Today’s the day, dear readers! Four years ago today, Mr. P and I were doing this. Happy anniversary, Mr. P!
It’s sometimes easy to forget, with all the dresses and paper projects and fancy food, that the point of a wedding is getting married. On our wedding day, I announced to my family that my only plans for the day were “to wear my white dress and marry Mr. P” – and in retrospect, the white dress was pretty much optional.
I really do think that, despite all the wedding planning noise, we kept our eye on the ceremony prize. We planned it together very thoughtfully (using the good ol’ Catholic wedding pre-set scripts, but still). Without a doubt, that was the only thing that needed to go right (in the sense of being married to Mr. P by the end of it). And one thing that helped to make sure it went right was our wedding programs.
Everyone used them, from our priest...
to Mr. P and me (we couldn’t remember everything)....
to the littlest members of the celebration, reading it upside-down and backward.
Here’s the thing. Mr. P and I are Catholic, but most of our family isn’t. Like... only one side of his family and almost none in mine. It was important to us to have a full Catholic Nuptial Mass, but it was also important for everyone to feel included and like they knew what was going on. We couldn’t count on everyone to know when to sit or to stand or to say “Amen” – and I really didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable for not knowing (since they were actually in the majority in the room).
Hence: VERY DETAILED wedding programs.
Like... 20-page long programs. I typed out every dang response that would be said in the service, every dang time you needed to stand, every dang thing that Catholics know just by attending church every Sunday but that our congregation would not (necessarily).
And I was going to share it with you here – because projects are even more productive when I can share hard work with you and save you time! – until I remembered that the Catholic liturgy has changed since 2010. But! You can find an updated version of the full Mass (with all congregation responses) here, and figure out which parts of that you need by checking out the wedding liturgy here. Because I am nothing if not helpful between all my grammatically incorrect sentences!
As for how I physically put it together... well, that was an experience in and of itself. Once I had typed out our program, I had to figure out exactly which page went where. It’s not obvious that the content from page 16 (in order) actually needs to appear on the same as page 5.
I actually made a miniature copy with folded, stapled papers, numbered the pages, and dissembled it to make sure I had it just right. Whew.
Once I was 100% sure I had a correct master copy, we xeroxed the program with ivory paper, then collated and trimmed the pages to make the pages of our square programs.
Then came the cover. I knew I wanted black square programs (square would mimic our invitations but also it’s 12x12” cardstock cut in half, then folded in half. EASY.) But the outer design took me a few tries.
I finally decided on the latter. I showed you how I made the silhouette logos the other day. To make the “binding”, I simply scanned a sheet of scrapbook paper, resized the design to my liking, and printed out a ton of sheets. I then cut the paper into strips, folded it in half, and glued it on the outside of the folded cardstock.
Finally, since I was oddly but vehemently opposed to ribbon, Mr. P and I just stapled them all using a giant stapler... at a FedEx Kinko’s. We just wandered in one night, asked if we could use it, and the clerk was like, “Uh, sure, I guess!” We didn’t have to buy a thing! Not sure if that’s standard policy, but it sure did work out well for us.
But my favorite part of our programs – besides the color scheme, besides the option for all to participate – was this:
We signed every. single. program. by hand. How many people noticed it? Probably few, if any. But it was another one of those little signs that Mr. P and I were so grateful to have each and every person there, enough to put our mark (literally) on every program.
Although the programs sound like a ton of work, we didn’t spend a lot of money – a pack of ivory copier paper, a pack of black cardstock for the cover, a pack of ivory cardstock (for the seal on the cover), and regular paper and printer ink for the binding pattern. So we spent maybe twenty bucks on the whole shebang! There’s no way I could have gotten a hundred professionally printed programs for twenty bucks – and since they were a labor of love for our ceremony and our guests, my time was free.
Thankfully, all went according to the program... and according to plan.
I got to marry Mr. P, you guys! And I couldn’t be happier about it, today and every day.