By. Andrea Watson, The Fine Hand Calligraphy, Etc.

Wedding programs are becoming increasingly popular today. Although they may not be absolutely essential for a traditional wedding ceremony, they are still a virtual necessity for ceremonies that combine elements from different religions and cultures or if the bride and groom have written their own vows. Should special songs or prayers be included, a wedding program will enable guests to participate more fully in the service. In any case, an attractively designed and carefully thought-out wedding program that complements your other wedding stationery will serve as a lovely record of the event and its participants.

Essential items to include:

  • The title of the event
  • The names of the bride and groom
  • Day and date
  • Place
  • The order of the service which also notes titles of musical selections and soloists if any, as well as citations to source readings
  • Officiants
  • Parents and grandparents
  • Members of the wedding
  • Any helpful translations and explanations of rituals

The first four elements can easily be combined in a title phrase with appropriate line breaks, e.g. The Celebration of Marriage/ uniting / Anna Kathryn Leigh / and / William Arthur Wells / Saturday, the eleventh of August / Two thousand twelve / at half after five o’clock / First Presbyterian Church / Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Other optional elements that you may wish to include are expressions of thank to parents, tributes to deceased relatives, a special verse of scripture or poetry, and other useful information, e.g. directions to the reception venue and/or your new names and address following the phrase At home. If your wedding will be in a church, the pastor will likely want to approve any artwork you wish to use and proofread your program to check terminology and the citations to scripture readings. Take advantage of this free expertise. Marriage may be properly called a sacrament in some churches, not in others. Presbyterians have cross bearers; Episcopalians have crucifers. Your clergy will know the correct forms and be happy to help you. Music directors can also provide advice for the accurate listing of musical selections.

It is possible to produce an attractive wedding program yourself at very little ost using your own computer and printer. You should be proficient with word processing or layout software and have absolutely certain that you have the time and patience to do a thorough job. Good design skills and meticulous attention to spelling and punctuation are essential, also. Cutting and assembly require tools and time. If you are unsure about your abilities and resources in any of these areas, seek help from a professional graphic designer or a reputable printer who offers these services. Even when working with a professional, you must still exercise your own best judgement and taste. When it comes to creating a wedding program that will become a treasured keepsake, remember always that there is much elegance in simplicity.

Information from Tuscaloosa Bridal Directory

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