When should I have a Reading during my Wedding Ceremony?

Tips About Poems, Blessings and Prayers to Make a Perfect Wedding

In my latest series of Wedding Reading Blogs to help you plan the perfect wedding ceremony, you’ve decided you want to have a reading during your wedding ceremony. Ive listed some questions you now may need to consider, along with my advice:

What is a Reading?

They can be a poem, quotes to blessings or prayers.  They can be steeped in history and culture, or sentimental or topical to the occasion or words that reflect your personality.  The key is to find ones that reflect what you want to say.

At which stage of my wedding ceremony should I have a Reading?

Typically, after the processional takes place, and depending on who you have opted to conduct your wedding, they will have welcomed everyone, that’s a good place in the ceremony structure to have a reading.

What if Im having up to 3 readings?

Spread them apart.  Think about choosing the 3 readings that have a link together.  You likely wont want 3 x funny ones, so it’s a chance to mix it up. For example, you could start with one about friendship, then in the middle of the service have one about advice on marriage, and after exchange of rings, have the third one about your future.  Alternatively at the beginning have a humorous one, then before your vows opt for a cute one or one that a child could read, then after the vows have a romantic one.

If you want to include some formal words, using a reading is ideal. For example, go for a celtic blessing or prayer as one of your choices. That way, chances are you will have pleased some of your more traditional or religious guests by doing this.

The key is to find ones that suit you both, and if you do that, you are on your way to making your wedding ceremony unique and personal to you both.  If in doubt, speak to the person who is conducting your wedding service; they are there to help and guide you.

Who should I choose to present my Reading?

Anyone can do this, as can anyone conduct your wedding ceremony but advice is whoever you ask, can they fulfil that role?   Do they have the confidence to stand up in front of you and your guests?  

But its not all about who is confident.  My advice would be is pick someone who means the world to you.  During some of the services Ive conducted, I remember a nervous Grandma (who I spent time with before we were waiting for the wedding couple to arrive, so she could practice with me to calm her nerves as she was about to back out) who managed to stand up and give a poem about love – there wasn’t a dry eye in the hotel venue (including hers)!  It was beautiful and heartfelt, and I know made such a difference to the wedding couple to have the Grandma say those words.

However, if you really don’t fancy family or friends providing the reading, then get whoever is conducting your wedding to read it.

Should I ask a child to give a Reading?

Yes, why not, guaranteed to bring more tears from all their cuteness! But you need to know they will do it and not change their mind at the last minute.  I would recommend you talk to whoever is conducting your wedding ceremony, as I would have a back-up plan for the just in case scenarios!    

Why not get the child to pick the reading that they like, and if it is a younger child then suggest having a shorter one.   Ive given a reading that the wedding couple’s newborn baby would be saying to her parents in future years, so there are different ways to incorporate children.

Who should I choose to conduct my actual Wedding?

Nowadays the on-trend option is having a Celebrant, as it allows couples to have a personally written wedding ceremony that’s a one off.   You could have a friend conduct the ceremony but do choose someone who wont let you down, and is comfortable speaking in public, and can write a service that has the right balance of sentiment, and purpose.  For many people, they would rather be a guest so they can enjoy the celebrations and don’t want the ownership of such a task on their shoulders; that’s why couples opt for a professional Celebrant or Humanist who do it for a living.  Or if you prefer to have a fully religious wedding, then speak to your faith Minister or Leader.  Alternatively, there is the Civil Registrar route.  

Read my article 3 Options How To Get Married in the UK  which is packed with advantages -v- disadvantages of all 3 including Church, Registrar and Celebrant so you can decide which is right for you.

So whats the difference between a Celebrant and a Humanist?

A Humanist wont include any religion, where as a Celebrant can include any religion(s), beliefs or none at all.

Use a Reading in your Vows

This is a good way of finding inspiration of words. You could pick out certain phrases from a poem or quote for example, and weave that into your own vows you say to each other. Another great way to personalise your wedding ceremony!

And Finally More Wedding Reading Tips…

Need help finding the right Reading?

If you want inspiration about wedding readings, you may find my article with 200 Wedding Readings for All Types of Weddings useful to read – you’ll find traditional to modern, romantic to funny,from TV and books plus those ideal for children to read.

Have you been asked to say a reading but are nervous of standing up?  

Read my article full of top tips to Overcoming fear when Speaking at a Wedding Ceremony aimed at giving a great Wedding Reading whilst keeping nerves at bay.

Written by
Amanda-Louise Knight

Amanda-Louise is the creative director of her UK award winning business, Amanda-Louise Knight Weddings Proposals & Events. She provides advice to modern couples who want unforgettable weddings that set the tone about their celebrations and love.

Amanda-Louise is a current celebrant, and has been involved in the events industry for over 30 years. Her love for logistics, she is wedding and marriage proposal planner in the South West of England. A dog lover herself, she is owner of Somerset Wedding Day Dog Chaperone Service ensuring furry babies are included or cared for by her team.

She is mentor to other celebrants and venue consultant to her corporate business clients dedicating her time to helping them grow their own businesses.

And it all starts with making a date with Amanda-Louise!

‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst its intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with any advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.

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