4 Easy Steps to the Perfect Wedding Program

Wedding Program Design - Simple Yet Effective
You won’t be able to tell from this photo, but I’ve had any formal Art or Photoshop training.

Putting together the perfect wedding program is often low down on a brides wedding priority list. I’ve never been a bride myself (WHAAAAAT??), but I’m pretty sure other factors, such as venue, wedding dress and choosing the right man to marry are bigger concerns.

I’m just guessing though…

If you leave designing your wedding program until the very last minute, it can be an absolute nightmare, as you’ll be stuck in a world of choosing fonts, finishes and folding ideas.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Thanks to this fabulous new thing called “the internet”, designing a wedding program online is a piece of cake. You can find templates to steal, sorry…borrow from, ideas and inspiration, as well as sites like Canva, where the more artistically inclined can design your own if feeling confident (see photo above).

If designing a wedding program is giving you the jitters though, don’t worry, as there really are only 4 little steps you need to work through to get that perfect wedding program for your big day.

(Wait! If you’re getting married, you may also want to read my Guide To Hiring A Wedding Magician – or not. Reading it isn’t compulsory – there won’t be a test.)

Step One: Wedding Program Overall design

The odds are that you’ll already have a theme for your wedding. You’ll either be bouncing around words like “rustic”, “classic”, “vintage”, “modern” or “hodgepodge”, so start there. Your wedding theme will dictate the overall style of your wedding program, so, unless your wedding theme is “TRON” or “godawful”, don’t be using any neon colours.

Similarly, choose a paper style and fold that compliment your style.

Warning! Your tendency will be to majorly overthink this part – don’t, or this could happen:

Overthinking The Wedding Program
If your head explodes, releasing a galaxy of stars, you should probably see a doctor, or have a bit of a sit down at least.

Believe me, most of your wedding guests will be far more concerned with keeping their children quiet and finding the quickest route to the bar, rather than pondering the reasons for your choosing a “Satin” finish, rather than a “Glossy” one.

In a previous post, I showed you how wedding programs can have a purpose, such as a fanning aid on a really hot day, so that’s something you can have a think about as well. For example, if you were marrying a notorious criminal, you could make the wedding programs out of the Kevlar, so that they could be used as a bulletproof shield (I’m going to Trademark that when I get home, so don’t you dare steal my brilliant idea!).

Once you have the overall theme of your wedding program, it’s time to move to step two…

Step Two: Wedding Program – Basic Information

The main role of the wedding program is to give your guests enough information to let them know what they are in for on the day. It should tell them where they should be, and when.

Don’t go overboard with information. This is not the place for life stories, major events or complicated paragraphs that even Stephen Fry would struggle with.

Design Wedding Programs - Keep It Simple
I had to use both of these blackboards just to calculate where I was sat at the wedding breakfast. I still ended up at the wrong hotel, at the Liebschnitz Barmitzvah. I had to change my religion just to get a sandwich.

First things first, the wedding program should guide your guests through the ceremony, so let’s start with the general format for your wedding. Things to include in the wedding program include:

  • Your names, the date and location of the wedding (if you don’t know this, you’ve probably got bigger problems).
  • Words of welcome (could also be a prayer or blessing).
  • Rundown of the wedding.
  • Names of the participants (of anyone giving a reading for example)

So, now we have the basic feel for the wedding program and an outline of the wedding ceremony, what’s next?

(If you like wedding related blog posts, you’ll love my post on How to Make Money By Planning Your Wedding Day)

Step Three: Pad It Out A Bit

There are two choices with the “padding it out” bit:

  1. Keep it nice and general, or
  2. Go for really specific

If you want to keep it nice and general, you could just list the words:

  • Welcome
  • Readings
  • Vows
  • Rings
  • The Kiss!

in the program, or you could include the full details of all of these, such as the person doing the reading, the words, so wedding guests can estimate how long is left in the ceremony, as some people get bored at weddings, even when they are a major part of it:

Bored Wedding Guest

If you’re having a religious ceremony, you’ll probably want to include the words to any prayers or readings and/or Bible references, so that guests can crack open their Bibles and follow along!

If you’re going to be including the names of the wedding party, they should be in this order:

  • the parents of the bride,
  • the parents of the groom,
  • the bridesmaids and groomsmen (list the Maid of Honour and Best Man first),
  • the flower girl and ring bearer,
  • ushers (Note: Not Usher, the famous pop star),
  • any readers you may have,
  • and the officiant’s full title (plus his website address and phone number if you want him to pick up some more work!).

Done that? Good. We’re in the home stretch!

Step Four: The Extra Bits

So you’ve got all the main details down in the wedding program, now it’s time to add a few touches here and there to really make it more YOU!

So feel free to add a few words about why you chose the venue, what it means to you and how you’d like your guests to act during the ceremony (no cameras, no photography and no kebabs, for example).

If you’ve not invited some family members (don’t worry, we all have them), you may not be happy with your guests plastering their photos all over social media, so you can use the wedding program to mention that, (where it will, in all likelihood, be seen but completely ignored).

Oh, and is the piss up…er, I mean wedding reception is being held in a different venue to the ceremony? If so, be sure to mention this on the wedding program, so that your guests know where they are going. After all, it would be a dreadful shame if you had to tackle that £1,000 bar tab without the help of your wedding guests, wouldn’t it?

Design a Wedding Program - Wrong Bar
Tarquin and Nigel decided to arrive a tad earlier than the other guests to make a head start on the generous bar tab. (2 weeks counts as “a tad early” doesn’t it?)

OK, so maybe it’s not REALLY simple and easy to put together a wedding program for your big day, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot easier than you imagined. Like any task that starts with a blank slate, it can seem daunting at first. The best thing to do is just to make a start – make some headway and chip away at the little tasks. It gets easier the more you do it.

Try not to get bogged down in little things like the choice of font size or whether the print colour should be “TAWNY” or “UMBER” – just focus on getting the big things down and then tweak little details later.

Like any creative endeavour, you’ll always spot things you’d like to change, so give yourself a break. It’s your wedding day for crying out loud!

If you’re getting married soon, you’re probably worried about your guests being bored and how you’re going to keep them happy and smiley!

I can help you with this.


I’m a magician and comedian who’s not only amazing but funny too.

I can get your guests laughing and having a fabulous time at YOUR party, allowing you to relax and enjoy yourself!

“Thank you for helping make our wedding day stress free and being exceptionally entertaining

“He was hugely entertaining, with a real sense of mischievous fun! Our guests loved him!

Visit the contact page for various ways to get in touch, or, save yourself some time and effort by using the form below.

Tell me all about your wedding day and I’ll tell you how I can make it more relaxing and enjoyable for you both AND get your guests LAUGHING too!