With so much to think about and plan for your big day, it can be difficult to figure out exactly when you should start your wedding programs. If you’re simply planning on firing up the old printer and cranking out a bunch of 8.5″ x 11″ black and whites, then feel free to hold off until the day before. But if you have a bigger vision for your wedding programs, you’re going to need time to plan and gather everything you’ll need to blow your guests away.
What information do I need to complete my wedding programs?
Without a doubt you’ll need the basics: Wedding date/location, name of bride and groom (hopefully this won’t change during the planning process!), start times, names/titles of wedding participants, and ceremony details. The details of the ceremony (order of service, readings, music, etc.) can come together pretty late in the game, so be sure you let your officiant know that you’ll need everything confirmed with time to spare.
What if I want more unique wedding programs?
There are a ton of incredibly creative ways you can go with your wedding programs, and some styles will require more of you. You may very well need to come up with some original writing about your big day or provide engagement photos or photos of you friends and family. Begin researching wedding program options at least a few months out. And if you figure out what you want, then reach out and establish a relationship with the company or designer. You don’t have to buy anything right away, but figure out what you’ll need to provide and when.
How long does it take to print wedding programs?
It’s best to work backward from your wedding date when figuring out your timeline. Figure that any type of quality programs will have to be printed professionally and delivered to you. This can take anywhere from a week to several months depending upon several factors, including:
- Quantity needed (Large runs can be demanding, especially for handmade programs)
- Quality of paper (Does your printer have enough in stock, or will they have to order additional paper?)
- Printing method (Die cutting can slow this process down considerably)
- Delivery (Are you getting them shipped to your house or to your destination in another country?)
- So when should I order my wedding programs?
Ultimately it depends on what you’re getting. If you want 50 printouts on colored paper, feel free to wait until the last minute. If you want 500 hand-crafted, calligraphic, giraffe-shaped masterpieces, you might want to give it a little more time. Generally speaking, though, it’s best to figure out what you want early and be ready to create your wedding programs at least a month before your big day.