If you’re wondering how many ceremony programs you really need, welcome to the club! I was wondering the same thing while planning my wedding and wish I had heeded this advice to save, ya know, paper, time, stress, money, and ah yes, ribbon-tying into the late hours of the night. :)
I remember sitting on the floor of my first apartment tying one-hundred-plus ribbons onto ceremony programs and watching Friends episodes back-to-back. :) Ah, memories.
Instead of joining me on memory lane, let’s go ahead and let you know EXACTLY how many wedding programs you need for your ceremony. And here’s a hint: it’s less than you may think.
It’s easy to compute and don’t worry, you’ll have more than enough!
How Many Wedding Programs to Order
Here’s the first question most couples want to know before ordering wedding programs:
Do I need a wedding program for every guest?
Since wedding programs are technically optional (read: do I really need ceremony programs?) — but nice to have and highly recommended — we think if you’re having wedding programs, you should estimate one per guest. However, you also can do what most couples do: offer one ceremony program per couple. This is an easy way to dramatically cut back on cost and paper. Since your ceremony will probably only last 20 minutes to one hour, it is a relatively short span of time to have a program anyway.
We think the best bet is to offer one ceremony program per couple OR one program per guest, estimating 85% of guests in attendance.
Here’s an example:
How Many Wedding Programs Should I Order for 150 Guests?
If you’re giving one program per guest, you should order 130. This allows for approx. 85% of guests, plus a few extra (and most of the time, you need to order a rounded-up quantity of wedding programs anyway).
For 100 Guests
If you’re expecting 100 guests, you should order ceremony programs in a quantity of 85.
For 200 Guests
If there will be 200 guests in attendance, you will need ceremony programs in the order size of 170 or so.
Not every guest will be able to attend your ceremony and your reception. And honestly, if you don’t have enough because more than enough guests arrive, it’s no big deal. Guests will end up taking one per couple most of the time, anyway.
If you’re offering one ceremony program per couple, and you’re concerned the first guests will each take one per person, here’s a good trick: have the ushers pass out the ceremony programs to couples upon entry, rather than having a basket for guests to take their own. It’s also more formal this way. :)
No ushers? No problem. Simply place a basket for the ceremony programs to go inside and add a little sign or note, “Please take one per couple”. Easy-peasy.
When to Order Wedding Programs
When should you order programs for your wedding?
The answer will depend on two things: the shipping time of the programs you’d like to order, and how quickly you can hammer out the details of your ceremony with your officiant. Your ceremony program includes the order of events and will also include specifics, such as who is doing the readings, who will be standing up in your bridal party, what reading is given and from whom, along with which songs are to be played during the ceremony.
Stressed? Don’t be. Most programs are pretty straightforward and easy to edit; you’ll just need the specifics, which happens a month or so before the wedding day before you go ahead and order your ceremony programs.
What Do Programs Cost?
The cost of programs varies depending on the size, accents like gold or silver foil, and whether you’re getting a one-page, front and back printing, and/or a booklet program style.
Obviously, the simpler you go with the programs, the less costly it will be.
If you are looking for budget programs, try these.
How Many Wedding Programs Should I Print?
If you want to take full control of your wedding programs completely, and not be at the mercy of shipping deadlines, wait times, or ordering time constraints, do this: get printable ceremony programs.
The benefit of having printable wedding programs is precisely this: you can print as many as you want or need, even at the last minute. You can edit the template on your own — easily! — and even make last-minute changes. For instance, if you decide you like one reading better than another, make the change quickly. If someone can’t do a reading at the last minute, you can ask someone else and make the change to your program.
It’s so much easier and less stressful for you since unexpected changes can come up even right before the wedding day.
Printable Ceremony Programs
Similar to the printable save the dates we talked about, printable programs are a great way to have the actual template at your fingertips, should any last-minute additions occur with your guest list.
Here are a few examples of printable ceremony programs you can order now and edit whenever you need to. By Elmwood Paperie.
What Should I Include in Wedding Programs?
Great question! We tackled all the answers here: 7 Things To Include In Ceremony Programs.
And there you have it: how many ceremony programs to order, answered. If you have any more questions on the topic, feel free to comment in the box below or send us a message. We’re here to help!
P.S. Looking for a unique option? Read: Fun Wedding Programs for Guests.
P.S.S. Humid wedding? Make sure you get these fan programs to keep guests cool!