How Hard Can Wedding Programs Possibly Be?

by on May 25, 2013

One of my DIY projects for the wedding was supposed to be our wedding programs. Notice how I said supposed to be… we’ll see what ends up happening.

Basically we wanted to save a little money by finding (from Etsy or somewhere else online) a wedding program template so we could just print out the programs ourselves. Super easy and a genius ideas, right? Wellllll, it’s proving to be a little bit harder than I had anticipated. Read on to see why.

Here’s my initial inspiration for our programs (found on Pinterest, of course).

Rustic wedding programs

Source <– P.S. I am in LOVE with everything about this wedding (including the programs).

Aren’t they adorable? I honestly wanted (still want) to make something that looks very similar to these so I searched high and low for this exact program template (just the paper piece of it as I realize I would need to add the burlap and tags myself), but I can’t find it anywhere and the original blog post doesn’t mention where they’re from. If you happen to be reading and know where I can get something similar to this, definitely let me know. These are still at the top of my list. ;)

Since I can’t seem to find them anywhere, I’ve been looking on Pinterest, Etsy and other sites for printable wedding program templates. Our wedding theme is rustic chic, so I want something pretty simple — one pager with a little bunting banner or even a few coral flowers. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

rustic-wedding-program.jpg

Source <– If you want to see an adorable wedding, click on this link. :)

This one is definitely my second favorite but in the post it says that the programs are hand-drawn so I don’t think I’ll be able to find a template for it. And sadly, I don’t have the artistic ability to draw it myself.

1006 petite jardin mp

Source

These ones are really cute and go with our wedding colors (coral and aqua) but it’s not a printable template. I’d just have to order them from Smitten on Paper.

Rusticweddingprogram

Source

I found this one on Etsy and I really like it but it’s $45.00 just for the template. If I can find a printer that will print white ink, it might make since for me to just bite the bullet and buy it?!?

Wedding ceremony template

Source

I like how simple this one is but I’d love for it to have a little bunting banner at the top instead of the border that it has.

Needless to say, I am still on my search. Who knew finding the perfect wedding programs was going to take so much time? I honestly thought it was going to be so easy. Although, maybe I’m being too picky and I just need to settle on something.

What do you all think?

  •  If you’re married, was there any part of wedding planning that you thought was going to be super easy that turned out to be more difficult?
  • Did you make your own programs? If you’re a designer type, is there any easy way I can make my own template? Any suggestions for me. 

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Shel@PeachyPalate May 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

If you get a good template at least you can then work on them yourselves! Totally worth it! You’ll only do it once in your life :)

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Lauren May 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

You can recreate any of those in photoshop in a snap.

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Brittany Mullins May 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Really? I have photoshop but don’t know where to start…

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Lauren May 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm
Lauren May 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

You’ll want to download new fonts. Google “fun fonts.”

You’ll want to make sure you create a bleed which is adding an additional .125 inches on each side of the page (so make the width and height .25 inches bigger than the size you want it to be and then also, set margins so that you get everything printed on the page properly. If you make them a funky size, it will probably cost considerably more to print.

If you think photoshop can do it, it can. Google that shit.

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Lauren May 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Oh, one more tip: make sure you have a bottle of wine next to you while you’re teaching yourself how to do it. It will make the process considerably better.

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Britt May 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I think wedding planning and details are over-rated :) It’s neat that you are so into it, but I take the approach of have fun, keep it simple, and remember what the whole thing is really about. (But that’s just me, I don’t care about planning or deets).

Wanted to ask you about the TIU plan…how many cals per day is that? It doesn’t seem like a lot which is disconcerting since too lower cals can really mess with your metabolism and create future issues if not present ones. You are SO young and on the go, you need lots! :)

Love your smoothies too. Besides Sunwarrior brown rice protein (I assume that is what you use, not the blend right?) , are there others you recommend, thanks!

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Krystal May 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Another option is to click the contact button on Etsy for the sellers above and ask if they would mind making the small changes that you want for a couple extra bucks. Many times you’ll find that the vendors would be happy to work with you for a very reasonable price!

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Caitlin C May 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm

If you have adobe programs, it really isn’t too hard, especially with some fun fonts! In terms of printing white ink, most printing companies aren’t able to do it unless you go with embossing which can be really expensive.

For a good paper resource, check out lcipaper.com. I’m using them for my wedding and their prices aren’t too bad at all! They have a TON of DIY videos as well :) I really found it useful, and just found them through a google search.

I have a lot of graphic design experience, so please feel free to email me if you have any questions or are looking for a custom template. Happy to help! :)

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Whitney @ whitlikesfit May 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I made my own invitations, programs, favor labels and centerpieces. By far the programs were the hardest (although I ended up with a spelling error on my invites…whoops). For the programs, after many tries I ended up finding the border paper I wanted 1st (found it at paperzone) and then made the programs in photoshop matching up the dimensions to the border paper. I had them printed out at kinkos on some card stock. Turns out I measured wrong and ended up having to slice off a top of the program copy but no one even noticed. Glued the programs to the backer…so glad when they were done. Good luck!

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Katie H. May 26, 2013 at 7:58 am

I love the hand-drawn one, but I wouldn’t have the artistic ability for that either. My second favorite is the one from Smitten on Paper.

I made my own programs, but they weren’t anything too special. I think I did them in Photoshop, if I remember correctly, and then had them printed at Office Max. To me, the programs weren’t one of the things I was overly-concerned about. If I could redo the day, I would spend the majority of my money on a better photographer, since the pictures are what you’ll have forever!

Have fun wedding planning–it sounds like you’re keeping a great mindset. Remember, it’s a big day, but it’s also just a big party. The most important thing is having everyone you love in one place to celebrate you and your new hubby. At the end of the day, as long as you’re married, you’ve achieved what you’d set out to do!

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char eats greens May 26, 2013 at 10:12 am

I tried to do EVERYTHING myself too and most of it was fine, but I’d say the programs were hard as well. We just got special paper and I created the template in word (it was super simple) and then we constructed them into fans with a thick popsicle stick.

I got my bridesmaids to help me in the end!

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Megan May 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I know this isn’t very “teach a man to fish,” but I’d be happy to make something for you and Isaac. I could make a print-ready PDF that you could get printed at Kinkos or something like that… a template might be a bit trickier for my skill level/program compatibility. Anyway, feel free to shoot me an email!

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Melissa May 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I just got married last weekend and we didn’t even have programs, and honestly it was the BEST decision we made about our wedding. If you guys are like most, your ceremony will be 30 minutes at the most. Nobody cares about a wedding program. They will be so into watching the ceremony and you and Issac. Seriously spend your time doing something else!

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Nicole May 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Could not agree with Melissa more. Nobody cares about the wedding program. Instead of a program, if you really feel the need to “list” people, why not do some sort of markee on a chalkboard or a nice looking poster (something cute, not 5th grade science fair) with a headshot or some type of picture of all the members of the bridal party? Easier, cheaper and less waste. 99% of the people toss the program as soon as they get home, if it even makes it home.

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Sara May 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hello!

I am the shop owner of Simply Modern Design – I saw you posted my program in here and thought I would comment! I would love to add a banner or customize the program that you attached with the small details you would like. I do many, many programs and many custom orders. Contact me if your interested! Cute Site & thanks for the link!

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Chelsea Janzen May 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Hi Brittany! I am the designer for the second programs you featured (Ryan & Noelle’s wedding). If you are interested in getting your programs designed, feel free to email me! You can also check out my website (http://cargocollective.com/chelseajanzen) to see more of my work. I am in the middle of setting up an etsy and should be up and running soon :)

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Hope May 26, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I agree to don’t spend your time and money. Girl it’s a wedding. People know the flow of a wedding ceremony. No one cares about the names.

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Joy May 27, 2013 at 5:54 am

I can do the hand drawn one for you if you want…

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tea, love, and cookies May 27, 2013 at 8:01 am
tea, love, and cookies May 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

Oh dear, please ignore that last comment. It’s too early in the morning! Here’s what it should have said!

dafont.com has awesome free fonts… to get the hand-drawn look, search through the dingbats (which are pictures instead of letters… so when you click on each letter you’ll get a picture instead of a letter.)

You can do this in Word, too…. I think that would be easier than Photoshop, but I’m a Word/Excel nerd. I think setting the columns and margins is easier that way. If you need help, please let me know!

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Serena May 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Making my own invitations was certainly a little challenging, but I have a friend who is a tech wiz. Using a combo of Photoshop and Microsoft Word, he made beautiful invitations! Then, we picked upsome really pretty paper from an office supply store. A craft store would work too. Find a tech friend!

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Liz @ iheartvegetables May 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Ohhh wow, so many cute programs!!! I love the rustic look. The white type is so cute!

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Sof May 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I also thought that making my own would be easy and then it proved more difficult/expensive than imagined. So, we designed and ordered from Visaprint in the end and they looked great! Good luck :)

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Sam @ The Balance Artist May 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

Hey girl! I can help you make a program like this if you like….these are pretty easy to recreate. Let me know!

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Lindsey May 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I agree with what some others are saying. The program will never make it home with your guests. Thinking back, every program of every wedding I ever attended ended up crumpled up and smashed in the car, somewhere between the wedding and the reception.

If you think about it, the flow of the wedding is pretty much standard. Names of the bridal party will most likely be announced at the reception. If you’re doing something special in memory of a loved one (i.e. a candle lighting for a grandparent or flowers for a lost loved one that would normally go in the program), why not make a small display in the back of the ceremony so guests can read what you’re doing to honor them when they walk into the wedding? Programs are honestly a waste of money and paper.

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Moni Meals & Fitness May 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Hang in there Doll! I do not have much advice for you on this one! But I do know… no matter what you do – will be FABULOUS! xx :)

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Andrea May 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I felt the same way about programs…I also tried to make my own programs and it was much harder than I anticipated. I ended up ordering programs from the same Etsy designer who did all my paper products. If it’s too much headache, just pay for it at this point! And focus on more fun and important details :) Best of luck!

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Nicole May 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I made my own programs on Microsoft word, sent the PDF to a copy shop and had them printed on ivory card stock. The whole thing cost about $20. They were simple (black print) and classy. After the ceremony they were littered everywhere- seriously no one will keep your program. However, as a guest it’s nice to have something to look at. People like to know the order of events and have an idea how long your ceremony will be. If you want to see my template contact me directly- you can have it for free.

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Kara May 31, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Brittany, this is too funny! Those were my programs and wedding you tagged. What a small world that I happened to read your blog today. I like your taste ;) I just emailed our wedding planner to find out the name of the girl that made our programs. Will let you know when i hear back!

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Brittany Mullins June 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm

No way!! That’s so cool.

Let me know if you hear back from your wedding planner. :)

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Jacqui June 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I designed my programs in MS Publisher and it was really easy! Weddingchicks has some great free monograms here: http://static.weddingchicks.com/freebies/custom-monograms/

I used the silhouette monogram and then just listed the order of the ceremony under it. The back of the program listed the bridal party and a thank-you message to our guests. I designed them so they printed two to a page, then just took them to staples to have them copied onto card stock and cut in half. Then I rounded the corners with a punch (which was by far the most annoying part of the project). Anyway, I thought it was well worth the $15 and hour or two of time!

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elle | nutritionella June 11, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I designed our wedding programs in Word, we had them printed/folded locally and a few of us decorated them by wrapping a loop of twine around the spine. Super simple but still had a romantic look to them. Good luck with yours!

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