7 Ceremony Program Mistakes to Avoid

Hi, loves! Are you having a ceremony program at your wedding? If so, don’t miss today’s post: we’re sharing some common wedding program mistakes to avoid. A wedding program is are not a requirement, but it can be a fun addition to your decor. A ceremony program is also a handy tool for guests, as it provides additional information about your ceremony. In this post, we’ll share ceremony program ideas and seven common ceremony program mistakes to avoid. PLUS, we’re offering a ceremony program printable for FREE! Read on to get started…

Ceremony Program Mistakes to Avoid

Make sure your wedding programs are a hit with guests! Here are seven ceremony program mistakes you’ll want to avoid…

Mistake #1: Going with the grain.

We’ve seen the traditional ceremony program done a million times before, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own personal twist! Remember, your wedding is unlike anyone else’s… make every handcrafted wedding detail personal + unique. For instance, check out this booklet ceremony program that reads, ‘I’m a Fan‘. It’s a fan style, so you can include tons of information in it, guests can use it to cool off, and it’s anything but boring.

wedding program ideas - cute booklet idea

wide eyes design

A poster-style ceremony program is another fantastic option! I love the informal tone of this one, like, “Here’s how it’s going to go”. You don’t have to be so strict with every detail — have a little fun with it, for goodness sakes.

wedding program ideas - poster style

b is for brown

Want something entertaining for guests? Try the cootie catcher ceremony program, one of my favorite throwback ideas. Remember these in grade school? They’re backkkk… and they’re just as much fun now as they were then.

cootie catcher wedding ceremony program idea outsidecootie catcher wedding ceremony program idea

designs by tenisha

Mistake #2: No theme.

Stay on theme! When selecting your program, make sure it ties into your wedding theme. Some of our favorite wedding theme ideas are rustic, beach, wedding in the woods, vintage, and a barn wedding, just to name a few. (Need more? Grab 50+ wedding theme ideas!) Check out these thematic ceremony program ideas:


beach ceremony program

julie hanan design


woodland wedding ceremony program

mavora art and design


modern ceremony programs

shine invitations

Mistake #3: Not introducing your wedding party.

Your groomsmen and bridesmaids deserve to be in the spotlight, too! Plus, guests will be curious to know who is the best man, maid of honor, and other wedding party members. By including them in your program, you’ll also give them an honorable mention. It’s a nice touch.

ceremony program wedding party illustration

jodi & june

Mistake #4: Skipping over the order of events.

The number one reason why guests read the program is to see the length of the ceremony, any notations, and special customs the couple will do. Be sure to include the order of events and any other notable traditions inside your ceremony program.

wedding party on wedding program

yellowbrick graphics

Mistake #5: Omitting a ‘thank you’ section.

A personal thank you section for guests is a nice touch. Remember the three s’s: keep it short, sweet, and sincere.

wedding ceremony program thank you fans

fossil letterpress

Mistake #6: No reception information and/or map.

Include a map or the address of the reception location on the back of your program. It also helps to let guests know what time the reception begins. Guests sometimes forget to bring along the invitation information, and this extra bit of information will help they key it into their GPS.

Mistake #7: No distribution plan.

If your wedding party, ushers, or a few friends are game, ask them to pass out the ceremony programs to guests before the wedding begins. If you’d prefer guests to help themselves, make sure there’s a basket of programs and a sign that tells guests to take one. To help, we’ve added a new item to our free wedding printables collection! We’re giving you a free printable ceremony program sign! Just click on the image below to download the file. Place in a 5″ x 7″ frame.

programs please take one free printable

Place the sign next to your programs in a prominent location – at the doorway, for instance – so they won’t go unnoticed.

Special note: If you prefer to not pass out programs to your guests, you can opt for a chalkboard wedding program sign instead! Here’s one example we love…

chalkboard wedding program sign

lbf studio

Happy Planning!


Which wedding program mistakes would you add to the list?

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2 Comments on "7 Ceremony Program Mistakes to Avoid"

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Great tips! I completely agree with going against the grain and coming up with some fun and unique programs that are personal to the bride and groom.

Emma | Emmaline Bride

Hi Krisstin! I’m glad you liked the post. I agree – every detail should be as personal as possible. Thanks for stopping by!