One common question when ordering wedding stationery is, “How many wedding programs do we need?”
Traditionally one wedding program is given to each couple. To get a fairly accurate estimate, you can figure 75-85% of the number of invitations sent. If you send 100 wedding invitations, then ordering 75-85 programs should be plenty. You can wait, depending on your timeline, until you get the RSVP’s returned to determine the program number but it can often save money to order the programs at the same time as the invitations to get a quantity discount on the paper. Keep in mind even if people RSVP, some people will not be able to make it to the ceremony.
Figure 75-85% of the number of invitations sent
The major factor in determining the number of programs is the way you will be dispersing them. Will you have someone handing them out to each couple or will you have them in a basket near the guestbook for guests to pick up on their own? If guests are left to pick them up, they may be overlooked. If you have a designated person handing them out and direct them to give one per person, you will likely still have leftovers. Many husbands will not take one and prefer to share with their wives.
Another way to disperse programs is by having one on each chair. In this case, you would want to order enough for the number of chairs that will be setup.
Don’t stress about the number!
From my experience, even with the nephew who took 3 and used them for paper airplanes, ordering 85% of the number of invites is a good number to ensure you have enough programs but not a ton leftover. Don’t stress about the number- if you run out, it’s not a major mishap. Programs are not required for weddings so if the last 5 people who walked in right as the ceremony began did not receive one, the wedding will still go on!
Every wedding is unique so circumstances vary. Please let me know if I can be of any help in determining the number of wedding programs you should order.