What to include in your ceremony program.

Programs are one DIY project that almost every couple can do to save a little money. But even if you aren't taking on your own program-making project, you'll still have to decide what to include in it. Although programs are optional, they are nice for guests to have while they are waiting for the ceremony to start and for them to use as a guideline for the service. Some guests will want to save your program as a keepsake, so it's a great idea to personalize it and put some thought into how you want it to look and who (and what) you plan on including.

Here's a basic guideline for your content:

  • Names of the bride and groom

  • Date, time and location of the ceremony

  • Specific parts of the ceremony, i.e. service, readings, passages, music (you can personalize this even further by explaining why these specifics are meaningful to you as a couple), if you are having someone conduct a reading, include the name of the person

  • Name of the officiant

  • Names of the bridesmaids and groomsmen--you can also put a small note explaining how you know each person

  • A special thank you to your families and/or guests is always nice

  • If your ceremony location is separate from your reception location, it might be a good idea to include the address and/or directions to the reception, as well as the time it begins

  • It's also a good idea to think about the formality of your ceremony when designing your program and then choose the paper and font accordingly.


    An outdoor affair.

    You may be trying to save money by having an outdoor wedding and not renting a spendy venue. In some cases that may be possible, but here are some extra expenses you'll have to consider when planning an outdoor affair.

    -Table rentals
    -Chair rentals
    -Plates, glassware and flatware rentals
    -Table linens rentals
    -Portable restrooms- you don't want to destroy the home plumbing by overuse on the big day
    -A dance floor
    -A generator-for the musicians and or DJ equipment, extra lighting, etc.
    -Speakers-unless your DJ will supply these
    -Tent-your Plan B in case Mother Nature decides not to play along
    -Permit-check your local laws for gatherings of more than 100 people
    -Parking space-consider having your guests transported in from a larger parking lot
    -A dumpster-if the guest count is large enough

    If you want to throw your soiree in a public place, you may need permits for the following:

    -State park land
    -Private or public gardens
    -Alcoholic beverages on public grounds
    -Fire use (candles, torches, etc)
    -Exemptions from local noise violation laws

    Although there can be a lot more planning involved in an outdoor affair, it may be worth it to have a personal home wedding or a fun, off-beat locale. Look for amazing backdrops like mountain cliffs, a gorgeous city skyline or beneath an old, large tree. Just don't forget the bug repellent!




    (Stacey Adams)

    (David Wegwart)

    (Tim Brown Photography)

    Did I miss anything?

    I love to post inspired ideas and photos from other blogs and the web. I try my best to give credit where it's due, but if I miss something, please let me know. And, if you want something taken down, I can do that. No problemo.