Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Poll: is this an acceptable substitute for programs?

In an effort to cut down on expenses and to keep the wedding simple, stress free, and environmentally friendly, I have been thinking about skipping the programs. 

We are having the ceremony and the reception in the same brick courtyard adjacent to a historical mansion.  After the ceremony, the wedding party and guests will go into the mansion for the toasts.  Meanwhile, a group of volunteer friends will "flip" the ceremony space into a reception apace, setting up 15 tables and surrounding them with the ceremony chairs, putting table cloths and centerpieces on each table.  My concern is that they will also have to pick up people's programs they leave lying around.  I also just don't like the idea of putting a lot of time/money into making stuff that will become garbage by the end of the night.  
We are having a very short/simple ceremony, and i doubt any of our guests will be lost without a program.  The only thing I think people would miss is the who's who guide for the wedding party.  In lieu of a program, I am thinking about having my mom paint a sign (she's a very talented painter) listing the officiate, readers, and all of the wedding party info. The sign would be posted near the entrance.   Bios will also be on our website.  Do you think this is a good enough substitute for  programs???

Re: Poll: is this an acceptable substitute for programs?

  • Thank you for the feedback!  I'll just do away with all of it-- if people wonder who the members of the wedding party are, they will have to introduce themselves :)
  • i didnt think i was going to do programs but I typed up a quick one sheet program and can fit 2 on one 8x10, cardstalk is 5 dollars for 100--which i wont need all of it for programs but will use for the invitations. So It will cost me about 5 dollars in the end (with ink). Its up to you. There is really no need but if it makes you feel better make a sign.
  • I have never been to a wedding that had programs.  I suspect this is another Martha Stewart "must have" that is totally unnecessary, and I totally agree with other brides who stated your guests really don't care who the members of the wedding party are, and, if they care, they will introduce themselves and ask.  This is a wedding, not a Broadway revue. 
  • I have nothing to add other than I would suggest changing your SN from your email address, internet safety and all that.
  • A pro for programs is that while people arrive for your ceremony and are listening to the prelude music and/or watching the grandmothers and WP walk in, some guests like to know a little background or read a passage that is dear to you and FI's hearts.  It doesn't have to be complicated, and you could have enough programs for "one per family" (and I've seen this done a LOT with a little sign on the table beside the programs).  Honestly, unless you have a lot of littering, careless guests, I don't think they'll leave them lying around right after the ceremony especially if you are "flipping" the site for the reception.  I think if a guest realizes that they left their program, and see a bunch of your volunteers re-setting the site, they might think "oh, I forgot to pick up my program" and take care of it.  Give them more credit than you are.

    I for one am doing programs.  But, I'm also having a church wedding, and when the ceremony is in a church, especially my church, people generally expect a program or "bulletin" to be passed out.  It depends on your community.  You can do programs anywhere from a booklet to a single piece of cardstock with a ribbon on it.  If you are a very "green" person, you could also put a quaint little line on the bottom of the back of the cardstock like "thanks for holding on to your program while we set up for the reception" or something non-threatening like that which gets the point across.  No guest could literally throw the program on the ground after that.  And honestly, even if a volunteer has to pick up a program or two... is it so bad??  

    The sign idea is kind of cute, and might be a good talking point for people while they're waiting for the site to be flipped for the reception.  

    The program idea is not an invention of Martha Stewart like a PP casually mentioned... it stems from weddings  being in a church, and churches ALWAYS have bulletins or programs for the religious service that the congregation has come to attend.  I didn't post just to offer disagreement with other PP's --  but to offer my perspective since it was a differing opinion with good reason.  Good luck, with whatever you decide! 

    July 16, Our Wedding Day, is also International Juggling Day!
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