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How to Choose Readings for Wedding Ceremonies

Updated on February 25, 2010

Many couples choose readings as a component of their wedding ceremony. Readings are a great way to introduce some outstanding art into your ceremony, get other people involved, and inspire you and your guests. Of course, if you are looking for a religious reading, there are many options available from religious texts that your officiant can guide you to. If you are looking for a secular reading, however, choosing the one that is right for you can be a difficult task. Here are some tips to assist you in the process.

Take readings from literature

Literature offers the largest and most extensive resource for you to choose a reading from. Consider the things that you and your betrothed like to read and start from there. Are you poetry fans? If so, who are your favorite poets? What love poems do you like best? Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee?” sonnet is a very popular choice, but other less conventional ones are gaining popularity as well. Decide as a couple what you want your reading to convey and look for readings that will match the tone or sentiment you are looking for. You may choose a humorous reading to reflect your sense of humor, or a more serious reading to match a formal ceremony.

If you are not into poetry, what are your favorite books? Are there passages you would like to quote from these works? Think creatively—readings don’t have to center on love and lifelong commitment. You can also incorporate readings that focus on friendship, collaboration, and enjoyment of each other’s company. Many passages from children’s books, such as the Velveteen Rabbit, also make surprisingly sweet readings.

Take readings from music

If music is your passion, take lyrics from songs you like and incorporate them as readings. Billie Holiday’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” or the popular “That’s All” make good readings if one partner is reading to the other. Of course, if you have singers on hand, you may choose to sing the lyrics as they were written.

Get help from friends and family.

Many couples choose to have a friend or family member perform a reading. This is a great option because it involves the people you love in your ceremony and also can involve them in picking the reading. If you leave the choice entirely up to the reader, be sure to give the reader a copy of the script of your ceremony so he or she understands the general tone the reading should have. Friends and family also can give a speech or write something original for you.

Image Credit: Andrew Turner, Flickr


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  • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

    DeBorrah K Ogans 8 years ago

    Lela Davidson, Nice Hub! You have some really great suggestions! A reading is an added plus to personalize this very special day! Thank You for sharing, Blessings!