Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are Wedding Readings Passé?

Filed under: Wedding Readings — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Not at all. Although only about 30% of the of the couples I marry choose to have readings, readings can be one of the best ways to personalize your wedding. Readings are often given by close friends, family members, or parents.

Not everyone can be in the wedding party, but loved ones can still be included in the wedding ceremony by asking them to do a reading. It’s a great option if you have a friend that isn’t a part of the wedding party but you would like to honor them by having them do the reading.

I encourage couples to add some personal touches to the ceremony by selecting readings that sincerely reflect to everyone how much they love each other. If you want your reading to be interesting for the guess, choose readings that most people haven’t heard before.

Make certain that you choose what you want to have read during your wedding ceremony. During one of my recent wedding interviews the bride and groom told me that they would like a reading however they did not want any scripture that talked about the wife being subservient to the husband. Here is what the reader read:

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. . . Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” ~ Ephesians 5:17

The bride was visibly shaken. The mistake they made was asking a close friend to “choose” her own reading. The friend – not being aware of my conversation with the bride and groom – chose the very scripture that they had told me they didn’t want.

So. . . the lesson learned: “YOU choose the reading and ask the reader to send you what they will read for final approval.”

readingsHere are a few tips about choosing your wedding ceremony readings.

• One of the most significant ways to personalize your wedding – and particularly, your ceremony – is to choose wedding ceremony readings that are meaningful to you. If not you would be better off not having a reading. Does the reading express how you feel about each other? Do they make a statement about your commitment to each other? WIll they inspire your guests?

• Choose the lyrics from a favorite song as a reading. No music. Just the words read as a poem. A recent couple chose to have the word from “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts read at their wedding. The guests reaction was noticable. It was as if they were hearing the song, but there was no music. I saw several people immediately recognize the lyrics as a song. Very effective. Choose a song that helps you relive the time when you first met, or expresses the way you feel about each other now. To search for song lyrics by artist name, click here.

“God Bless The Broken Road”

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Now I’m just rolling home
Into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

• A novel or poem that captures your relationship also works well. For a few examples, click here.

• Search for quotes online, or in a book of quotes. Use quotes that express what you want to say. Then continue to write a few words about its meaning to you. You do not have to be the best writer, or the most eloquent person. It doesn’t have to be long (or perfect), only a few sentences will do.

beachreader• Are you on a spiritual path? If your relationship is grounded in a particular religion, then choosing a quote from a sacred text may be the perfect option for a wedding ceremony reading. A few of the verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (known as the Love chapter) is often heard at weddings.

• Bilingual? Consider having someone read a text in your native language. The nuances of language are endless, and a text in one language can have a different feel when translated to another. If you choose to do this (and there are people at your wedding who do not speak the language), it is a good idea to either read the passage in English afterward, or to print it in your program as a reference. Your guests will want to know what was said!

I performed a beach wedding in Rocky Point, Mexico several years ago. The bride had been baptized by a Priest a few weeks after she was born. We had the former Priest come forward during the ceremony to offer a blessing for the bride and groom in Spanish. I then read the English translation for the guests. This created numerous favorable comments at the reception.

Another idea is to print your wedding reading in the Wedding program that is given to the guests.

Make sure you think carefully about who you ask, as they will need to be able to speak up and speak clearly. Although being asked to give a wedding reading is an honor, it can also be quite a daunting task. Choose someone who will be honored to do the reading and who is excited about doing it. Tell them to look over the selected text in advance and practice reciting it to become comfortable with “reading” the content. Nerves can make them read faster and sometimes without expression. Ask them to clearly enunciate words and look at the bride and groom while reading.


Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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