As I’ve said, one of my favorite things about our wedding was making things for it myself. I definitely enjoyed our origami wedding flowers, but my absolute favorite project was our DIY book-style wedding programs.

programs christina
Photo by Christina Foto

I like books a lot, and they were my best friends for much of my childhood, but my relationship with bound volumes is far eclipsed by Mr. Kim’s as well as both of our fathers. Also, there was plenty we wanted to include and we were doing it in both languages. So, a book-style wedding program made a lot of sense. Here’s how I did it:

1. Plan out the content and number of pages.
It needs to be a multiple of four because one sheet of A4/8.5×11 paper makes 4 pages for this size of book at least. Ours was 24–a lot, sure, and not super cheap to print (6 pages front and back), so adjust accordingly.

I divided the content into chapters, and I named each chapter after a chapter from a book that was meaningful to one or both of us and related to what would go on during that part of the day: (We did have to change one because in the Korean version of Pullman’s The Golden Compass, “A Decanter of Tokay” is called “Assassination Conspiracy,” which is not what we were going for!)

wedding book table of contents.jpg

2. Write, otherwise create and lay out the content.
I studied journalism in college and used to design the front page of the paper–I even won awards–so I used Adobe InDesign; we downloaded a free trial about a month before the “big day.” Getting back to layout was super fun, and as a bonus, I am now really comfortable with my InDesign skills again. (College was a while ago.)

In addition to writing content for each “chapter,” which Mr. Kim kindly translated in to Korean to save my poor wedding-frenzied brain, I peppered the book with coloring pages found using Google image search of Korean and Mississippi themes, like people wearing hanbok and crawfish. I also made a crossword puzzle, following this excellent how-to, about us:

wedding book crossword.jpg

3. Print it, carefully!
Whatever you used to design the programs, you probably want to put it in pdf format first so that when you go to print it, stuff won’t have moved around onto the next or a previous page.

This is me making a terrible mistake at Staples.

Also, you need to print on both sides of the page (flipped on short edge)! Definitely do a test. I wasted kind of a lot of money because, apparently, I made a mistake (in spite of two test copies) when I went to print 80 copies at once at Staples and the back was turned the opposite direction to the front. I think I accidentally flipped it on the long edge on that batch after doing it right on the test… So sad! So be careful, because the printing is the most expensive part of making these, especially if you don’t own a printer!

4. Bind them.
Fold the pages for each book in half, and also fold in half whatever you plan to use for the covers; I used various colors of 8.5×11 card stock bought from Amazon. Then decide how you want to hold it together.


I wanted mine to look like real old-school books, so the first 25 or so I actually sewed by hand in our Atlanta hotel room using this kind of method. This looked nice and worked, but it took a while. Because I had messed up on the printing, I didn’t have that much time before people started arriving and things got busy, so I stapled the rest. Sad face.

5. Make ’em pretty.
I bought five types of cloth, a half yard each, from Jo Ann’s Fabrics. (I loved the colors and patterns and about half of it’s left, so I’m planning to use it to make some quilted throw pillows.)


I cut pieces the height of the books and about 2 inches wide and glued them on using kiddy glue sticks.


To put the titles on, I bought a Fiskars stamp press and found some letters I liked to use with it.


Ta-da! Some people liked our programs so much they even asked if they could take an extra one.