The Art of the Wedding Program Thank-You Note: How to Express Gratitude

Thank your guests, because you didn’t get here on your own.
christin perry the knot
Christin Perry
christin perry the knot
Christin Perry
E-Commerce Contributor
  • Christin specializes in writing gift guides and shoppable articles for The Knot.
  • Christin is a freelance writer, also covering lifestyle, health, and parenting.
  • She has written for such publications as The Bump, Parents, VeryWell, Parade and LittleThings.
Updated Dec 20, 2023

Wedding programs are resources guests can use to follow along and feel more connected to what's going on during your ceremony. It's where to include any songs or readings, to list out your wedding party and other important attendants, and to show gratitude to your guests. Wedding program thank-you messages are important, because it's the support of your friends and family that have made your big day possible.

"A wedding thank-you message is a thoughtful note on the ceremony programs that expresses gratitude for those involved with the wedding as well as the guests," says Hovik Harutyunyan, a certified wedding planner based in Beverly Hills, California. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. A simple, general thank-you note on your wedding program to all guests is always appropriate. You might also choose to include a specific word of thanks to those who have traveled far and wide to celebrate with you.

If you need a little more guidance, we'll answer your most pressing questions about this practice, and offer up some wedding thank-you etiquette, below. We've even included some sample wording you can use for inspiration.

In this article:

Wedding Program Thank-You Message FAQ

The reason why so many couples opt to write a thank-you message for their wedding program is that just about everyone will see it. "A well-worded wedding program thank-you message makes guests feel welcome as well as appreciated—especially since it's one of the first elements your guests will interact with at the wedding," Harutyunyan says. Most guests will choose to grab a program if you offer one, and they're likely to glance at them while waiting for you to take that all-important walk down the aisle.

Below, we've included answers to some of the more common questions about crafting the perfect wedding program wording:

What is a wedding program thank-you message?

A wedding program thank-you is a short message of gratitude from the couple to guests as well as special family and friends that have been instrumental in your life and love that appears on the pamphlet handed out with ceremony details. Another common practice for a thank-you on a wedding program is to include a brief mention of any close family members or friends who have passed away and are therefore unable to be a part of this special event. You can choose to call out people specifically or keep things more general. Really, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to crafting a wedding program thank-you note.

Is a ceremony program thank-you note necessary?

A thank-you note on the back of a wedding program is not necessary, but so appreciated. "It's always a nice idea to include a thank-you note on the program," Harutyunyan says. "It's a great opportunity to not only thank family and friends who were involved in the wedding plans/wedding party, but also to thank guests for coming to the wedding and sharing in the celebration."

Where do you say thanks on a wedding program?

Where to place your thank-you statement for your wedding program is completely up to you. While wedding programs can be as different and unique as the couple getting married, in general, they follow a similar pattern: Most begin with a brief rundown of the ceremony, naming songs and readings as well as listing the order of events. Then, the wedding party and attendants are listed, along with their roles. Most thank-you sayings for wedding programs come after all of those details, either toward the bottom or even on the back of the program. But of course, you can choose to include your thank-you message to your friends and family anywhere you'd like on your wedding program.

Do ceremony programs thank specific people?

Whether you choose to thank specific people or simply include a general bid of gratitude to everyone who attends your wedding is up to you. If you'd like to have a few special mentions as you craft your thank-you note to put on your wedding program, consider crafting a message to your parents and your partner's parents, the members of your wedding party, as they're likely who contributed to your big day the most.

How long are wedding program gratitude notes?

When noodling on how to say "thank you" on your wedding program, it's best to keep it short and sweet. Real estate on wedding programs is often very tight, since there's a lot of information to pack into a small space. You'll pay more for printing, paper and resources the longer your wedding program gets, so it's understandable that you'd save the paragraphs of sentiment for special thank-you letters given to select special individuals. Anything between one and three sentences is usually more than appropriate.

Wedding Program Thank-You Note Samples

Not sure what to say? We've included some wedding program thank-you examples for you to consider. And if you need some inspo for the rest of the wording beyond your note of thanks, we have some wedding program examples to guide you.

Thanking Friends and Family

We would like to thank our friends and family for joining us to celebrate our union. Your presence is what makes this a joyous occasion. We can't thank you enough for being here today.

Thanking Parents

To our parents: Thank you for supporting us and loving us every step of the way. Our hearts are full of gratitude for you. By your example, you have taught us the importance of loving each other selflessly and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Thanking the Wedding Party

Our wedding wouldn't have been possible without your love, help and support. For that, we are so grateful. Thank you for standing by our sides on this journey.

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