The purpose of a wedding program is to honor the people who are important to the couple, such as listing the bridal party and the couple's parents, and to explain any special ceremonies or traditions. Wedding programs usually make nice keepsakes for your guests and give those who can't make it a little insight into the wedding as well. If you want to include a program for your informal wedding, avoid using formal wording so the program doesn't seem out of place.
Include your names, the date and time the wedding is to take place and the location where you will be getting married. Add a picture of you and your fiance if you desire. Use your whole names or a nickname since it's not a formal wedding. For example, "The marriage celebration of Jenny Michaels and Robbie Jones 4-2-11 Beverly Hills, CA" Full names and spelled out dates and times are only necessary for formal weddings, although you can use them if you want.
List the order of events to take place during your ceremony. For example, spell out the names of any readings, poems or scriptures that will be read and who will read them. Note the titles of any songs and who will perform them. Write the entire lyrics of a song if it holds special meaning to you. For example, "Processional--(name of song/performer) Opening prayer Scripture--(name who will read) Exchange of vows Ring Exchange Sand ceremony--(explain it or include a related poem if you want) Blessing Presentation of the couple Recessional--(song/performer)" You don't have to include this information if your ceremony will be short or if it seems too formal.
Note all of the members of your bridal party and their relation, as well as any notable family members. Use only their names, omitting any titles, and possibly a nickname if it seems more fitting. For example, "Bride's parents--Jim and Melony Michaels Groom's parents--Bob and Sandy Jones Maid of Honor--Sally Mae Stevens (bride's sister) Best Man--Jimmy Franklin (groom's best friend) Bridesmaids--Sarah Thornton, Rachel Dean and Talia Milton Groomsmen--Carson Fields, Pete Adams and Carl Rhodes Officiant--Reverend Daniel Everrette" It's okay to list grandparents and other people who are special to the couple. Note the musicians if applicable.
Tribute any family or friends who have passed on if you feel the need. This could include grandparents, parents, siblings, best friends or anyone else you will really miss on your wedding day.
End the program by thanking your guests and leaving them with a poem, quote or personal note. The wording should be informal and reflect you, your fiance and the tone of your wedding.
Inject your personality into the program. There is no right or wrong way to word the program, particularly since your wedding will not be formal. Include special wording that plays off your theme. For example, if you and your fiance are huge baseball fans, use baseball wording, such as "The Michaels and Jones teams are merging!" Write the program using "first inning" to list the timeline of events and assign each member of your bridal party a position. For example, your parents could be the coaches or managers, and each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen could be allocated as the first-baseman, right-fielder, and so on.
Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.