Get your wedding readings right from the start and you’ll have everyone hanging on your every word. Get it wrong and your wedding could be remembered for all the wrong reasons… Here’s how to wow the crowd!


Your readings should reflect your relationship

Choose modern wedding readings that mean something to you as a couple, or reflect your relationship. These will hold more meaning and have a bigger impact on your guests.

Always check with your officiant before setting your heart on a particular reading. Civil ceremonies, in particular, will not allow any readings or passages with any religious connotations.

Will your wedding readings fit in with the rest of your ceremony? How does it sit with the other wedding readings you’ve chosen? Ask your officiant about the running order and what readings will work best on the day.

A light-hearted reading

A Good Wedding Cake

4lb of love
1/2lb of sweet temper
1lb of butter of youth
1lb of blindness of faults
1lb of pounded wit
1lb of good humour
2lbs of sweet argument

1 pint of rippling laughter
1 wine glass of common sense
A dash of modesty

Put the love, good looks and a sweet temper into a well-furnished house. Beat the butter of youth into a cream and mix well together with the blindness of faults. Stir the pounded wit and good humour into the sweet argument, then add the rippling laughter and common sense. Work the whole together until everything is well mixed and bake gently for ever.

Who will read it?

Think carefully about who will read the passage in front of your guests. Having children do a reading is a cute idea but make sure they are confident speakers and are happy with the content well before the big day. Make sure the words, font and colour are accessible for all of your guests. You’ll also need a back-up reader on standby just in case the chosen reader is ill or gets stage fright at the last minute.

Is the reading you’ve chosen the right length? Short or softly-read wedding readings may get drowned out by coughing or outdoor noise. But if it’s too long then your guests will start to get bored! Ideally each reading should last about two minutes.

A romantic wedding reading

The Key to Love

The key to love is understanding…
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word
But those unspoken gestures
The little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness…
To accept each others faults and pardon mistakes
Without forgetting, but with remembering
What you learn from them.
The key to love is sharing…
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together
Both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
To intensify your happiness.
The key to love is giving…
Without thought of return
But with the hope of just a simple smile
And by giving in but never giving up.
The key to love is respect…
Realising that you are two separate people, with different ideas
That you don’t belong to each other
That you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.
The key to love is inside us all…
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients
That will take you to its threshold
It is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work…
But the rewards are more than worth the effort…
And that is the key to love.

Be unique

Think outside the box and make your ceremony personal to you and your husband-to-be. Modern civil ceremonies allow you to quote song lyrics, a scene from your favourite movie, or even write a passage yourself.

Choose a reading that doesn’t need further explanation or background knowledge to understand it. It may be your favourite reading, but it needs to make sense to people who haven’t heard it before.

For inspiration, head to the library or search online for your favourite poets, authors and passages for your wedding readings. Or why not visit Wedding Ideas Chat to see what readings other real brides have chosen for their big day?


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