Budget Weddings Forum

DIY Programs

Has anyone made their own programs? Or bought a printable program from Etsy and taken it somewhere to be printed? Did they turn out like you wanted? Did you save money? 

Re: DIY Programs

  • Yes, I designed a very simple program on a single sheet of paper using a desktop publishing program. All I had to pay was the cost of paper and printing at Kinko's.

    If you're having a standard ceremony, you can skip programs and save even more. We only did them because we had a Quaker wedding and needed to explain that to our guests.
  • We bought those DIY program template boxes at Michael's and printed them ourselves. It was extremely easy. You can download 40% off Michael's coupons to your phone. We save a lot of money doing this, we were able to totally customize ourselves and it ended up being one of my favorite keepsakes from the wedding.

  • I downloaded a free template in Microsoft Word - mostly to use the border/design - and then used that as a guide.  I added quite a lot because we were having a Catholic Mass and I wanted everyone to see the details.  Printed them at home on heavy white cardstock and I thought they looked really nice.  Cost me about $50 for the paper and new ink cartridge. 
  • atlastmrsgatlastmrsg member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2014
    I was MOH in a wedding a few years back.  I found out the couple wanted to save money, so they weren't having any programs at all.  I printed and assembled ones like this, except the back piece was a recycled artistic paper board (they were an artsy, eclectic couple, so it fit them and their lavender/purple colors...they weren't the sleek, white wedding kind of pair...)


    The hardest part was getting the holes punched at the top just perfectly aligned.  

    The back page was kind of like this:


    They had a small wedding, I'd guess 50-ish guests, and I finished the programs for probably about $30.    

    I still find extra ribbon from it around my house and use it for wrapping little presents.
  • @atlastmrsg I love those!  did you use a template or just built it yourself on word?
  • @kvruns Nope, just word so that I could print them out at home (or work?).  Regardless.  But, go to Kinko's or office or somewhere with a paper cutter to get really good, clean, straight edges.  
  • I googled for a free template and went with that. Printed them out on ivory paper, outlined the ceremony & people involved, and called it a day.
  • I did do a "DIY program", just not with etsy. I used vistaprint, and they came out amazing! And for a very reasonable price too.
    Our Wedding Bio kosakwedding.weebly.com
  • what information do you put on a program?
  • I am planning to buy a template from etsy, personalize it myself and have it sent to staples for printing. I have purchased many things from etsy with outstanding results, and I have things printed at staples reguarly also, so I feel like this will be an easy way to save money while still having things look good!
  • JustJet said:
    what information do you put on a program?
    Programs let people know what's going to happen in a ceremony. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Most include at least the bride and groom's names, date and place of ceremony, members of bridal party including names of parents and grandparents, and name of the officiant. If you have live music, it is considered extremely rude to not list the musician(s) on the program (it can be the name of the company, or the individual person's name). Most people include details of the ceremony, such as the readings or songs. Also, most people include a section such as "in loving memory" for loved ones who have passed away.
  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm making my programs on Zazzle.com and the programs (called "rack cards") are pretty inexpensive, at under $1 each.
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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited October 2014
    I made mine in Photoshop Elements because it was easier than getting the computer with Illustrator back up and running. They had the outline of the ceremony, silhouettes with the names of the bridal party, shout-outs to VIPS, what my old/new/borrowed/blue were (lots of people told me they loved that part, since they usually don't know what those things are) some little "fun facts," a word search and a crossword puzzle. Totally OOT but I loved them.


  • We are finishing ours, heavy cardstock on a laser printer and three pages front and back.

    Ours lists the time line on the front - page 1

    Inside front - page 2 - is the info on leaving cars at church as reception site has limited free parking and no one is using the church until the next day so we have transportation to reception and back or it's a short walk if people want to so we included a basic map plus a QR code. If it's dry out, most will walk since the shortest route is our map and it's probably faster.

    Page 3 has info on what various parts are - hand fasting, origami cranes and such.

    Pages 4 & 5 are silly info on both of us. We've known each other since SMIL and I were young toddlers so everyone knows everyone. But we are just adding random silly bits. Like how DF really got that black eye at the Nightwish concert years and years ago (Tarja was still the singer) - my braid hit him when we were headbanging together. Also what songs we finally pick. All are fully instrumental at church and for as many metal heads are in our families, Turisas and Apocalyptica or Sabaton aren't exactly well known.

    Page 6 is our first thank you.

    Three hole punch and tie ribbon.

  • Totally DIY-able!  For my first wedding I ordered Crane Co. paper that matched my invites for like $300 and then had them professionally printed.

    This time, I will be surprised if we spend over $100 on 200 programs because they are so easy to DIY and being a teacher I have my own nice paper cutter.

    Another option if you are just having a very simple, quick ceremony is to take a piece of black foam board.  Paint the white sides black.  Then it is a "fake" chalkboard.  You can write out the names of the wedding party and the order of events in beautiful hand lettering and post it at the front of the aisle.  The foam board trick is amazing for any kind of entertaining, and nobody has ever had a clue it wasn't a large piece of heavy chalkboard unless they've seen me carry it around.  If you want it to have a more finished edge, I think a standard piece of foam board fits a poster board frame.
  • Tiffany101015Tiffany101015 member
    100 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2014
    I love your programs! do you have a templete I could use?! @lolo883
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