Let’s face it, there are certain elements of your wedding that you’ll put a ton of effort into and most of your guests won’t even notice.
Some guests won’t notice the painstaking amount of detail you put into your centerpieces. Some won’t notice the decor at your ceremony. And many guests will not pay any attention to your wedding program.
But is that going to stop you from making one? Of course not!
When creating your wedding program, don’t leave out the most important part: the thank you.
A thank you message in your wedding program is your opportunity as the bride and groom to express your sincere gratitude for your guests’ attendance. If you are having a large wedding, you might not have the time to thank everyone in person, so here’s your chance.
Lots of brides and grooms have difficulty with their wedding program thank you wording. What’s the best way to express your gratitude? How long should your thank you message be?
Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about writing the perfect thank you note in your wedding program.
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Why The “Thank You” Section is So Important
Honestly, the wedding program itself is not that important. Unless you have a long procession with lots of readings and rituals, the program isn’t essential (though they do make for a handy fan during a hot ceremony).
If you do decide to create one, the “thank you” at the end is the most crucial part of the entire thing. It’s customary (and considerate) to thank your loved ones for sharing such an important day with you.
As we mentioned above, this section may be your only opportunity to let your guests know how appreciative you are of their love and support. When you talk to your guests in person, it’s easy to forget all of the things you wanted to say. Put those thoughts on paper and make them permanent.
Plus, your wedding program might be the only thing your guests take home with them. So make sure to end it on a positive note.
But not all thank yous are created equal...
How to Write a Short Thank You Note
Some couples choose to keep it short and sweet. Others choose to write a few paragraphs or an entire page. The length of your thank you is entirely up to you.
You can show your gratitude in as little as one or two sentences. Your statement can be as simple as:
“Thank you to all of our friends and family members for sharing in this special day!”
Here are some other examples of short and sweet thank you messages:
How to Write a Long Thank You Message
Some couples use wedding programs to thank everyone important to them. Others use it as a way to tell the entire story of their relationship--from how they met to the challenges they overcame along the way.
It’s fine to include these details, just make sure you don’t get lost in talking about yourself. After all, the whole point of the thank you is to thank people, not to indulge in how fabulous your relationship is!
Regardless of how long your program is, it’s common practice to thank your parents for their love and support. Another nice sentiment is to thank those people who supported your relationship through the years.
It’s also traditional to thank your guests for attending the wedding ceremony.
Here are some of our favorite examples of a longer thank-you message:
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Generalized or Personalized?
If you want to go the easy route, make your thank you generalized and direct it to all of your guests.
But if you’d rather drive yourself crazy, it’s totally okay to mention individual people by name. We’ve even seen some couples create a crazy long list of every single person who helped in planning or paying for the wedding. If that’s what you want to do, go for it (Just make sure you don’t accidentally leave anybody out!).
What’s the best way to make sure you don’t forget anybody? Keep it short!
And remember, spread your “thank yous” around equally. In other words, if you thank the bride’s parents, make sure you thank the groom’s parents too. Your mother-in-law will never forget if she’s left out of the program, we promise.
Some couples also commemorate friends or relatives who’ve passed on. The program is the perfect place to give a special thank you to those who can’t be there to celebrate your wedding day.
You’ll send out thank you cards to every guest later on. So, don’t feel like you have to include every individual in your program!
Don’t Forget to Include This in Your Wedding Program Wording
Are you having a destination wedding? Are guests traveling long distances to be at your event?
If so, be sure to thank them in the program. Somewhere in there, add a brief line that says something like:
“We are grateful for those of you who have traveled so far to be here today.”
“Thank you to those who have traveled near and far to join us on this important day.”
Lines like this are a simple way to thank guests who flew or drove miles to take part in your wedding celebration. Guests will appreciate that you took the time to include that sentiment!
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Other Details to Include in Your Wedding Program
At the end of your thank you, it’s a good idea to include the time and location of your reception.
Sure, your wedding invitations already include this info, but mentioning it again in the program can be super helpful. After all, you can’t expect that every guest will bring the invitation with them!
You can also use your wedding program to give special thanks to your wedding party. List the names of your maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. If they helped you plan your big day or paid for their suits and dresses, the least you can do is say thanks!
If you create wedding ceremony programs, make sure to include a heartfelt thank you at the end. Sure, most guests won’t even notice if you leave it out. But some people definitely will.
When it comes to the thank you wording, don’t drive yourself nuts. Just be sincere, express your gratitude, and you’ll be fine.
As you sit down to write, think about all of the people who are special to you. Thank your parents, your grandparents, and anyone else who made your wedding day possible. If you have close friends and relatives who have passed on, you might want to thank them too.
Just remember, if you decide to thank individual people, make sure you don’t leave anyone out! The thank you is a way to show your appreciation, and the last thing you want is for it to hurt someone’s feelings.