How to Write the Perfect Wedding Program

As a planner, I always stress to my clients that creating an inviting and warm environment for your guests should be a main focus throughout the planning process. And one of the easiest ways to help make your guests feel welcome and involved with your wedding, is through the use of wedding program. These little jewels are a great way to help your friends and family understand any special or customary traditions within your wedding ceremony, introduce guests to whose who in the wedding party, and provide direction for the remaining events of the day.

Creating a great wedding program doesn’t have to be complicated or require a lot of time. If anything, I stress keeping things simple, practical and to the point. And a little creativity here or there never hurts either.

What should you include in your program?

Step one: Start with your names (simple, right?). You should first list the name of the bride and groom followed by the wedding date and location. 

Step two: Your program should then include the order of your wedding ceremony. This section can include detailed information such as special readings (poems, scriptures and passages, quotes, etc…), musical selections and any other inclusions presented throughout the ceremony. Be sure to include the names of any and all authors, composers, speakers and performers. Some couples also choose to include actual poems or song lyrics if they are especially meaningful to them. 

Step three: Identify your wedding party attendants and their relationship to you. You might also want to include a few sentences with regards to your relationship with this person. I also encourage clients to mention the name of the officiant and his or her relationship to the couple.

Step four: If you are including any religious traditions or customs throughout the ceremony, a brief explanation within the program can certainly help your guests understand the components of your ceremony, the meanings behind them, and their importance to you as a couple. 

Step five: If you wish to honor loved ones who have passed, the wedding program is a great place to pay tribute by including a poem, quote, photo or by sharing a loving memory. 

Don’t forget to get Creative!

Your wedding program can help set the tone for the rest of your event so take advantage! The wedding program is a great way to share with your guests more personalized and creative details about you as a couple. From song lyrics to favorite poems, your wedding program can tell more of your story and help all in attendance really get to know both of you.

In conclusion, when it comes to creating a wedding program that’s right for you, stick to the basics by including a run down of ceremony, acknowledge who is who in the wedding party, and personalize details to make your program stand out in order to set the tone for a wonderful wedding.

Article: Michelle Cousins for Michelle Leo Events | Graphic: Hannah Lee | Image: Tec Petaja | Calligraphy: Megan Tidwell

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07.03.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog

Romantic Lace Bridal Portrait Ideas

Last week, we had the the pleasure of sharing the sweetest, most romantic boudoir session from Erich McVey, and today, we’re happy to share the traditional bridal portraits they took as well. Bridal portraits, or bridals, are a right-of- passage for many brides in the South, but it seems like the tradition is waning a bit. We’d hate to see this tradition die so we’re especially happy that this beautiful bride took time out before her wedding to take these shots that her family will treasure forever.

If you are lucky enough to schedule bridals with your wedding photographer, make sure to print them to give to your parents to hang in their home (which is tradition). They’ll appreciate that you took the time to give them something special. They spend a lot of time (and probably money) on your wedding, and these shots of their favorite girl would be the perfect way to say, “Thank You!”

Tell us, are you planning bridals before or after your wedding? Are you planning on gifting some portraits to your family?

Photography: Erich Mcvey | Gown: Emily Riggs 

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07.02.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog

Win an Ecoura Engagement Ring!

We love when our sponsors host exciting contests, and we’re absolutely thrilled to tell you a little about an awesome giveaway from Reeds Jewelers and Ecoura Jewelry today! You can enter for a chance to win an Ecoura engagement ring- keep reading for details.

More couples are considering the environmental or social impact of purchasing an engagement ring than ever before. There are many factors to consider when you’re looking for the perfect ring to seal the deal, and if you’re looking for an engagement ring that is environmentally friendly, the Ecoura Bridal collection from Reeds Jewelers may be the perfect option.

When you purchase your Ecoura engagement ring, they plant a tree in your honor! How great is that? And Ecoura rings are also made from Renewed Gold, which is a sustainable alternative to newly mined gold. Because Renewed Gold is created by melting and refining gold that has already been mined, you’ll prevent the creation of 5-20 tons of environmental waste. Renewed Gold has an identical look and feel of freshly minted gold, but with less guilt. And Ecoura has a ring design for every type of bride: classic, vintage, and contemporary; so we’re sure you’ll find the perfect fit. Now, find your dream, eco-friendly Ecoura engagement ring today!

For a chance to enter an Ecoura engagement ring, start by filling out this entry form.

Steps to enter:

1. Complete the entry form.
2. Follow Reeds Jewelers on Pinterest.
3. Follow Ecoura on Pinterest.
4. Pin your favorite Eco-friendly wedding tip with inspiration from Reeds and Ecoura.


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07.02.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

DIY Messy Fishtail Braid Wedding Hairstyles


The fishtail braid is by far our favorite go-to hairstyle. It’s so unique, elegant, and super flexible. You can do a really tight, sophisticated braid, or you can mess with your braid a little bit to create a more casual, messy style. We worked with Christian Marc and Temptu to create this tutorial to show you how to create a perfectly styled, undone fishtail braid. We’d love to see a bride wear this with a more flowy, grecian style gown or even with a very structured modern dress to create a little contrast. Keep reading for the full instructions.

diy-messy-inside-out-fishtail-braid diy-tutorial-fishtail-braid

1. Start by pulling back clean, dry hair, and braid the upper half with a loose traditional braid.

2. Take a couple of pieces and pull them around the braid and pin with bobby pins to create a little texture at the top of the pony tail. Play with it a little bit until you’re happy with the way it looks. The messier, the better.

3. Take the remaining hair and use a fishtail style braid to finish the pony tail.

4. Create a messy look throughout the pony tail by pulling at the braid to loosen it up.

5. Secure the bottom of the braid with a small, clear rubber band or bobby pins.

6. Finish your new messy fishtail braid with our DIY Natural Bridal Makeup or our Elegant Evening Makeup look.

Creative Direction and Styling: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Photography: Meghan Kay Sadler | Makeup: Amy Clarke for Temptu | Hair: Christian Marc 

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06.30.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured