You’ll want to prepare a wedding reception program for your guests on this most special of all days. Your guests and families are uniting to witness and celebrate your marriage; your program lets everyone know who the people are in your wedding party as well as the order of events.
Get a editable templates of programs and a sample timeline in The Wedding Reception Kit here.
What does a wedding reception program typically look like? You can choose one that’s folded in half, book-like; or the tri-folded brochure is also popular. A tri-folded program has only two folds, but they separate the piece of paper into three separate panels. Choose your program style based on just how much information you want your program to carry.
A typical wedding reception program’s primary purpose is to list the parts of the ceremony as well as the names of people in the wedding party.
- The Prelude is the period of time before the bride arrives for the ceremony.
- The Seating of the Parents: Once all guests are seated, the groom’s parents are seated, and then the bride’s mother-assuming that her father is giving her away.
- The Processional begins when the wedding party wends its way down the aisle. First the bridesmaids walk down the aisle, accompanied by groomsmen, then the maid of honor, followed by the ring bearer and, last, the flower girl.
- The Entrance of the Bride is often cued by a change in music. Of course everyone wants to see! You can list in your program whether to stand or remain seated. Traditionally, people stand for the bride. Some people are beginning to ask that guests remain seated while the bride walks down the aisle so that her groom can watch her approach unimpeded.
- The Presentation of the Bride occurs when the bride’s father (or whoever has escorted her) gives her to her groom.
- The Greeting occurs when the officiating person or clergyman addresses the guests-”we are gathered here to witness” and so forth.
- The Question to the Congregation asks if anyone objects to the marriage.
- The Question to the Bride and Groom is also called the Statement of Intention-this is where the minister asks if you wish to marry one another.
- The Reading is an option if the bride and groom ask family or friends to read a special poem or bible passage to the guests.
- Exchange of Wedding Vows, followed by Exchange of Rings.
- Pronouncement of Marriage.
- Unity Candle Ceremony, also optional.
- Prayer, also optional.
- Benediction, depending on the religion.
- Presentation of Husband and Wife-this is where the officiating person introduces the newlywed couple.
You will, of course, use another section of the program to list the names of everyone in the wedding party, including the parents of the bride and groom and possibly the grandparents.
What else might you add to a wedding reception program?
Many people like to include a small statement such as, “We wish blessings to all our guests on the day of our joyous occasion and every day; thank you for sharing this day with us!”
Sometimes, if a parent or grandparent is deceased, you can devote a small portion of the program to remember that person: “Julie asks that you enjoy the balloon arrangements located at the entrance and head table, in memory of her grandmother, Mary Smith.”
You can also utilise a portion of the wedding reception program to thank your wedding planner, your officiating clergyman, your photographer and disc jockey, and anyone who has provided assistance in the preparation of your special day.
It’s also a wonderful idea to list your significant songs in the wedding reception program. You will be choosing music to play throughout this special event, and people will be curious to know the names or performing artists of various selections. From the Prelude all the way through the Farewell Circle at the Reception, a listing of the songs adds a nice touch.