Miss Bighorn Sheep, Sydney, NSW, AustraliaAge and Occupation: 25, Postgraduate Student & Aspiring WriterFiance's Age and Occupation: 30, IT ConsultantEngagement Date: April 11, 2012Wedding Date: February 2014Venue: The Hunter Valley Gardens & Tamburlaine Organic WinesAbout Me: I’m a geeky, nerdy, and occasionally dorky girl who was born and raised in a fairly traditional Chinese family in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The only crafty bone in my body pertains to digital art, though I’ll give something a good crack if I can! I met my fabulous fiancé online, and after we decided to meet up and catch a movie by the awesome Christopher Nolan, we’ve been together since! We love Disney, superheroes, reading, coffee, high-fives, and anything pertaining to Joss Whedon (him more than I, haha!). Our favourite kind of date is one where we’re re-watching episodes of our favourite TV shows (we’ve done Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly, and are just moving on to Supernatural), or movie-marathon’ing until the wee hours in the morning (LOTR, I’m looking at you!). We enjoy playing board games and video games together, and can get pretty competitive! We’ve described our upcoming nuptials as the “Co-op Campaign of a Lifetime” and we’re super, super, super excited for it! We’ll be getting married among beautiful vineyards in the Hunter Valley, beautiful wine country a two-hour drive from Sydney, celebrating with 140 of our nearest and dearest. Our wedding will be a hodgepodge of traditional elements and geek-chic goodness!
I’ve been agonising over this for a while, and I know it’s silly, but guys…
Do I make wedding programs for our guests?
I know I want people to know who our bridal party is, and I’d like to give some information to our guests, especially as there will be some things that aren’t “standard” at both ceremonies (heck, one ceremony is beyond standard for half of the wedding guests), but…I don’t want to waste the money and time designing and printing programs with the knowledge that it’s going to be thrown away.
I guess the same can be said about our invitations.
I think the thing that bothers me the most about programs is the fact that you have to be succinct about the information you give, but we’ll have a lot happening, and I don’t know if it’s entirely possible.
Granted, I’ve seen some gorgeous wedding programs, and they make me think I should do programs, but I don’t know, hive.
The two I’ve been tossing up are the double sided rack card wedding programs:
Mrs. Jet Setter, New BedfordAge and Occupation: 29, Quality Assurance Manager for Handbag Co.Fiance's Age and Occupation: 33, Human Services Case ManagerEngagement Date: March 18, 2012Wedding Date: October 2013Venue: Bittersweet Farm, Westport, MAAbout Me: I'm a type-A, New England girl with ethnic roots from Ireland and Italy to Portugal and Canada marrying a 100% Portuguese stud. My love runs deep for my dear, dysfunctional Red Sox and a great cup of clam chowder. Fall is my favorite season up in New England, which is perfect for our October nuptials! I love Mr. Jet (obvs!), our quirky chihuahua Bruce Banner, all things Harry Potter, and old-school Saturday Night Live. I'm a traditionalist at heart, but a very forward-thinking tattooed bride. I can't wait to call Mr. Jet my husband and start the next chapter of our lives together! Slainté!
Mrs. Campfire, Seattle, WAAge and Occupation: 26, Researcher, Counselor, StudentFiance's Age and Occupation: 29, Software Developer ManagerEngagement Date: January 14, 2012Wedding Date: September 2013Venue: Sodo ParkAbout Me: I'm currently a graduate student in mental health counseling, and I work at two super-awesome jobs. I love dinosaurs, shoes, macaroni and cheese, and fancy dresses. I love to cook and bake, and I'm very excited about getting crafty. Mr. Campfire and I met totally by chance at a party of a mutual friend, and the rest is history. Together we're planning a wedding that is lighthearted and sweet, featuring a ridiculous amount of lights/lanterns and some delicious food!
Our wedding is getting closer and we’re rapidly tying up the loose ends and finishing all our projects. We’re still trying to take care of ourselves, too, and one way that we did that recently was to take a little break and grab some brunch with people some of you may know:
Mostly, though, we are in full-on wedding prep mode. There are a lot of ways to tell that we’re getting close to the wedding—the calendar, the seating chart, the stress level, the programs…the programs? Yes, the programs.
For me, at least, I associate programs with the final steps in wedding-day preparation. They outline the day and, in most cases, can’t be put together until all the little pieces have fallen into place. Like the rest of ourpapersuite, I designed our programs using a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop.
I knew that I wanted it to fit with the rest of our paperproducts, so we purchased the same blue paper for the outside, and the same gray as the pocketfold for the accent. Then I put the idea on the back-burner for over a year until all the puzzle pieces began to fit together.
Hey Campfire guests—if you want to be surprised, you should probably stop reading now!
Mrs. Gray Wolf, Washington DCAge and Occupation: 26, Business Development ExecutiveFiance's Age and Occupation: 30, Research ScientistEngagement Date: November 11, 2011Wedding Date: February 2013Venue: Whittemore HouseAbout Me: I'm an ultra-organized, pun-loving, list-making, cheese-enthusiast bride-to-be. Although my day job is in cubicle land, I'm happiest in the modern art wing of a museum, having recently earned my Masters in Museum Studies. Shortly after a chance meeting five years ago, I moved in with Wolfman and haven't looked back since. We love music, movies, TV, and all things pop culture; we have an unspoken competition to be the first to share the latest YouTube sensation or indie song. Together, we've filled quite a few pages in our passports, but also love quiet nights in with a Game of Thrones marathon and our French Bulldog, Tonks (Harry Potter, anyone?). I'm planning a small, cozy winter wedding---think mercury glass and candle light---in the heart of DC. Our venue is a historic home with a lot of political charm, but needs a bit of work to be wedding-ready.
Mrs. Treasure, ChicagoAge and Occupation: 24, Law StudentFiance's Age and Occupation: 28, Equity AnalystEngagement Date: July 30, 2011Wedding Date: September 2012Venue: Saint James Chapel at Quigley Prep/Murphy AuditoriumAbout Me: I was born and raised in Indiana, but now live in sweet home Chicago. I'm a third-year law student and aspiring trial lawyer, which means Mr. T never wins an argument. Other than Mr. T, I love singing, exploring the Chicago restaurant scene, and Notre Dame football. We met in a musical (just like my parents!) and after 4 years together, we are excited to be planning our urban "destination" wedding.
By now, you all know that I love me some paper, so it should come as no surprise that I dedicated a lot of time to our ceremony programs.
I wanted our programs to be a little different than the folded piece of paper you typically see at weddings. To accomplish this, I decided to go with a different shape: a square.
The cover of the program was printed on cardstock and featured the same calligraphy as our save-the-dates and invitations. The other font (Copperplate Light) and the Chicago star also carry over from the save-the-dates and invitations.
We wrote a note to our family and friends, thanking them for coming.
Mrs. Armadillo, Houston, TexasAge and Occupation: 23, Graduate StudentFiance's Age and Occupation: 24, Armed Security OfficerEngagement Date: September 28, 2011Wedding Date: March 2013Venue: First Presbyterian Church/Bay City Civic CenterAbout Me: I’m an oldies-loving, board game-playing, coffee addicted fine arts junkie from Southeast Texas in pursuit of her master’s degree in communication studies who met the goofy, strong, artistic, and unexpected love of her life in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas. Serendipity threw us together again and again (and again) on our college campus before we eventually stuck, but when we finally did submit to destiny, we hit the ground running and never looked back! We’re planning a religious, small town, budget-friendly, DIY-infused “winter becomes springtime” ceremony and reception to celebrate the beginning of our lives together with the people we love the most, and are pouring our hearts and souls into making sure our wedding represents us as a couple down to the nitty gritty details and balances tradition with the quirky individuality that is uniquely and unequivocally “us”!
Today’s post is all about ceremony programs, which arguably means I’m doing this wedding-planning stuff a BIT out of order considering we have NONE of the ceremony details hashed out yet, but bear with me—when my eyes fell on this lovely wedding program by Martha Stewart, it was love at first sight:
Mrs. Dragon, Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ONAge and Occupation: 24, JournalistFiance's Age and Occupation: 35, Graphic DesignerEngagement Date: August 22, 2011Wedding Date: September 2012Venue: Mother of the Bride’s ResidenceAbout Me: I moved to Northern Ontario for a job, expecting to be single for the year I'd be there. Within one month I was dating a co-worker, and now, more than two years later, we’re planning a wedding and I’m still a Northern girl. I’m a reporter and a photographer for a small-town newspaper, and I get to do all kinds of fun, exciting, and sometimes weird things at work. When I’m not getting the scoop, I’m cooking, adventuring, playing with our three black cats, or blogging.
Mr. Dragon and I met while working at a newspaper, so I knew I wanted to include newspaper SOMEWHERE in our wedding. I saw a picture of a newspaper-inspired program on Pinterest at the start of our wedding planning and decided to make my own version!
Creating these programs was seriously such a hassle. I managed to lock myself out of the program I started creating them in, and had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get myself into an editable file one week before the wedding. And then, after I printed two of them, our printer ink ran out. I rush-shipped some ink, only to find out that the company had sent me an empty remanufactured cartridge. There were definitely tears.
But, it all worked out! I even found grey linen paper that seemed newsprint-y.
I made them on regular 8.5″ x 11″ paper, printed landscape-style, folded in half, and folded again in the middle to look like little tiny newspapers.
Mrs. Pony, Bloomington, ILAge and Occupation: 25, AttorneyFiance's Age and Occupation: 34, AttorneyEngagement Date: March 22, 2010Wedding Date: September 2011Venue: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard; Bloomington Center for the Performing ArtsAbout Me: I found my Southern counterpart in law school and since he popped the question last March, we have been busy graduating, job searching, bar taking, and wedding planning. My loves include must see TV, magnets, quotes, anything green, my car, fun socks, the Cubs, and my Mr. Together we love wine, playing outside, and exploring the world together. Stay tuned to see our Midwest wedding full of Southern charm, vintage flair, lots of DIY details, and a whole lot o’ wine.
I love fun, unique ceremony programs, particularly fans, but I knew early on that I needed to keep this project on the simple side for my sanity. What I didn’t know was that no program is just a “simple DIY,” at least not for me. Keeping what I thought would be a “simple DIY program” in mind, my first love were these beauties made by Mrs. Dachshund:
Mrs. Castle, NYC/Southern CaliforniaAge and Occupation: 26, Actress/BabysitterFiance's Age and Occupation: 31, Actor/Writer/Graphic DesignerEngagement Date: January 1, 2011Wedding Date: April 2012Venue: Padua Hills TheaterAbout Me: I am a Southern California girl living in the Big Apple. I moved here to put my degree in Musical Theater to work! My survival job is caregiver to an adorable 2 1/2 year old. When I'm not working, auditioning or rehearsing, I am hanging out at home with my FI and our two beloved cats. I love to read, sing, dance, hang with friends, and spend quality time with Mr. Castle watching our favorite TV shows (LOST, Big Bang Theory, and Mythbusters...to name a few). Mr Castle and I met while performing in college, so it is only fitting that our wedding take place at an old theater. We are planning a vintage, theater-inspired wedding with some DIY projects and plenty of personal touches thrown in. I love living in the city but I am excited to marry my man in the state where we fell in love.
Sorry I’ve been absent for a while. Those thank you notes took longer than I thought! Before I start my official recaps I wanted tell you all about some things I didn’t get to blog about before the wedding. I didn’t have time to write about them because I was scrambling to finish them!
The weeks leading up to the wedding were crazy. We were constantly working on projects that needed to be finished before we traveled to California. It was a stressful time, and some of our projects were not going as smoothly as we would have hoped. I have to say our biggest stress was caused by our programs.
Designing them was actually the easy part. I found the template for our programs by Googling “Wedding program template.” On the results list is a link that says, “[doc] Free wedding program template.” Clicking on it automatically downloads a template for Word that looks like this:
Mrs. Hawk, Richmond, VAAge and Occupation: 26, FinanceFiance's Age and Occupation: 30, District SupervisorEngagement Date: March 13, 2011Wedding Date: May 2012Venue: The Chapel of the Sir Christopher Wren Building, 2007 Legacy HallAbout Me: I’m an Arizona-born girl who has spent the majority of my life living below the Mason-Dixon line. The South has definitely earned a special place in my heart (alongside my Virginia born and bred fiance, of course!). We are planning a traditional Christian ceremony at my alma mater in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, followed by a rocking reception filled with Southern cooking and vintage/shabby chic details. When we’re not wedding planning, we enjoy spending time with our three dogs, going for runs together, watching plenty of football (or baseball depending on the season), and sampling new wine.
As you may or may not recall, even though I planned my wedding from start to finish, I really didn’t have a lot of real wedding experience. In fact, not counting my own, I’ve still only attended two weddings in my adult life. At the beginning of planning I felt a bit lost, but I found that in some ways it was a blessing. I think it may have relieved some stress from feeling obligated to participate in or do certain things simply out of tradition. In some ways, like our chapel wedding ceremony, we stayed very traditional, but in others we said “tradition shmadition.”
Although I loved our paper elements like our STDs and invitations, and was obsessedwithmonogramminganythingthatdidn’tmove, I was completely uninterested in the idea of creating a wedding-ceremony program. I guess I saw it more as a “nice to have” rather than a “need to have.” We weren’t having a super-long ceremony or participating in any special or unique ceremony elements that needed explaining. I suppose it would have been a nice place to call out and give thanks to the wedding party, but we had other things planned for them at the reception. In the end, I just said “to hell with it” and skipped them altogether.
However, in an effort to make sure all our guests still made it to the reception, I ended up making a simple map to distribute a la Mrs. Ballet Flat instead. I knew directions couldn’t be skipped since most of our guests were unfamiliar with the Williamsburg area, but eliminating the task of programs from my to-do list certainly made for less stress.
Mrs. Turkey, PhiladelphiaAge and Occupation: 29, Brand ManagementFiance's Age and Occupation: 28, ConsultantEngagement Date: February 2011Wedding Date: May 2012Venue: The Rittenhouse HotelAbout Me: I'm a marketer who loves a good glass of wine, anything pumpkin-flavored, every crime drama on TV and, of course, Mr. Turkey. It's funny to say out loud, but we're former coworkers turned betrothed---now planning a wedding in the city of Brotherly Love. For three years, we've been eating our way through Philadelphia, playing tourist at home, and cheering for every sports team in the 215. Although we've hit some unplanned snags along the way, we're determined to have a rocking party this spring with our loud, fun families and friends.
Mrs. Wizard, PittsburghAge and Occupation: 22, Front-end Web DeveloperFiance's Age and Occupation: 23, Software ProgrammerEngagement Date: June 8, 2011Wedding Date: June 2012Venue: Glades Pike Winery, Somerset, PAAbout Me: I’m a born-and-raised Pittsburgh girl marrying a born-and-raised Pittsburgh dude. I’m a stubborn Italian with a huge personality, and I love oldies music, baking, housewifery, and all things Harry Potter. He’s a quiet, level-headed guy who loves my cooking and laughs good-naturedly at my lack of verbal filter. He’s an intellectual who likes to learn, and can often be found going on "Wiki walks" and landing on the most hilariously weird articles imaginable. We truly are a case of "opposites attract," and we balance each other out perfectly. We keep each other sane and make each other laugh so hard we cry almost every day, and that’s all I could ever ask for. Together we’re planning a simple, elegant, summery June wedding, and we can’t wait to be Mr. and Mrs.!
There were two major DIYs left on our to-do list: programs and wine-cork place cards. (I know I said we weren’t going to do either of those, but after that bout of apathy wore off, we decided to do them after all. And I’m glad we did.) We had to wait until the very end to do these, though, because obviously we needed to finalize things like ceremony order, processional songs, and reception table seating. Once we figured all that out, it was all systems go for our last two DIYs.
First, the place cards. We ended up buying a kit of print-your-own place cards from Michaels, and printed them using the same font from our invitations (which is called Windsong, in case anyone is wondering). The cards were intended to be tent cards, but we just cut off the back part of the “tent” so that we just had flat place cards. Mr. Wiz’s dad sanded the bottoms off our corks with a belt sander, and cut a slit for the cards in the tops of them using a small saw, and that was that.
I’ll show you our photographer’s and videographer’s place cards as examples, because theirs won’t need any blurring of names:
Mrs. Fox, Washington DC/Havre de Grace, MDAge and Occupation: 26, Massage TherapistFiance's Age and Occupation: 28, Field Support EngineerEngagement Date: April 18, 2010Wedding Date: June 2012Venue: Vandiver InnAbout Me: I’m a dancer turned massage therapist who was born and raised in New York. Alas, true love has brought me “south” where I still maintain my penchants for pretty shoes, wine, crossword puzzles, cherry blossoms, and the Mets. I own more sunglasses than a normal person should and don’t eat red meat (though I make up for it by eating my weight in sushi). I tend to be a big planner who likes to get things started early, but generally end up being indecisive and procrastinating when it comes down to it. I have a (not so) secret crush on Chris Carrabba, but my loyalty and love ultimately goes to the future hubs, of course! Together, my Foxy man and I love to discuss (read: debate) politics and current events, have Mario Kart and Scrabble duels, and just laugh. A lot. We’re hoping and planning for a laid back, fun, summery, rustic vibe to our June wedding that will be genuinely “us” – that is, if we finally make some decisions. Huzzah!
I think I whinedenough these past few days, yes? Time for me to get. with. the. program.
The ceremony programs, that is! Har har har har.
Anyway, the programs have been one of those things on my to-do list from the start of wedding planning, but something that obviously needed to wait and be done closer to the end of it. I started seriously thinking about them about a month or two ago, and decided that they were something I just wanted to be done with at this point and have out of the way.It would be incredibly easy for me to wait until the week of the wedding to whip something up, but let’s get real. That will be one of the last things I’ll want to worry about next week! (Holy crap.)
But what exactly would these programs even look like?? While I’ve had lots of fun looking around and pinning inspiration pictures for the past two years, I kept being drawn back to the same three.
Mrs. Coyote, Westchester, NYAge and Occupation: 26, Administrative AssistantFiance's Age and Occupation: 30, Computer ProgrammerEngagement Date: August 2010Wedding Date: June 2012Venue: Franklin PlazaAbout Me: I am an overly-caffeinated, sports-obsessed history nerd who loves a good book and hates bananas. Originally from a small town in Upstate NY, I made the move to Westchester County and never looked back! My loves include NBC Thursdays, red wine, fleece pajamas, and my amazing fiancé. Together we are planning a formal evening affair for 175 guests with a mix of new and old traditions and plenty of personal touches.
…I ended up with a big ol’ booklet program. I made a list of all the information I wanted to include in the program, and realized that in order to keep it to one sheet of paper I was going to have to shorten it A LOT. I didn’t really want to take anything out, so I just ran with it… Read more…
Mrs. Mink, Charlottesville, VirginiaAge and Occupation: 34, College AdministratorFiance's Age and Occupation: 40, Craft Beer ConsultantEngagement Date: November 26, 2010Wedding Date: June 2012Venue: Pippin Hill Farm & VineyardsAbout Me: I left a pre-war brownstone in Boston six years ago to live in a funky, Southern city where Thomas Jefferson, Dave Matthews, and urban chicken keepers enjoy equal social standing. I still love my Patriots and Red Sox, but have fallen in love with Virginia. I work in education and specialize in integrating technology into my work to improve the student experience. I’m a diehard blogger, animal lover, jamband follower, and DIYer. I paint to relax and have transferred by energy from home projects to wedding projects in recent months. When Mr. Mink and I started talking about marriage, we knew our wedding would be outdoors, that my golden retriever would be part of the day, and that the music would be fantastic. We’ve taken a few risks during our planning process and we’ve been enjoying the process immensely!
I took a break from sharing pictures of our program fan project to tell you about the Jorge Manuel Upon a Star event I attended with Mrs. Pony. It’s time to get back to those details! As you may remember, I had the print center at work print our programs with some pretty bad results. A trip to an independent print shop fixed everything. I didn’t have too many extra sheets of the expensive card stock I ordered from Cards & Pockets, so the second printer had to use the backs of the pieces that were used (ruined?) by the first.
When I got home, I used a corner punch to round the corners of the card stock sheets. This was surprisingly time consuming work. The Martha Stewart punch I used could only handle two sheets of card stock at a time. I had 200 sheets of card stock and four corners on each sheet, so I had 400 punches to make. (It actually took more than that because I didn’t discover the punch could take two sheets until I was a good bit into the stack of paper.)
Photo by Miss Mink
I followed Mrs. Bunting’s advice and used some packing tape to secure the fan sticks I bought on Etsy to the card stock. I had to stare at that first, botched print job for hours while I taped.