Thursday, June 11, 2009

Four Steps to Making Your Own Wedding Ceremony Programs

As I’ve mentioned, I’m a big fan of doing some things yourself when it comes to wedding planning. Baking your cake and organizing your flowers? Not so much. Stationary, programs or place cards? Oh yea …

Unless you are Martha’s long-lost daughter (or marrying her long-lost son) creating wedding-worthy programs can be a bit intimidating. But thankfully, scrapbooking papers and tools can be used for more than photo pages and memory albums and the Internet really is the bride’s best friend when it comes to wedding planning.

Here are four steps to making your DIY ceremony programs a piece of (wedding) cake.

1. Choose Text
And no. I don’t mean font styles or colors, or even appropriate wedding verbiage. I mean the first step in creating your own wedding ceremony programs is to choose the information you want to include. Do you want a simple ceremony program that includes the “who” and “when” of the day or do you want a more detailed outline of what your guests can expect?

Search the Internet for details on the various kinds of programs other brides are currently using. A great list of templates is available here and here.

2. Think Style
Ceremony programs range in style from ultra-formal to cute and casual. You will need to choose your program style to coordinate with your wedding day. A hand held ceremony “fan” might be perfect for a fun, outdoor wedding but will look out of place in a formal, church setting. Likewise, glam and glimmer would be perfect for an elegant church or hotel wedding but would look silly at an outdoor, garden wedding.

Always consider your wedding day style when choosing your programs-or any other element to your wedding. You want your wedding to look coordinated, not like a 2nd grade crafts project.

3. Find a Sample
Go to Google, or your favorite Internet search engine, and enter the words “wedding programs.” Instead of clicking through the websites that come up, click the tab for “images” and search from there. You will get a variety of ideas and inspiration for your own programs.

You could also look at the site where you ordered your invitations and see if they have coordinating programs or even look at websites you know you can’t afford and see how you can modify their programs and do them yourself.

The Knot recently listed details for creating five types of wedding day programs, complete with a materials list and detailed instructions. Other samples can be found on American Greetings website and Custom Programs.

4. Put it Together
To create top-notch wedding programs, you are going to need some time, some patience, some friends and some materials. Depending on what you chose, you will likely need the following items in addition to your computer and color printer.

- Scalloped scissors
- Hole punch
- Design hole punch (for example, I bought a leaf hole punch and used it to create leaves on my programs, menu cards, etc. I then glued card stock behind the leaf so a different color would show through.)
- Card stock (several colors and/or textures)
- Brads
- Ribbon
- Other accessories

I recommend purchasing materials to create a model program. Play with your font types, sizes and colors and experiment with different ribbons, bows or accessories. Ask your family members or friends for input or suggestions and most of all … have fun.

If you get stumped and can’t move forward, ask your local crafts store for recommendations or advice.

Did you make your own programs? What websites did you find useful?

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