I'm doing it. I purchased a printable design off of Etsy for a few dollars and some nice cardstock paper from Hobby Lobby so while it still costs money...it doesn't cost as much as it would to have someone do all the design and printwork for you.
Menus and programs aren't required and are rarely rarely necessary. It's a good place to cut from if you're trying to save a little money. You probably won't regret not having them if you choose to go in that direction.
Our venue provides menu cards at the table, so I'm not arguing about it. Also because we're serving an intermezzo and I can seriously imagine that without a menu card there might be people who think dessert just came out after the appetizer.
But we're probably ditching the programs. Nobody keeps those, right? We may do a sign at the entrance or something instead.
I did menu cards because we are having a buffet and I wanted the guest to have an idea of what their options were before they went up. Vistaprint was having a sale on post cards so I uploaded my own design and got 100 menus for less than $10. If it wasn't that cheap I would have never did it lol.
We arent doing menu's but we are doing programs. We are having a Jewish wedding, but 80% of the guest list isn't Jewish so I feel like the programs would be useful in this case since most of the guests wont know what is going on.
I just designed the program myself, bought the paper, and am printing them at home. It only ended up costing me around $20 for the nicer cardstock.
I have been to 7 weddings this year. not one had programs or menus. I think they are a waste if money. what goes in a program anyway?? ceremony reception. I think thats pretty much common sense. and as far as a menu especially for a buffet you still have to go up there and stand in line anyways so I am sure you can see what they have. I just think its a waste. I dont even know anyone that saves the invites or anything.