Traditional Wedding Reception Program

By Barbie Carpenter

Although programs are common for wedding ceremonies, they are less common for receptions. However, wedding reception programs are a helpful supplement for guests. Traditional wedding reception programs can give guests important information about the celebration, including a time line of events and the menu. Couples can also use these programs to thank guests for attending and give any information about post-wedding events. These programs are also useful for vendors who need to know when events will occur throughout the reception.

Styles

Traditional wedding reception programs are one- or multi-page programs made of card stock. Couples can choose to print information on the front and back of the card stock or tie pages together with colored ribbon that matches their wedding colors. Handwriting-style fonts add a personal touch to the programs and couples can even include engagement photos to the programs for some added decoration.

Menu

A traditional wedding reception program can include the menu. Menus are particularly helpful for couples serving a buffet meal because guests will want to know what’s available before heading to the buffet. You can also include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options in the program as well as a description of the cake or other desserts. Guests with food allergies will appreciate this information in particular.

Reception Time line

Although many wedding receptions are lively, somewhat unstructured celebrations, there are some traditional events that take place during the reception. Wedding reception programs can outline these elements. For example, a wedding reception time line can indicate when the bridal party introductions, first dance, toasts and cake cutting will take place. Although guests don’t need a minute-by-minute breakdown of the event, they will appreciate knowing what to expect during the reception.

After-Party Information

According to The Knot, the wedding reception after-party is popular for couples who don’t want the party to end. Couples can include information about this event in their wedding reception program. List all relevant information about the event in your program, including the location, end time and transportation information. Some couples choose to line up transportation for guests to the after-party, so that no one drives under the influence.

Note from the Couple

The wedding reception program also gives couples a chance to express their gratitude. Include a note that thanks your guests, families, bridal party and perhaps even your vendors. A thoughtful note adds a bit of personalization to your wedding reception program and shows guests how much you appreciate their attendance.

Post-Wedding Events

A post-wedding brunch allows guests to say goodbye to the happy couple before they leave for their honeymoon. If you choose to host such an event, you can include information about it in the wedding reception program. However, if you want the post-wedding brunch to be a small affair, consider sending out separate invitations to family and close friends. But, if it’s open for all guests, you can spread the word in your wedding reception program.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.