Whether you’re having a civil wedding ceremony or a church service it’s always lovely to incorporate readings.
These can be read by whomever you wish adding a special personal touch to the proceedings.
Here are five popular wedding ceremony readings and each offering something different and unique:
1. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
That is just being in love, which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
2. The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.
Choose your readings wisely
Ensure they set the right tone and why not add a little humour. It’s always lovely to inject into your wedding ceremony.
However, whether you are searching for romantic, inspiring, funny, or witty, choose wisely. You want your wedding guests to feel engaged.
This comic reading by the talented Pam Ayres never fails to bring a little laughter to the proceedings:
3. He Never Leaves the Seat Up, by Pam Ayres
He never leaves the seat up
Or wet towels upon the floor
The toothpaste has the lid on
And he always shuts the door!
She’s very clean and tidy
Though she may sometimes delude
Leave your things out at your peril
In a second they’ll have moved!
He’s a very active person
As are all his next of kin
Where as she likes lazy days
He’ll still drag her to the gym!
He romances her and dines her
Home cooked dinners and the like
He even knows her favourite food
And spoils her day and night!
She’s thoughtful when he looks at her
A smile upon his face
Will he look that good in 50 years
When his dentures aren’t in place?!
All that said and done
They love the time they spent together
And I hope as I’m sure you do
That this fine day will last forever.
He’ll be more than just her husband
He’ll also be her friend
And she’ll be more than just his wife
She’s be his soul mate ‘till the end.
He says he loves her figure
And her mental prowess too
But when gravity takes her over
Will she charm with her IQ?
She says she loves his kindness
And his patience is a must
And of course, she thinks he’s handsome
Which in her eyes is a plus!
They’re both not wholly perfect
But who are we to judge
He can be pig headed
Where as she won’t even budge!
Consider who you’ve asked to give a reading
Does it fit their personality, nature and also set the right tone?
Ensure that your chosen reader is happy to take on this exciting but ultimately nerve-wracking role.
Consider, if a microphone is not available, are they able to project their voice clearly enough for all to hear?
And for those having a church service you will undoubtly be asked to ensure a religious reading is incorporated and this one is hugely popular:
4. Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7
My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.’
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
all the wealth of one’s house,
it would be utterly scorned.
Order of Service
If you’re providing an Order of Service, I personally suggest not including the readings in full.
Keep it simple with title & authors name, as well as the name of the reader.
Guests always jump ahead know the entire service through before you’ve even made you grand entrance. Let wedding guests enjoy in the moment with you & the reader alike, rather than following word for word from a printed page.
Take note that for civil wedding ceremonies you will not be permitted anything that they deem to have religious connotations.
Registrars can provide some suggested readings.
Have the readings printed onto a piece of sturdy card. No messy scrap pieces of paper & ensure that the readers have them.
Better still your wedding planner will ensure they’re in place.
And finally this reading truly makes you think about the depth of love:
5. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”