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Who Hands Out Wedding Programs? [This Is Who To Ask]

Are you going with wedding programs on your special day? Are you not sure who should be in charge and responsible for handing them out? Well, here is everything you are going to want to know about this important duty that cannot be forgotten!

So, who hands out wedding programs? Traditionally ushers will hand wedding programs to your guests. However, in recent years this job has also been given to the groomsmen, bridesmaids, or even just placed in your guests’ seats to avoid having anyone person responsible for handing them out.

Why the ushers? Well, they are usually the first members of the wedding party to arrive at your ceremony venue and spend more time with your guests pre-ceremony.

With this in mind, keep reading to get a better idea of the options, when programs should be handed out, and how you can ask someone to take on this responsibility, should you want to. 

Who Can Hand Out Wedding Programs?

The last thing you want on the day of your wedding is to panic and worry over who will hand out those all-important wedding programs to your guests.

Besides, it’s also a good idea to tee up who will be responsible ahead of time. 

Not only does it avoid confusion, but it helps your special day run as smoothly as possible.

So, who can hand out the wedding programs?


It is traditional for ushers to hand out wedding programs to guests. 

Ushers are there to welcome your guests before you both arrive, to show them to their seats, and get a little bit of conversational atmosphere going. 

Often though, the role of the usher is now given to important young boys in the family, and this can be a big responsibility. 

If your ushers are of a reasonably responsible age, asking them to hand out your wedding programs should be completely fine. It is their wedding duty, after all.

Groomsmen/ Bridesmaids

Weddings are becoming less and less traditional, which means the running order of many weddings isn’t always as it used to be. 

Often we see bridesmaids and groomsmen picking up the duties of an usher, especially if a couple’s chosen usher is young. 

This can help speed up the seating of your guests and the handing out of all the wedding programs, as it will be all hands on deck.

A Responsible Loved One

It is completely acceptable to rope in someone completely different to hand out your wedding programs. 

This could be your mother or father, or you could ask a friend who isn’t part of the wedding party to take on the responsibility.

This is a very clever way of involving someone in your wedding party, even if there isn’t any more room for more bridesmaids or groomsmen.

Nobody/Pre-Placed On Seats

A small wedding may forgo ushers and/or bridesmaids and groomsmen. So, naturally, there aren’t as many people to ask to take the responsibility of handing out the wedding programs.

So alternatively, you can have the wedding programs placed in, or hung off, your guests’ chairs.

This can be done during the setup of your ceremony space, whether that be by yourself or by whoever is taking responsibility for the setup. 

When Are Wedding Programs Handed Out?

Wedding programs are usually handed out just before the wedding ceremony, typically to each guest as they arrive at the front of the venue. They are traditionally handed to them personally.

If you are placing your wedding programs on the seats of your guests, they will just pick them up as they are seated. 

How To Ask Someone To Hand Out Programs At A Wedding

Although handing out the programs isn’t a big role, you may want to make the person chosen to feel a little special. 

After all, it’s still an important part of the day. If you are choosing an usher, when you present them with their role, you can disclose that this is part of their role. 

If you are asking someone who is yet to be a part of the wedding planning, you could present them with a special card requesting their help or even take them out to a special dinner and ask them if they’d be happy to hand out your wedding programs.

However, simple can always be best, and just a face-to-face conversation where you ask them if it’s something they would be happy to do can be more than sufficient.

When To Ask People To Hand Out Your Wedding Programs

You should ask anyone you would like to hand out your wedding programs at least a few weeks before the big day itself. It’s important to give anyone plenty of time to accept or deny your request. 

You don’t want to be left in the lurch last minute because you planned on asking them the morning of the wedding, and it turns out they aren’t even able to attend.

Over To You

Handing out wedding programs on your special day is very important if you want to reduce any stress and help your day go smoothly.

Whoever you ask, whether it be an usher, a bridesmaid, a groomsman, or just a special someone who you trust with the task, make sure you give plenty of time for them to let you know whether it’s something they can do for you.

If you’re planning on having your wedding programs in place before your guests arrive, ensure you know who is putting them on your guests’ seats so that there is no confusion.

My other wedding program guides you may want to read: