Wedding Program Examples and
Sample Ceremony Wording

Having read through boxes of wedding program examples the new bride is armed with an all-seeing, all-knowing overview of the big day itself and everything that goes with it. Right? Well maybe. The truth is no two wedding parties are the same and many weddings also follow ethnic traditions as well. It's also worth remembering some of the examples of wedding programs may have been written decades ago and are as relevant as top hats and walking canes.

Of course, no experienced wedding planner would be without a wedding ceremony program outline, but not everyone has the means to hire a wedding planner for the big day. In the past, most people drew on the experience of their nearest and dearest and prayed they didn't leave anything (or anyone) out.

I recommend you don't rely on chance. Among the myriad of wedding program kits and free wedding program templates out there, I found an excellent wedding program sample with a few wedding program ideas as well. You'll notice in the sample wording for wedding programs, the roles of the entire wedding party are included. Nothing is left to chance and nobody is forgotten. Even better, everybody's role and function is clearly listed and nobody is left guessing as to what is coming next.

Wedding programs tend to be discarded once the ceremony is finished so it's probably good advice not to make them too big or ornate. Ideal size is small enough to fit in a man's pocket or lady's handbag. Have a look through the sample wedding ceremony program below and personalise it to your own needs if you wish.

sample wedding ceremony program
Sample Wedding Ceremony Program

Excepts below from

Sample Wedding Programs Templates

" Program Title
" Order of Service
" Acknowledgement of Participants
" Messages and Notations

This section is generally positioned at the top of the inside left-hand page for programs with full cover designs and usually includes the following:

Day and Date
Ceremony Location
City and State

Suggestions for the descriptive phrase are:


Outlines with Sample Wording for Wedding Programs

The Wedding Ceremony Program outlines the individual service segments Prelude, Processional, Solo, Invocation, Scripture Reading, Marriage Ceremony, Lighting of Unity Candle, Benediction, Recessional, etc. Depending on faith, the customs and liturgical terminology will vary. It is best to consult with your clergy/officiant regarding the service.

A Sample Wedding Ceremony Program Order of Service:

Prelude: Can be Solo [parents, grandparents ushered in]
Bridesmaids Processional:"Canon" by Pachelbel
Bridal Processional: "Bridal Chorus" by Wagner
Welcome and Prayer by Officiant [Call to Worship in religious ceremony - see WELS Ceremony]
Reading by friend, family member, or officiant, etc. See Readings.
Solo: "Only God Could Love You More" by Niles Borop & Dwight Liles
Wedding Message by Officiant
Marriage Rite (vows, exchange of rings, declaration of marriage)
Lighting of the Unity Candle by Bride/Groom
Solo: "your choice of music" [can be sung while lighting candle]
Wedding Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Blessing of the Marriage/Benediction
Recessional: "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn or "Trumpet Voluntary -D" by H. Purcell

Other Items to Include

Other items to include are music titles with composers and/or performers, book and poem titles with authors and/or readers, scripture passages with readers, hymn titles with hymnal page numbers, words for short congregational prayers, and any special notations. Generally, there is not enough room to include entire songs or readings. If these items are not available in church hymnals or prayer books, they could be printed on the back side of the program. Permission to reprint copyrighted material must be gotten from the respective publisher.

Wedding Party Participants

Participants can be grouped and sequenced using titled headers to separate the groupings, or everyone can be listed in a logical sequence under the single heading, "Wedding Participants." Be consistent with respect to naming individuals. Names should be preceded with titles such as Mrs., Ms., or Miss. Given names should be used, instead of nicknames.

Example One:

Bridal Attendants and Participants

Parents Mrs. Carol Smith
Mr. Philip Smith
Mrs. Mary Jones
Dr. Ralph Jones
Grandparents Mr. Russell Martin
Mrs. Alice Larsen
Matron of Honor Mrs. Alicia Bright
Friend of Bride
Bridesmaids Miss Kari Kraemer
Friend of Bride
Ms. Debbie Smith
Sister of Bride
Best Man Mr. Craig Rosenberg
Friend of Groom
Groomsmen Mr. Joeseph Casselli
Friend of Groom
Mr. Mark Carter
Cousin of Groom
Flower Girl Miss Shellee Turner
Niece of Bride
Ring Bearer Mr. Brian Martinson
Nephew of Groom
Ushers Mr. Harry Tilson
Friend of Groom
Mr. Chris Fisher
Friend of Groom
Pastor Rev. Mathew Edwardman
Organist Mrs. Janet Meier
Friend of Bride
Soloist Mr. Martin Anderson
Friend of Couple

Example Two:

The Bridal Party

Officiate The Honorable Judge Mark Johnson
Matron on Honor Pamela Shueler - Friend of Bride
Best Man Louis Praster - Friend of Groom
Reader Sharon Mitchel - Cousin of Bride
Ushers Thomas Shueler - Friend of Bride & Groom
Personal Attendant Jodi Johnson
Parents Michael & Susan Cruzes
Paul & Karen Jordan
Music by The Baroque Trio

Wedding Ceremony Program Wording
Message and Notation Section:

This section can be positioned at the bottom of the right-hand page or on the program's backside if blank. Short personal messages or expressions of thanks to the guests from the bride and groom are very appropriate and make for a lasting keepsake. As an alternative to the personal message, a special prayer, poem or short quotation might nicely express your feelings. Notations regarding the reception, picture-taking restriction, viewing of gifts, new home address or other information necessary for guests should be at the bottom of the page.

Following are some samples of personal messages or expressions of thanks you may want to have printed on your wedding programs, or spoken during the ceremony.

"Thank you for sharing this happy day with us."

"Thank you for sharing this service with us. You have added to our joy by being with us on our wedding day."

"We are honored you can share these sacred and joyous moments with us today. May God bless each one of you."

"Special thanks to everyone for sharing in this joy of ours today."

"Thank you for sharing this service with us on our wedding day."

"We have waited with much anticipation for this day to arrive and give thanks to God for creating both of us to be with one another. We are also very thankful that our families and friends could be here to share this blessed experience with us. We are grateful for the distances that many have traveled to be here with us today. The love of everyone here warms our hearts and fills us with cherished memories."

"Thank you for sharing these precious moments with us and for witnessing our vows to each other. You are invited to the home of the groom at ____________, where the gifts may be seen following the reception."

"We would like to express our gratitude to our parents for their love and guidance. We also would like to thank our relatives and friends for coming today to share our joy. We ask God's blessing and your prayers upon our marriage."

"Especially for our parents - Thank you for bringing us to this day. We have learned love from you and hope in our marriage to always return it to you."

"To our parents, who have been so patient and understanding and have given us so much love and encouragement, thank you. On this very special day in our lives, we want you to know WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!"

"We would also like to express our gratitude to the many others who have freely given of their ideas, support and labor to make this day possible."

"Thank you for sharing this special day with us. That so many of our friends and family, especially those who came from such great distances, could be here to help us celebrate our marriage means a great deal to us. We pray that God will grant you a safe journey to your homes when the festivities have ended. May He always bless and enrich your lives with joy and love as much as you have enriched our with your friendship and generosity."

"It means a great deal to us to have each of you here today. Thank you for witnessing our expression of love for each other through the vows that begin our new life together. We feel that our love stems from our capacity to love deeply, enjoy simply, and to think freely. Our special wish is that each of you will continue to be a part of our lives. Without friends, family and parents, we have very little."

"As our hearts are joined and we begin our new life together, we pause to look at everyone here on our special day. We find it difficult to put into words our feelings to those who share our love and happiness. Words seldom go quite deep enough when thanks should be expressed. We would like at this time to thank those who wish us well. We would especially like to thank our parents and our brothers and sisters who not only wish us well, but who are always there when we need them. May God bless you always."

"To our families and friends - We are honored that you are here to help us celebrate this very important day in our lives. On this day, we shall vow our love and commitment to one another before God and you. It is our prayer that God be glorified in this service and each of you receive His blessing."

"WELCOME TO OUR WEDDING CEREMONY - We, the bride and groom, are honored to have you as our guests today. We want you to share these happy and sacred moments with us. May the blessing of the Lord be on all of us as we worship together. It is our desire that Christ shall be honored, not only in this ceremony, but in the years to come. We want him to be the head of our home and the Lord of our lives."

"We would like to express our sincerest thanks to all of you for helping us make this day a joyous celebration - especially our parents who gave us life; our families who shared our life; our relatives and friends who helped us grow up to this special day."

"TO OUR WEDDING GUESTS - Your presence here adds greatly to our joy and happiness on this day which marks the beginning of our lives together. We stand before you now, declaring before God and this congregation, our love for each other and for our intent to be joined in marriage; to share with each other without reservation our lives, fortunes and future. We hope that you will continue to wish us well in our new life as you have done in the past, and will pray for our continued happiness and success."

Partial Article & Excepts from

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