How Many Ceremony Programs Do You Need?

It’s the most common question I receive when it comes to those wedding day items. And it’s a good one because you don’t want to have too many and you don’t want to run out.

Ceremony Programs. How many do you need? How many should you order?

wedding programs, how many to order

So here is my tried and true answer. Now, I must also comment, there are factors that can change this, but my rule of thumb is:

Order the same number you did for invitations.


In most cases, couples will take one program. For a husband/wife couple, more times than not, the wife is going to take a program, the husband is not. So right there, they got an invitation, they’re taking a program.

Now what if couples take more than one? And what if a kid or two takes one?

Then that’s where you’ll have a few extra programs from guests who could not make it to your wedding.

A few factors to consider:

Take a look at that RSVP list you have going and see if this makes sense. If you have a lot more people coming than you thought, maybe bump that number up a bit. Not as many? Do the opposite.

Also consider how the programs are being handed out, if at all. If programs sit there, waiting to be grabbed, less people will take one.

My good friend told me she ran out of programs at her wedding. I was a bit surprised, but come to find out, her two 7-year-old nephews were handing them out and made sure to hand one out to every. single. person. who walked by. So yes, she ran out.

Lesson: If you have someone passing out the programs, the higher likelihood of every couple getting one (as long as you instruct the attendant one per couple vs. one per person).

Keep this tip in mind when designing and ordering your ceremony programs!

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