron of Honor and the Best Man, who is my F'ls brother. We are not having programs. I think even for a bigger guest list, I wouldn't think you would need programs. As all as your ceremony is pretty basic, I think it would be fine..
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  • I'm going back and forth on this too. Not necessary, but it's nice to recognize everyone in the WP and add a memorial message or thank you message or anything else you weren't able to include in the actual ceremony. If you do decide you want programs, they're so easy to make yourself for cheap even matching all your other invites and themes. Get some high quality resume type paper or linen paper at the office supply store, print your chosen design and wording (I recommend b/w or just a couple colors for best quality), fold them, hole punch them, run a ribbon or raffia through the side and you're done. When I bought ribbon at Michael's I found a supercute hole punch in the shape of a heart. And Etsy has shops who will do a program template for you and you just print it. Best wishes! Jennifer

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  • In Response to Do I really need programs??:
    I know it's expected to hand out wedding programs before the ceremony, but since I designed and printed all the wedding paper goods by myself we have already spent a good bit on printing everything. Do I really need to print programs for 100 people? People know what's going on. I mean it's a wedding..
    Posted by kariskm
    I don't agree.  I do not expect programs when I attend a wedding.  I don't think programs are needed, regardless of the number of guests in attendance.
  • There seems to be a lot of emphasis on knowing who the bridal party is...but isn't this usually taken care of by the DJ at the reception if you're having an introduction?

    As long as your guests know what to do after the ceremony (where to go and how to get there) then I think you're 100% fine without them.
  • I wasn't going to do them, but my mom really wanted me to. So I designed my own and I'll just print them on cardstock. One side will have the wedding party and ceremony, then on the other side I have created interactive games/word activities for people to do while they wait. There are a crossword, word search, word scramble, and mad lib. I love word games, so it'll be something fun for people to do. I'll have them placed on chairs with a golf pencil so when people sit down, their program is ready for them. 
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