Steve Gerrard Photography
Steve Gerrard Photography

Your wedding ceremony programme, also known as an order of service, is a guest’s roadmap to your big day. It tells them what’s happening when it’s happening, and who’s involved so that your officiant doesn’t need to explain every little thing. If you have no clue what to put in yours, let this be your guide.  

Here’s everything you need in your wedding ceremony programmes.


To kick things off, you’ll want to offer a brief introduction. Yes, all of your guests know why they’re joining you on your special day, but every text requires a little preamble. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or over the top, simply include you and your soon-to-be spouse’s names and the date of your big day. If you think you’re going to hold onto one or two as keepsakes, you may want to add a few other details like the city and venue as well (basically all the info you’d include on a save the date card).

Order of Service

Sometimes, a wedding ceremony programme simply goes by the name “order of service”. Why? Because that’s what everyone will be looking for. The main purpose of this itty bitty booklet is to let your guests know the timeline of the events so that they can follow along during your wedding ceremony. It should chronicle everything from the wedding processional to the recessional and include the names of everyone involved in each part.

Songs and Readings

Your wedding is going to feature a handful of memorable musical moments and probably a few wedding readings. You don’t want your guests to pull out their phones and Shazam your ceremony or start scribbling down notes, so include all the details in your wedding ceremony programme. You can either add them where they appear in your order of service or make a dedicated section for them at the end.

James & Amanda
Wedding of James & Amanda

Wedding VIPs

After you’ve clued everyone in on how your wedding will go down, you’ll want to shine the spotlight on the people who are playing an integral role in your ceremony (AKA your officiant, wedding party and parents). Unless you’re having a very intimate wedding, there’s a good chance that not everyone will know who your VIPs are or your relation to them, so go ahead and add a little blurb about them, too. They’re typically listed as follows: officiant, parents and, lastly, the wedding party (in the order that they’re walking the aisle in the processional).

Thank Yous

Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to thank everybody from your officiant to your audience for being a part of your big day. This usually lands on the last page of the wedding ceremony programme and includes a short, heartfelt message. You may want to single out a few of the people who went above and beyond, like your parents or a few key members of your wedding party to make them feel extra special. Also, if there are any loved ones who couldn’t be there with you, this is also a great place to honour them.

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