There are hundreds of wedding programs that span every style and color palette imaginable. From floral themes to Art Deco-inspired lines, folded programs to fans, you can find an expertly designed template that matches your personal aesthetic and theme. But what if you’re hoping for some hilarity?
If you want to make your wedding program funny, take matters into your own hands with these suggestions for wedding program wording that’ll help bring the belly laughs.
The front of most programs — or the tops of one-page versions — often has some sort of welcome. Traditional templates include something like “Welcome to Hailey and Jenabi’s wedding,” but that’s far from set in stone. Experiment with playful versions that give guests a preview of what’s to come:
- Welcome to H&J’s Hour of Fun
- Party Time, Excellent (Woo Woo)
- We’re So Glad You’re Here (But Please Don’t Object)
There are some elements that are considered standard in wedding programs, such as listing the order of events and introducing the bridal party. This is a great opportunity to tweak existing wording to make it more personal — and more punny.
Instead of listing “processional” before the name of the song the bride will walk down the aisle to, call it “Will she actually show?” or “Here’s where you all stand up.” The “Exchange of Vows” could become “Everything But Obey” while “Reading” can be renamed “Insert Special Werdz Here.” It all depends on how far you want to push it and what your guests will think is appropriate (though ultimately, the decision is yours, of course).
Almost every list of essential wedding program elements includes a rundown of the bridal party, including their names and what role they have in the ceremony. For instance, it might say “Magda Hill, Mother of the Bride.” But that can be a little boring, especially for couples hoping for a bit more pizazz.
Switch up the bridal party section by using nicknames or even including a funny fact about each person.
For example, instead of saying “Kelly… Bridesmaid” you could put “Kelly (Bridesmaid)… Once laughed so hard a noodle flew out of her nose.” If you’re worried that older or more conservative family members may not appreciate being the center of attention, be sure their fun fact is crafted with love. “Barbara (Mother of the Groom)… Makes red sauce so tasty, all of Italy is jealous.”
Nicknames are fair game, too. Your groomsman, Dale, has been called "Tank" for 15 years, so you might as well keep that going. It'll give the other guests an ice breaker when it's time to make small talk.
The plethora of open real estate on the back of a folded program is the perfect spot to inject some humor. While everyone has their own pet peeve, a lot of couples dread that all-too-familiar wedding tradition that sees guests banging on their wine glasses in hopes of forcing the newlyweds to kiss. The intentions are good, but it’s easy for the bride and groom to start feeling like trained seals expected to sing (or smooch) for their supper.
If you feel so moved, type out a tongue-in-cheek warning that anyone who taps on their glasses and expects to see some kissing better be prepared with a $20 bill or a mirror, because they either need to pay up or do the kissing themselves.
Don’t understand all the fuss? Skip over this particular ban and add in your own. Maybe you can’t stand Justin Bieber and want to warn guests against requesting the band play any of the Beeb’s finest hits. Maybe you’re well aware of how hard your friends can party and have limited the cash bar for good reason. Let them know what’s up with a humorous PSA that says you have exactly two drink tickets’ worth of love for each guest, and then they’re responsible for their own sparkling wine and tequila shots (hopefully not mixed together).
Use the extra space on your program to talk about social media. While Facebook and Instagram aren’t inherently funny, your wedding hashtag can be. Try a play on your names (#TwoPeasInADodd), give a nod to your pets (#GettingMeowied), or honor a shared interest or favorite movie (#MayTheForceBeWithLou).
Then, ask all your guests to use the hashtag when posting wedding pics. Up the ante by requesting three funny photos from each guest. Tell guests to get creative, or give them some prompts to work with! For example, tell everyone they should upload a photo with a fork, a shot of somebody dancing, and a picture taken right at 8pm. Guests will laugh reading the instructions and then break into hysterics all over again when they browse everybody’s hashtagged entries on social media later on.
Freelance writers do a lot more than create blogs and website copy. When they’re not busy ghostwriting newspaper columns and churning out scripts, professional writers can help you whip your wedding program into shape. Look for a freelancer who specializes in comedy, and don’t be afraid to ask for their portfolio before sending over a contract. There are many different kinds of funny, and it’s important that you and your temporary employee laugh at the same things lest you wind up with a program that’s more cringeworthy than sidesplitting.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not use a photo to get guests giggling? Many wedding programs include a spot for a photograph of your choice. While many couples use an engagement photo or another romantic shot to emphasize the sentimental nature of such a special occasion, there’s no reason you can’t swap out the cuddle fest in favor of something funnier.
You two in your hilarious peanut butter and jelly Halloween costumes? Sure. A dorky photo booth shot from your cousin’s wedding last year? Definitely works. A candid that a friend took of you and your sweetheart reenacting that Titanic moment just before your canoe capsized? Perfection.
There’s a document making the rounds on the internet that seems to be a copy of someone’s hilarious attempt at answering some of their wedding guests’ frequently asked questions. Queries like “I’m already hungry and there are cupcakes on my table. Can I eat one?” seem chosen for comedic effect, but the answers also serve a practical purpose. Letting your loved ones know they can scarf down a chocolatey dessert at will rather than waiting for some grand announcement helps everyone have more fun.
You can include an insert in your own wedding program with similar questions. You’ll help guests stay entertained while you and your new spouse are busy making the rounds and taking pictures, plus some of the information may actually be useful.
It’s important that any FAQ you create is authentically you, but feel free to use these ideas for inspiration:
- Why are all your tables named after cartoon characters/cities/herbs and spices?
- I noticed that your menu is totally vegan. What do you have against carnivores?
- Your dad/maid of honor/best man is really hot. Is he/she available and can I have her/his number?
- Can I request that the DJ plays the Macarena?
- Where can I put the present I got you? Do I get more points if I brought cash?
The most important aspect of creating a funny wedding program is to be sure that your love of all things silly doesn’t overshadow your love for your better half. By all means, find ways to make your guests laugh. Just make sure they’re laughing with you, not at you, and that at the end of the night, they remember your affection for each other just as much as they remember your playful digs at your big brother Bob.