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How to Come Up with Unique Wedding Readings

Updated on December 29, 2012
Wedding Readings help your ceremony stand out from all the rest.
Wedding Readings help your ceremony stand out from all the rest. | Source

Breaking from the crowd

Weddings are a dime a dozen. If you are in your twenties, you probably go to at least a few a year. For as much diversity as there is when it comes to the wedding cake, reception locations, or the wedding dress, the readings during the ceremony are hideously predictable. So how do you go about finding wedding readings that are unique and meaningful?

Assess how many readings you'll need

Depending on the presiding priest, pastor, or clergy person, they may have predetermined readings or a set idea of when they happen. Before you begin looking for your reading, have a quick talk with your minister. Decide where and when there will be readings. Will it be right before the unity candle? After communion? At the beginning?

The reason this is important is because you can choose words that match the moment in the service. This helps to add relevance to the text so people aren't as likely to tune it out.

Beautiful scriptures

Scripture
Description
Genesis 2:15-25
Adam and Eve.
Psalm 19:5
Reference to a bridegroom in describing the character of God.
Psalm 37: 3-4
God gives us the desires of our heart.
Psalm 66
A praise Psalm
Psalm 85:10
Righteousness and peace have kissed. Beautiful imagery
Psalm 128:3
The fruit of family.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord.
Proverbs 3:13-18
The beauty of wisdom.
Proverbs 13:12
The fruit of desire.
Proverbs 5:18
Rejoicing in the wife of your youth.
Ecclesiastes 9:9
Enjoy your life with your partner.
Song of Songs 1:1-4
Your love is better than wine.
Song of Songs 2:10-13
Spring and love are here!
Song of Songs 8:6-7
The power of love.
Matthew 5:3-10
The Beattitudes
Matthew 6:25
Don't worry!

Think outside the box when it comes to the Bible

Most people are familiar with the love chapter in 1 Corinthians. But the Bible is full of beautiful texts that are virtually ignored during weddings. If you want something unique but still spiritual, you'll need to think outside the box when it comes to the scriptures. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Go to the Psalms. Since these were written as hymns, the lyrics are beautiful to read aloud.
  2. Song of Songs (sometimes called the Song of Solomon) is an ancient text that is full of romance that could make Shakespeare blush.
  3. Proverbs can make for some humorous wedding reading!
  4. The teachings of Jesus are great readings to express love between two people in marriage.
  5. Go back to the beginning. Have someone read the first love story between Adam and Eve.

Check different translations. There are several modern versions (like the Message) which are a great way to hear a familiar scripture in a new light.

A list of children's books on love

  1. Guess How Much I Love You
  2. Love You Forever
  3. I'll Be You and You Be Me
  4. Frog and Toad
  5. Everyone Says I Love You
  6. A Kiss for Little Bear
  7. The Pocket Dogs
  8. I Like You
  9. I Love You Stinky Face
  10. A Color of His Own

Go the children's section in the library

There are a ton of beautiful children's books that have great stories and lessons on love. Since they are written for children, often times the text is short, simple, and lyrical. Of course you can read it word for word, or adapt it with your own words. Just make sure you give credit to the author regardless!

Try writing your own poetry!
Try writing your own poetry! | Source

Poetry

Who doesn't love a good poem right? You can start by going right to the famous stuff first, or you can try your hand at your own poem. Here's a secret: If you are nervous about showing your work to people, just write it up and when it's time to have your partner look it over, just mention that you found it online somewhere and the author is anonymous.

Here's a simple tip on writing a poem if you've never done it before....

Don't worry about rhyming. It's a lot of pressure. However, if you like the poems that rhyme, I'll give you an easy way to do it.

Write one sentence first.

The first day we met, we stopped dead in our tracks.

That's an example of a first line. Before you write the second line, go to a website like www.rhymes.net and find words that rhyme with tracks.

Pick a word that you like. For this poem, we'll choose the word impacts.

The first day we met, we stopped dead in our tracks.
Our paths had crossed, making great impacts

Next, write another line.

Our worlds as we knew them would change forevermore

And then look up the rhyme for that word too!

As we blended together letting love wash ashore.

If you aren't a poet, it might be best to make the poem a bit light and fun. The rhyming poems work well with humor.

Use old love letters or journal entries

Did you write about your beloved while you were dating? Perhaps you have a funny text exchange or email? Go through all your old writings together and see if you can't find a theme of some sort. Having a friend or family member read about your developing love is a great way to honor your upcoming marriage.

Honor your nationality with your readings.
Honor your nationality with your readings. | Source

Highlight your ethnicity

Perhaps you want to keep the traditional readings in your ceremony but you want it to be a bit different. If you have a relative that speaks another language, consider having the scripture read in another language.

Read love songs

If you have a song you danced to the night you met or have a special song you both consider "yours", have a friend or relative read the lyrics during the ceremony. When you choose to read instead of sing, you can combine stanzas of different songs to make a collage of words.

  1. Unchained Melody
  2. I Can't Help Myself
  3. Come Away with Me
  4. First Day of My Life
  5. Kiss From a Rose
  6. You Are the Sunshine of My Life
  7. Fallin'
  8. Stand By Me
  9. Ain't No Mountain High Enough
  10. Let's Stay Together

The past gives meaning to the present- and the future.
The past gives meaning to the present- and the future. | Source

Look to the past

Ask your parents what they did for their wedding readings. Is there a way you can incorporate it into your ceremony? This creates a sense of heritage- the understanding that your love is in the context of a much larger family and lineage.

Some families have certain Biblical passages or other holy texts that they read to one another. You could read the lyrics from your parents first dance. The point is to find something that has meaning and ties you together with your new spouse and existing families.

Add humor

If you are the kind of couple that uses humor to overcome obstacles, consider a reading of some of your favorite movie lines. Of course, they should have some underlying principle or virtue that you want to highlight- don't go quoting Dumb and Dumber during your ceremony.

Remember...

Just because it's a ceremony- it doesn't mean it has to be stiff and impersonal. On the contrary, the more of you that you put in, the more memorable it will be!

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    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Great tips. We actually wrote out our vows and picked out the readings, though I remember nothing - I was so.in.love. Haha.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great job with this topic! It is so easy to select safe readings that everyone uses without even considering what else would be an acceptable choice. I love how many options you outline.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Wonderful words of wisdom! Weddings are boring. I'm sorry, they just are. Your advice here can make them much more enjoyable. Like anything it just takes some planning. I shall share this with some folks who are soon to marry.

    • twoseven profile image

      twoseven 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Great ideas! I wrote a hub on the same subject after my friends asked me to do a reading at their wedding - it's so hard to find the perfect reading! Your advice will certainly help others in that situation.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Loved this, even though I have no weddings up in coming in the near future myself. Truly great advice here!!! Voted way up and tweeted, too!!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Excellent advice, oh great and wise guru! :) Voted up and shared a tad.