Before most wedding ceremonies, each guest is given a program. The program cover lists the names of the bridal party and immediate family. Sometimes it gives the order of the ceremony and hymns or readings. A few guests will read it intently. Quite often though, most guests barely give it a second glance. It will be used as a fan, or scratch paper for an anxious toddler to draw on during the ceremony. All to often, it will end up in the seat pocket of your guests’ car and sit there for a few months (I think I still have several from last summer in my car). Eventually, most of the programs you spent hours designing and hundreds of dollars printing will end up in the trash.
Is there a better way? While in some instances there are just no good alternatives for a program (say, your wedding is a Latin Catholic Mass which few of your guests are familiar with), in most cases, there are other options!
For example, if your ceremony is simple and doesn’t require any explanation for your guests, you can still honor your bridal party with a wedding program chalkboard like this one from Etsy.
Or, you can embrace the fact that guests will be using your programs as fans and print the information directly on a fan, like these ones from beau coup!
If you’ve decided that you really like the idea of having a wedding program, consider having a separate version for children. They may not care to follow along with the ceremony, but they might really enjoy a word search or puzzle. And their parents will appreciate the help keeping them occupied before the ceremony.
While you are planning your big day, you may come across traditions that just don’t serve a purpose or your wedding, or could be done differently. Don’t stick to tradition just for traditions sake. Be creative and make the day your own!