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DIY Fan Wedding Programs

Fan Program

It started with the engagement ring. Mike got me an Edwardian style ring from 1915 that has a lot of intricate filigree and antique charm. We chose to get married at the church we attend which meets in a 120 year old building and after looking at a ton of reception venues we settled on a 100 year old mansion. Before we knew it we had an antique classic theme. When it came time to make wedding programs, we kept relating back to the theme and fan programs seemed perfectly classic.... I probably would have opted for parasol wedding programs if it were logistically possible!

The Inspiration
There are so many options out there! We came across fan programs on a wooden stick, ones printed on actual fans, and some with five blades of paper tied together to make a fan. We decided we liked the five blade style best and got to work brain-storming. One of the decisions we had to make was whether to make all five blades the same color paper or alternate three and two. We ended up going with the same color so it was easy to read.

How To

  1. First Mike used his awesome computer skills to design a page with four fan blades in alternating rotation (there's a free template below!)
  2. After much debate, we decided on the exact information we wanted on each page and laid it out onto the fan template. We had five pages including a Welcome, Ceremony, Wedding Party, Wedding Party continued, and Thank-You page.
  3. We printed the blades using our tips for cheap printing.
  4. Then we got our scissors and cut, cut, cut! There were 1000 blades to cut out individually but we were lucky to have help from some family and friends! Mike's mom helped so much she needed to wear gardening gloves to prevent MORE blisters!
  5. We then punched out three holes (two for the ribbon and one for a brad) in each fan blade.
  6. At the top of the first page fan blades, we wove a ribbon through the two holes.
  7. Also on the first page, we stamped a fleur de lis on the bottom, above the brad hole.
  8. Finally, stacking the five fan blades, we put a brad through the bottom hole.

Cost Breakdown
We made 200 programs with 5 blades each so that's 1000 total blades. We squished 4 blades on each page so we needed 250 pages printed - 50 in color and 200 in black and white since the first blade in each fan had color but the other four were black and white.

  • $15 for a ream of cream card stock (250 pages)
  • $60 for printing
  • $4.50 for three spools of ribbon on sale

Total: $79.50 or 40 cents per program

Free Templates

Here are some templates for the fan blades that you can use for free. I've saved them in the most common file types. If you're new to print design and aren't sure which to chose, go with Word Document! Enjoy.


  • PDF format - You can use Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe Acrobat Pro to edit this pdf.
  • DOC format - note Word doesn't let you do upside-down text so there is no way to get 4 blades on a page. The DOC format is set up for three blades so all the text is right-side-up.

Like this idea? Check out our other DIY Wedding posts!

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  1. THANK YOU for sharing this! This is just what I needed for our outdoor wedding next summer to keep our guests comfortable and occupied!

  2. fantastic! thanks alot!

  3. On the PDF file it wont let me erase your text to add my own. Can you send me a template without txt for PDF? Thanks!!

    • You’ll need to use a PDF editor to add your own text. When you open it up, just delete ours first. A good, free, PDF editor is Inkscape, that’s what we used.

  4. What were the 2 fonts you used? I can’t find them on windows!


    Jenn Sommers

  5. How do i open the svg file. It’s in the XML format but I do not know how to add it to the editor in inkscape.

    Thanks for any help

    • Gen, SVG is the file I saved right from Inkscape. If double clicking the file or opening inkscape and doing file>open doesn’t work then I’m at a loss. You can always try opening the PDF in Inkscape, it’s the same vector just saved with a different format. I hope you get it!

  6. I downloaded inkscape and when I click on the SVG link it just opens in a new window as a bunch of words and letters. Is there something I am doing wrong?

  7. Also how much would you charge to design this for me? I can print it myself and cut it out and everything, but need someone to deisgn it and I really like yours. I could pay you with paypal.

  8. This is fantastic I love this design. I really wanted fans, but didn’t really care for the stick idea. Thank you so much for sharing this its really pretty. I just love this design:)

  9. Hi

    how do you use inkscape to write in the upside down fans?

    • I did all the text in one of the right side up fans, then copied the block of text to all the other fans. For the upside down fans I rotated the whole block of text 180 degrees. You can rotate any object by clicking on it twice with selection tool or I think there’s a menu option to rotate too.

  10. Hello! I am so grateful to you for putting these step by step instructions on here. I’ve spent this week getting all of my supplies in order and just went to download the template to find that the domains on all the download links are up for renewal or deletion as of yesterday! Damn me and my procrastination bug. Our wedding is 2 weeks from tomorrow and my sister is coming into town for the weekend to help me cut these out. Is there any way you could send me the template via email attachment? I am using inkscape! Thank you!!


  11. Did you just leave them kind of flimsy or is there a trick to keeping it sturdier? Thanks for the template by the way… I’m having an outdoor wedding in July and fans are a must!

  12. THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU! This is a fantastic idea for my outdoor August wedding. However, I am having difficulty with typing my information into the PDF template. Can you please send the attachment to me via email? Thank you once again!!!

  13. I downloaded inkscape I can’t get any of these to work for me.. Could you possibly email it to me via attachement. My wedding is in 2 weeks (nothing like waiting til the last second) but this is the first program I’ve come across that I ADORE! Thanks in advance!

  14. This was really helpful I had the idea to make my fans double as ceremony programs but I was trying it a little different anyway thank you very much.

  15. Do you have templates that have the wording for the wedding party and the “thank you” blades?

  16. Hi! love this! Do those brads have an A on them? Where did you find them? Also, is it a standard brad with the prongs on the back side?

    • Thanks! The brads do have an “A” on them, it’s our last name initial. I think we got them at Michael’s (keep in mind it was 2 years ago) and they’re regular brads with prongs. Hope that helps :)

  17. I LOVEEE these too!!! I also can’t delete and retype in the PDF though…? Would you be able to email me the template as well? My email is Thank you again so much for posting this! :)

    • Are you able to right-click on the links above and chose to save them? That’s all I would be emailing you anyway! To edit PDFs you need software for editing. Adobe Reader only lets you view them but Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator will let you change the text or change the design.

  18. Can someone email me the PDF template? I would love to do this for my wedding on July 28th this month!


  19. Hi, I downloaded the inkscape and it pulled up the template. My question is how do i (if i need to) adjust the page? it has a blue line going through the first fan of the template. Or if possible if i send you the information because its not much can you do it and i can have it printed out? thanks in advance for any insight/help

  20. wow.. i have been hunting the website for DIY ideas for programs and just saw yours, the best, i too am DIYing everything and am reading all your posts to get ideas, i am just downloading inkscape and crossing my fingers, will let you know how it goes, thnz for sharing….and keeping the site up

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