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Wedding Program Wording

Learn proper wording for wedding programs and get wedding program sample wording

See also wording for rehearsal dinner invitations and wedding response card wording

At the point when the majority of your wedding planning is completed and you only have a few weeks to go, its going to come down to detail work like organizing your wedding program wording.  If you want to do it earlier, you can get a head start on putting your wedding program together as soon as you have decided on the wedding party, the ceremony music and the order of events.

Though there are a few elements that you need to include and you need to do so with certain etiquette, wedding program wording doesn’t have to be complicated and you can put it together without the help of a book or wedding planner.

When you know what to add to your wedding program and how to do it, you’ll have your wedding program wording completed in no time.

Read on for our top tips on wedding programs.  We also include some examples of wedding program sample wording for you to copy or adapt to your wedding.

Top Tips For Wedding Program Wordingwedding program wording, wedding program sample wording, wedding program sample

Start With the Basics

One of the main points of having a wedding program is to let the wedding guests know who the wedding party is and what the order of events will be for the ceremony.  This way, you can recognize your wedding party by including them and each guest will be able to follow along with the ceremony.

So what exactly needs to be included in your wedding program wording?  Well for starters, you should state the particulars of the wedding like the wedding date, ceremony location and the full names of the bride and groom (for example: Stephanie Ann Meyers and Bill Scott Matthews, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, May 16th 2009.) 

You should also include the name of each member of the wedding party, the names of parents and the name of the officiant who is presiding over the wedding in the wedding program wording (i.e. Bride’s Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Meyers, Jessica Thompson Maid of Honor, Reverend James Tuttle Presiding.)  The names of other ceremony participants (like an usher or ring bearer) can also be included.

Other items that should be a part of your wedding program wording are the names of the songs featured and the names of the artists performing them.  Also, if you have any readings, you should list the authors for the selections and the names of the readers. 

Explain the Ceremonywedding program wording, wedding program sample wording

The next part of your wedding program wording should be the schedule of events for the ceremony including any special traditions.  Be sure to include each part of the ceremony like the welcome, nuptial prayer, exchanging of vows, rings, blessing, etc.  This will make guests feel more a part of your wedding because they will be able to follow along with the ceremony events. 

You should also list any special ceremonies, cultural traditions or religious customs in your wedding program wording.  Customs like the lighting of a unity candle or the breaking of a glass should be explained so that guests can understand the wedding traditions.

Consider Length

Another thing to think about with wedding program wording is the length of the program.  Some programs are on a single sheet of paper while others are more like brochures.  A longer program is appropriate if your ceremony is long or formal, but if your ceremony is very short, you may not even need a program.  Think about whether your guests will have adequate time to read the program and if they do, make it as long as you like.   

Go for Personalization

The wording for your wedding program doesn’t have to be all stuffy and formal.  The program wording is an excellent place to add personalization to your wedding. 

You can do this with a variety of things.  Photos, meaningful quotes, poems or a story about the bride and groom all make wonderful additions to wedding program wording.  You can also change the wording to your wedding theme.  For example, if you were having a medieval themed wedding, you could use Olde English for your wedding program wording.

Wedding Program Sample Wording

If you’re still at a loss on how to create your wedding program, see below.  We’ve given you two examples of wedding program sample wording.  You can copy these samples to use for your program or just use them as a guide in creating your own wedding program wording.

The Wedding of Elizabeth Marie Ainsley and Joseph William Prescott

Nantucket, Massachusetts

July 5th 2009


The Wedding Ceremony

Processional  Jesu of Mans Desiring, Beethoven

Declaration of Intention

Nuptial Prayer

Exchange of Vows

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

Pronouncement of Marriage


Presentation of Couple

Recessional  Minuet in G, Chopin


The Wedding Party

Officiant: Fred Lollar       

Parents  Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ainsley, Mr. and Mrs. John Prescott

Harpist  Vince Zentner               

Maid of Honor  Mary Lear

Best Man  Robert Reese      

Mistress of Ceremonies Jody Moore      

The bride and groom would like to offer special thanks to all of our family and friends for joining in celebrating their love.


The Marriage Celebration of

James Gary Thatcher and Belinda Laurel Wells

September 24, 2009

Gregory Chapel, Charlotte, North Carolina


The Wedding Party

Parents:  Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Thatcher

Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Wells

Matron of Honor: Leslie Cunningham

Best Man: Nathan Thatcher

Bridesmaids: Jessie Carter and Miranda Lewis

Groomsmen: Red Thatcher and Chris Jorgensen 

Officiant: Reverend Joseph Carrington

Music: The Charlotte String Quartet


The Wedding Ceremony

Processional, Canon in D, Pachelbel


Opening Prayer

Poem “The Feast of Love”, Barbara Wells

Exchange of Vows

The Rings

Lighting of Unity Candle


Presentation of Couple

Recessional, Symphony No. 4, Beethoven

Wedding Reception Programs

A new trend in wedding programs is to create a program for the ceremony and a separate program for the reception.  Wedding reception programs go over the events for the wedding reception and give approximate times when special things are going to occur. 

The sorts of things that may be included on a reception program are the first dance, the parents dance, toasts, cake cutting and the “rice toss” or farewell.  You can also add explanations of traditions that are observed like the throwing of the bouquet or the significance of the Horah for a Jewish wedding.  A wedding reception program is also a great place to inform guests about any other items like if they are welcome to take the reception centerpieces home.