(photo credit; John Gillooley)
When it comes to deciding on including Readings in your wedding ceremony, there are a few things that you should think about.
Many people do not think that Readings in weddings serve any purpose. But believe me, they definitely do!
A Reading can add so much to the proceedings:
a different voice to listen to,
participation of family/friends,
bring in a feeling - beit if its seriousness or a bit of comedy
infuse a theme/subject - religious, multi-lingual, the classics or contemporary
So there are questions to be asked....
1) How many Readings to include in the ceremony
2) How long should the Readings be
3) Who should say the Readings during the ceremony
4) What theme should the Readings have
Lets start from the beginning... How many Readings to include?
I tell all my couples that there is absolutely no limit as to how few or how many Readings you might want to include in the ceremony.
So you might find one, two, three, four, five..... however many... it's all good!
I usually suggest, just find all the Readings which you both really like. If you have some absolute "must" or favourites from your list, tell you Celebrant that they're preference.
If you Celebrant can use everything, then that's great. If, perhaps, you've a couple of Readings which might be close in their theme/content, then perhaps it might be better to choose one over two.
But, of course, you should consider how long you are wanting your ceremony to be.... as all words add up, and the more that's said and done...
How long should the Readings be?
Again, talk with your Celebrant about the Readings which you're hoping to include. Sometimes it can be a little difficult to know if you're picking too much or not enough.
The length of the Readings can obviously make a difference to the overall length of the ceremony - having one long Reading, or 2/3 shorter Readings.. sometimes its all equal.
But, on the flip side, sometimes your Celebrant can reduce some of the wording they are saying, to give a bit of extra time for the Readings to be included.
Who should say the Readings during the ceremony?
Well, obviously your first choice should be family and/or friends that are guests at your wedding.
I do often suggest that you first pick your Reading BEFORE picking the Reader. And I say this because sometimes the Reading itself might suit someone that you originally hadn't thought of.
One example I mention often is this; say you've found a great Reading and it's all about love, marriage and the longevity of relationships.... but you had pre-decided on your 18yo cousin to say a Reading. Lets face it, they probably don't have the life experience to say that Reading with conviction and .... well.... experience! So ask your Granny, your dad, an Aunt, or a friend who's been married for a while.. They will be able to say that Reading with the knowledge of what they're talking about. It's more convincing!
The same goes with funny Readings - think of that friend or sibling that has an awesome sense of humour that would really rock a funny Reading and say it with passion.
And, it goes without saying.. but I will... always ask someone who is going to be comfortable with standing up in front of a crowd and say the Reading. There's no point picking a wall-flower who will wilt under the pressure of public speaking.
If you really can't think of someone suitable to say a Reading during your ceremony, talk with your Celebrant. It sometimes can be quite easy to incorporate a quote/Reading into what we are saying during the proceedings too.
What Theme should the Reading have?
This one isn't so much of an obvious question to think about for picking Readings... but it is quite important.
As I mentioned above, Readings can be serious, funny, tounge-in-cheek, religious, secular, musical, movie-themed, quotes from novels, traditional, contemporary or even multi-lingual.
So think about what "feeling" you might like to bring into the ceremony. Your Readings can, and will, very easily infuse these feels into the proceedings.
I have another Blog which has some Classic themed wedding Readings... HERE
But I will also add on another new Blog with some newer Contemporary Readings .... HERE
And a seperate Blog on some more Humerous Readings..... HERE