Wedding DIY: Programs

Welcome to my third (!) post about DIY paper products for our wedding! I previously covered our signage and table numbers/escort cards, and today I’m going to show how I made our programs. Spoiler: it’s a lot of borrowing ideas and concepts from other people on the internet haha


I previously showed a sneak peek of our programs in my pre-wedding post when we were one month out from the big day. As I mentioned in that post, we knew that we wanted an infographic-style program that was simple, informative, and fun. These were some examples I shared in that post:


And again, while I really like both of these (1 and 2), I was really having a hard time finding a program that had a font we liked, pictures and text the way we wanted, and all the other details exactly like we had in mind. So, as per typical Kaela methods – I did them myself!

Our first step was to make a list of all the “categories” we wanted on our programs. Some examples as seen on the programs above: listing of parents’ and officiant’s name, listing of bridal party’s names, order of events, where our guests traveled from, a timeline of our relationship, fun facts about us…you get the idea. Some things we decided we definitely wanted on ours were:

  • obvious things: our names, wedding date, location
  • bridal party, our parents, and our officiant
  • the fact that Teddy would be making an appearance
  • our honeymoon destination
  • our hashtag
  • some kind of timeline of things in our relationship/planning stats
  • a timeline of the events for the evening
  • some sort of thank you to our guests

There were a few things that we put on the “maybe” list, like info about where our guests were visiting from or a longer, more extensive written out list of events. With all this in mind, I headed into photoshop!

Like I mentioned in my post about making our signs, I knew that we would be sizing these down in printing, so I started with a larger canvas than necessary. We decided our programs would be about 5.5×8.5″, so I started with a canvas of 11×17″.

First I used the ruler tool to roughly divide the page into sections. I figured the front should include the most important info – everybody’s names and the basic wedding info.

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 18.27.48.png

I made some faint gray lines to start and originally planned to leave them there only for guidelines and remove on the final product, but I ended up liking them that way so they stayed. I started with a basic outline of the info we wanted on this page and played with fonts and spacing until it looked nice. I also decided to put the thank you on the front – it fit in the space well and was a pretty important part of the program too!

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It’s really coming together!! I had to play around with fonts a lot until I found ones I liked but I’m happy with how it came out. The fonts here are Buttercup for the headers, Lemon Milk Light for the subheaders, and Bodoni XT for the paragraph text. I also had to play around a lot to get the plum color that matched our decor perfectly – the one I ended up with is #8d2a7a. Oh, and that little heart at the bottom is actually from an all-hearts font called Love Dings!

I was pretty happy with the basic info done on the front at this point. As I started to see how well they were turning out I started to get excited and more confident in how it was looking! The front wasn’t quite finished yet – I knew I wanted to add a few pictures and things there still – but I decided to run with my success so far and start working on the back.

This was definitely going to be the more ambitious side because I had a lot more information to put on and wasn’t sure yet what would fit where. I used the same technique from the front of using the thin grey lines to separate the page into sections, and spent a LOT of time messing around with wording and designs. I ended up with this basic layout:

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Then I started filling in the sections with the stuff we wanted. This was very haphazard and it took me a while to get things just right. Here’s what I ended up with:

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I realize this is very quick in going from a blank page with lines to a fully designed program but rest assured this took me a while and I think you’ll understand the thought process without me explaining step by step what I did for each panel haha

For all of the icons here I literally just googled to find what I wanted, things like “wedding ring silhouette clipart”:

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 21.08.27.png

I searched through til I found one I liked. Then I copied the image into photoshop and fixed any weird spots, and used the magic wand tool to delete the white backgrounds. I tried to make sure they were all similar in style so that nothing stuck out. The ruler tools in my version of photoshop (CC 2017) really helped in making sure the icons were all evenly spaced and sized. As you can see I put in some Disney touches here, like the Mickey head as the Disneyland marker on our honeymoon tile and Cinderella as the dancing icon under the schedule!

I was really happy with the back of the program, so now I just had to put the finishing touches on the front. Like I said, I knew I wanted some silhouettes of a bride and groom to make it a bit more like that infographic style that we wanted. First I moved the top text to the side so I could fit a little bride and groom up there.

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 18.40.10.png

Then I just googled “bride and groom silhouette” until I found one I liked. This part was actually pretty easy! After I found one I played with the colors a bit so I could give her a purple bouquet and then slapped it on there.

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 18.41.17.png

Once I did that I quickly realized that I needed them to be gray instead of black to make it look a little less harsh! You can also see that the bouquet was more true purple here than plum – this is from the first draft before I ended up finding the plum color that I liked.

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 18.40.44.png

Adjusting the saturation and brightness a little worked perfectly! But it was still missing something…

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There we go. Just needed a little Teddy! For Teddy’s silhouette I did the same thing, just searched for “Pomeranian silhouette” and picked one I liked. I had to edit the one I found a little bit to make it look more like our Pomeranian – I adjusted his little snout a bit and also gave him a fluffier tail. No detail could be spared for my fluffy son.

The front was looking really good now – almost done!

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 18.49.06.png

But I still felt like it was missing a little something. I decided to see how we liked it with a few more silhouette people, and I searched and found some little shadowy bridesmaids and groomsmen. After some quick color adjustments to the flowers and tie, they looked great!!

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 18.50.42.png

Annnd just like that, the front was all done! I am so happy with how they turned out!

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Once they were completely done, I saved the files as jpegs so we could size them down and get them printed. I also made sure to save them with a transparent background since we would be printing them on ivory paper, not white. We used a laser printer and some nice shimmery paper from Michael’s. We were able to get two on each 8.5×11″ piece of paper – I was SO excited with how they turned out when I saw them in person!


Also, just a side note: something that really helped me in designing all of this was keeping my layers organized. I made each section of text its own layer that was named and categorized according to what part of the page it was on. I have done too many photoshop projects where I get confused about what “Layer 24” is and I was not messing around this time haha

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 18.40.38.png

Also, I’m really streamlining my description of how long it took me to do all these things – I worked on these for a few hours a day for about a week to get things exactly how we wanted! When I say I “played with” the layout/colors/whatever it means that I spent several hours on my computer at a time trying to get what was in my head translated into photoshop. Sometimes I had to pause or work on another project for a little while when I got frustrated or needed a break. It was a time consuming project and I have a lot of respect for graphic designers who do things like this for a living!!

And that’s how I made our beautiful programs! I am so happy with how they turned out and I’m really glad we did them ourselves. It was much more cost effective and I truly think I wouldn’t have been able to get exactly what we wanted if I hadn’t done it myself. I hope that if you’re planning to make your own programs or any other paper products, these posts have empowered you into knowing you CAN do it yourself 🙂

Anywho thank you for reading this post as usual, and I hope you enjoyed it! If you have any other questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer. You can find more of my wedding posts here, and specifically my wedding DIY posts here! I’m almost done with all my wedding content but I think I still have some things to write about so keep an eye out if you’re interested 🙂 xo!


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