It’s easy to write off your wedding program as a utilitarian document that lets guests know what’s what and then gets thrown away afterward, but that’s a major mistake. Underestimating the potential of your wedding stationery leaves a ton of opportunity on the table.
Use these tips to help make your program more romantic so everyone from the ushers to the officiant can see just what a perfect match you and your new spouse truly are.
It’s smart to use a wedding program template to plan your layout and choose the perfect design, but a template is just the starting point. Wherever possible, draw on the things you and your sweetheart love to make your program your own.
- List the ceremony’s running order and use details, such as sharing the title of the bride’s romantic entrance song
- Create your own crest that uses your new joint monogram and hidden touches that reflect your separate lineages and shared interests
- Incorporate an adorable photo of you two looking fetching and enthralled with one another
Even the colors and font you choose can influence how romantic your program feels. A blush-hued watercolor background is both pretty and dreamy, while a waterfall of white flowers across a bold purple background offers a sophisticated take on sentimental design.
If you’ve spent any time browsing wedding programs, you know that they come in all shapes and sizes. There are also a wide variety of themes. From art-deco patterns and floral borders to color blocking and foil embellishment, there are options galore.
Designs that include more traditionally-romantic elements like lacey flourishes, looping script, bundles of roses, and love-inspired hues like reds and pinks all help set the stage for romance. Shaped invitations add an extra dose of elegance thanks to their swooping sides and curvy corners, and you can even choose programs shaped like a seashell or heart to underline your theme.
- Botanical Grace combines pretty cursive script, a floral embellishment, and a big bold heart containing your wedding date for an uber-romantic result that also feels surprisingly delicate.
- We Do is a heart-shaped fan program featuring a huge photo of you and your love on the front and a sweetly simple order of ceremony and thank you on the back.
- Blushing Beauty has it all. An enchanting floral background? Check. Pretty script? Check. Gorgeous red raised foil? Checkity-check!
In a good way, of course! While the wording on your wedding invitation is more focused on practical details like your wedding date, venue address, and other key details, your program is a chance to be dreamy and sentimental. One of the best ways to do that is to make use of love quotes and poems from some of the world’s most noted literary geniuses, celebrities, and cultural icons.
Here are a few of our favorites to kickstart your brainstorming:
- Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. — Lao Tzu
- The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. — Audrey Hepburn
- I choose you. And I’ll choose you over and over and over. Without a pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you. — Unknown
- Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. — Emily Bronte
- Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours. — Ludwig van Beethoven
- Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. — Henry Van Dyke
These are just a few examples out of thousands. Browse song lyrics, your favorite books, movie quotes, and even old love letters to find a few sentences that resonate. When your feel the telltale twinge in your tummy, you’ve found your perfect quote.
You can kick off your program with a simple listing of you and your betrothed’s names and the date, but if you want to maximize your program’s romance quotient, play with the wording a bit. Phrases like “Two lives, one love” or “From this day forward” make beautiful banners across the front cover. As an added bonus, they’re almost guaranteed to make guests say, “Awwww.”
This also a good spot for one of those romantic photos we talked about earlier. It’s possible some of your guests haven’t met you two as a couple, so it’s nice for guests to see an image of the happy duo all loved-up to help amp up the romantic atmosphere at the ceremony.
There are oodles of benefits to having a professional printer handle your wedding stationery. Your design and print will come through with amazing color saturation and text will be wonderfully crisp and clear. You can get help with your designs and add elements like metallic foiling that aren’t realistic when using a home printer. You’ll even get to pick out fancy paper and try out different shapes and styles.
But going with a professional wedding program doesn’t mean you can’t add personal flourishes. If anything, it’s the perfect way to set up a couple DIY touches. Because you’ll have a flawless foundation to build on, you can channel your energy into crafting rather than trying to figure out your program’s layout from scratch.
Once you get your programs from the printer, you can:
- Tie ribbon or a sprig of evergreen or holly around the handle of a program fan
- Tuck a packet of birdseed or biodegradable confetti inside a folded program so guests can properly fete you and your new spouse as you make a quick getaway post-ceremony
- Attach an enamel pin or clip on a custom stick guests can wear for the day and take home as a souvenir (a temporary tattoo will work brilliantly too if that’s your speed!)
Your wedding program serves a functional purpose, but don’t let all that must-read information stand in the way of sharing your story. This is you and your fiancé or fiancée’s big day. You’ve likely spent years fine-tuning your relationship, having experiences, and making memories. Why not share some of that with your guests?
Doing so can be as simple as using the oft-neglected inside cover of your half-fold wedding program to reveal how you first laid eyes on each other, or to share a funny tidbit about who said “I love you” first. You may also want to explain the significance of certain wedding details. Perhaps the flower arrangements all contain poppies because that was your grandma’s favorite. Maybe you’re getting married at a museum because that’s where you had your third date and realized your better half was “the one.”
Some people like to use their wedding program as an opportunity to acknowledge their loved ones’ own successful marriages. If your grandparents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, or you’re inspired by your mother- and father-in-law’s many years of wedded bliss, consider adding a note at the end of your program as tribute to their examples. If those stores stirred your emotions, chances are they’ll touch your guests’ hearts as well.
Ultimately, your wedding program will feel romantic because of what it represents. Choose a design that speaks to you and reinforce the printed romance by including emotional moments like a special reading, song, or tribute from a loved one. Most of all, remember to take a deep breath, look into your significant other’s eyes, and smile. That right there is what real-life romance is all about.