Personal to you
Try to choose a reading that sums you up as a couple. Think about something that talks about a subject that is close to your heart. Subjects such as true love, family and never giving up are good places to start.
Is it appropriate?
Check with your officiant when choosing your readings, especially if you’re having a civil ceremony. Wedding readings at civil ceremonies cannot include any religious references whatsoever. This is by no means restrictive, though. Think about all the other ideas you could have – song lyrics from your favourite tune, love poems and more.
It’s all about the delivery
When you’re choosing your reader, pick someone who will speak clearly and confidently. Make sure they practice it a few times in front of an audience before the big day so they can get their confidence. Almost learning a piece off by heart is a good thing to do as well as it will stop the reader looking down so often. If a youngster is doing a reading, make sure they are confident and happy with the piece and that there are no long, difficult words.
Writing a reading yourself
If someone is writing a reading or a poem themselves, check it beforehand. It must be suitable for the type of ceremony and you need to check that no embarrassing personal details have made it in! Writing your own readings, poems or even vows is a lovely personal touch though, and can produce some of the most emotional moments of the day.
We love the classic reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. Although it has been read many times before, we never tire of it! It’s all about staying together, even after the initial excitement of romance has burned away – the perfect reading if you and your partner have been together for a long time.
Is the reading self-contained? Pieces that need extra explanation or introduction may not work as well as thoughtful poems and extracts that people can enjoy immediately.
Is your reading the right length? A poem that is too short may be a bit weak and leave the audience feeling a bit flat, while a text that is too long might bore your guests! The ideal length is around two minutes.
Love or marriage?
Is the text that you’ve chosen about marriage or falling in love? Your wedding day celebrates the start of your marriage as well as your love, so make sure your reading does as well.
If you need more inspiration for your wedding readings, our Wedding Readings and Speeches section has some amazing examples that you can use for your own big day!