Words of Love – Choosing Your Ceremony Readings

You’re in love and are getting married, so of course you and your fiancé want the world, or at least your closest friends and family, to know what’s in your hearts. So why not choose special ceremony readings that represent the beauty and love of your relationship? Meaningful readings are a wonderful, and relatively easy way to share your feelings feelings of love while personalizing your ceremony.

Your ceremony readings should be beautiful, moving and interesting to your guests, while reflecting the words and feelings in your heart, yet still adhere to the formality and “feel” that you want for your ceremony. You’re probably wondering, “Now where can I find readings that are beautiful and appropriate for my wedding?”

The answer is easy. There are many, many wonderful sources available to find readings that aren’t just suitable, but perfectly express your thoughts on love. You can find readings in scripture; (I Corinthians 13:4-8 – “Love is patient. Love is kind . . . ,” Ephesians 5:21-32 – “Honor Christ by submitting to each other. . . . And the two shall become one.”, Song of Solomon 6:3 – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine . . . “; from selections of poetry (Alfred, Lord Tennyson – “In true marriage lies, Nor equal, or unequal,” anonymous Chinese poet, Han Dynasty – “O, celestial beings, Let our feelings for each other, continue without diminishing,” ); or excerpts from literature, William Shakespeare from As You Like It – ” . . . no sooner met but they looked, no sooner looked but they loved, no sooner loved but they sighed . . . “). Perhaps you or your fiancé has a talent in writing poetry or verse. Put this talent to work and write something specially for your ceremony. Be sure to have a copy printed (or calligraphed) specifically as a keepsake, to be framed and displayed in your new home.

However, since there are so many sources, the task can seem discouraging and overwhelming. Don’t let this send you down the simple route of merely looking at a list of possible selections (usually provided by your officiant or person who is helping with the ceremony), and picking a couple readings only because they’re on “the list” and therefore must be the appropriate choices. Visit your local library and look under topics such as poetry, literature, wedding readings. Check your (and your fiancé’s) bookshelves, and music collection. Some of the most beautiful words of love are song lyrics.

Don’t be too quick to dismiss readings that have “been done.” If you find yourself hesitating over a particular selection because you’re afraid that your guests will groan, “Oh, no! Not this one again,” stop a moment and give it a thorough once over. Read the selection out loud, or have someone read it to you. The spoken word has a much greater impact than just seeing them on a piece of paper. You may need to back up a bit to include a preceding verse or sentence or two, or if you have someone who is creative with words, can write a suitable introduction. Including this intro can help make the “same old” come alive, becoming something that is new and fresh. In a beautiful introduction to Corinthians 13:4-8, the bride’s aunt described the differences between love and infatuation. An excerpt follows. “Infatuation is fleeting desire. True love is a friendship that has caught fire. Infatuation says we must get married right away. I can’t risk losing you. Love says be patient, don’t panic, plan your future with confidence. Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret. Love never steers you in the wrong direction. God, in His amazing, infinite wisdom, said it perfectly in Corinthians.”

Of course, you’ll want to take special care in choosing the person(s) who will be your readers. Look for someone who is comfortable in front of a crowd, and can read in a good speaking voice. Even the most beautiful, emotion evoking words will lose their meaning if read in a droning, monotone voice.

Finally, to avoid any unpleasant surprises on your wedding day, make sure to obtain a list of rules and regulations from your ceremony site regarding what is and is not permitted, and get your officiant’s okay before finalizing any choices. And remember, if worse comes to worse, and you’re not allowed to use a reading that you just cannot imagine doing without – have someone read it at the reception. Words of Love aren’t just for the ceremony.

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Readings And Music Enhances The Wedding Ceremony

The love for your fiancé or groom is no doubt very special and unique, and there is no arguing that marriage – one way or the other – is going to be a life altering experience for the two of you. For that reason it is worth putting some extra effort into planning the actual ceremony. Exchanging vows and having beautiful wedding readings is often an important part of the mix.

Traditionally speaking

What is considered a traditional ceremony vary depending on the culture and many national customs may also have fused over time.

In the classic Persian wedding for example, both the bride and the groom would dress in white with wreaths of flower on their necks, looking quite similar to the Hawaiian Lei. These wreaths of flower are still worn in modern wedding ceremonies in Pakistan (once an integral part of the great Persian Empire), but it is no longer present in the Iranian wedding ceremony.

In western countries various readings and exchanges of vows are most often a part of the ceremony. These days couples often add their own vows during a ceremony and music and specially selected readings are considered important.

Music will indeed make almost any event soar to new heights, and weddings are not the exception. A beautiful musical touch can be something that both you and your guests can appreciate for a long time afterwards. When dealing with professional musicians you should find that they usually are very good at delivering tunes that will fit any part of the ceremony just perfectly. Some professionals in the industry will also be happy to help you pick the appropriate music.

Wedding readings with that special touch

Unless you are going to the closest “Quickie-wed” in Las Vegas you should reserve plenty of time to create a custom ceremony after the vows have been exchanged. Couples can seize the opportunity to unite not just their hearts, lives and families, but to unite their very beings. Couples often like to take separate religious vows at each of their given religious houses. Multicultural weddings are often very thorough and last several days in order to accommodate both cultures and events.

As for the wedding readings you have many exciting alternatives to choose from, ranging from classical ones from or more unusual ones. Typical sources are the bible, fiction and poetry.

For example this classical from the “Song of Solomon”, King James Bible version:

My beloved spake, and said unto me,

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over, and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the

singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle

is heard in the land.

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the

vines with the tender grape give a good smell.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away

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Alternative Wedding Ceremony Readings For Unconventional Couples

Traditional ceremony readings peppered with “thou shalts” and “whilst ye’s” aren’t for everybody. If you cannot bear another rendition of “love is patient, love is kind…” at your wedding ceremony, you’ve come to the right place. Consult this list of alternative – even humorous – ceremony readings inspired by modern literature, songs, and poetry that pack a slightly edgier punch than traditional wedding readings.

Wedding Ceremony Readings – Humorous

To Keep Your Marriage Brimming – Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong admit it;
Whenever you’re right shut up.

Yes I’ll Marry You – Pam Ayres

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
And here’s the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry
And I hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late
I hand you the torch you see
And you investigate
Yes I’ll marry you my dear
And you may not apprehend it
But when the tumble dryer goes
Its you that has to mend it
You have to face the neighbour
Should our roggie cat attack him
And if a drunkard fondles me
Its you that has to whack him
Yes Ill marry you
You’re virile and you’re lean
Your house is like a pigsty
I’ll help you keep it clean
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candle night
As I do the chappatis you can cook it every night
It’s you who has to work the drill
And put up curtain track
And when I’ve got a migraine its you who gets the flack
I do see great advantages
But none of them for you
And so before you see the light
I do I do I do I do

Wedding Ceremony Readings – from the Movies

From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – by Louis 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 roots have 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 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.

From Fools Rush In

You’re the one! You are everything I never knew I always wanted. I’m not even sure what that means exactly but I think it has something to so with the rest of my life! And I think we should get married! Right now!

Wedding Ceremony Readings – From Poetry

From A House of Stone – by Carmen Bugan

In the village where I was born, we wish
A house of stone to shelter the heart of the marriage
So here too, I wish you
Obstinate, strong love, unyielding and unending.
May you be in reach of each other when all seems lost,
May your tears and your smiles happen always face to face.
When you imagine that you have shared everything
May you know that you still have the rest of your lives
To do all of it again and again.
But now listen to the hurry of bells and
Look how petals of roses about the vineyard
Bring you the words husband and wife:
First words in your house of stone.

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Finding Your Voice With Your Wedding Readings

At some point, someone (an officiant, a wedding planner) is going to hand you a list of wedding readings.

Throw it out!

If you don’t want the same wedding reading as half of the world’s population, you would do well to choose your own.

After all, there are no rules when it comes to wedding readings. A passage from Harry Potter can be just as appropriate and perhaps more meaningful to you than a sonnet by William Shakespeare.

Wedding Readings set the mood for the entire ceremony. They can be romantic, literary, traditional, contemporary, sentimental or instructive. You can use famous wedding poems or one written by a friend.

The more formal and traditional your wedding ceremony is, the more likely you are going to want to use traditional verses. If your ceremony is contemporary, you will feel more free to break out of the mold.

Religious ceremonies have their own pattern. For instance, in Catholic ceremonies there are four traditional readings, all of which come from the scriptures, although there are choices for each one.

One of my favorite wedding reading opportunities comes from favorite songs. Often, the people you want to have involved in your ceremony have limited vocal talents. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t read your favorite love song lyrics. Also, while the music might not be appropriate to the ceremony, the lyrics may express your feelings. Having a friend read the lyrics is a good compromise.

You can find Wedding Reading sites on the internet. These sites compile poems, prose, and other readings and break them down by type of ceremony.

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Create Your Perfect Wedding Ceremony – Personalize Your Readings For Your Wedding Ceremony

Your wedding readings need to be ones that are perfect for your wedding, not just your wedding style, which may be similar to other people’s wedding style, but also to your very individual, personal love. So the reading that was “perfect” for your friends is unlikely to be perfect for you. Because you and your beloved are different people from your friends.

How many weddings have you gone to and heard the same lovely but oft-repeated readings? Many of the readings that are read again and again are wonderful. And it is true that there are things about Love that are universal. I keep reminding people that Hallmark Cards wouldn’t exist if all that wonderful mushy, lovey stuff weren’t true! But wedding ceremonies need to be a bit more than mushy — as wonderful as mushy can be!

The purpose of your wedding ceremony is to create a lasting marriage. Your wedding vows are the heart of your wedding ceremony because they are (or should be) designed to be the heart of your marriage. You want to find readings that reflect what is true about your relationship and reinforce the values that will support your marriage. Before you start to look for readings, answer a couple questions:

What makes this relationship successful?
What are the central values of your Love?
What are the promises you’re willing to make to one another?
What is it that you’re hoping to accomplish by living in a life-long marriage?
What are the main challenges of your relationship?
What are the characteristics or emotions that will sustain you in the face of those challenges?

Once you’ve answered those questions, start your search. If you have favorite authors, start there. But remember this is exactly why there is an Internet, there are libraries and there are bookstores. Find metaphors that explain the beauty and the joy of your relationship. Once those readings with their images are read in your wedding ceremony, they will forever after remind you of how you felt when you and your beloved committed yourselves to one another. And then let your wedding ceremony (and, of course, your marriage!) be as unique and wonderful as your Love.

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Finding Your Voice With Your Wedding Readings

At some point, someone (an officiant, a wedding planner) is going to hand you a list of wedding readings.

Throw it out!

If you don’t want the same wedding reading as half of the world’s population, you would do well to choose your own.

After all, there are no rules when it comes to wedding readings. A passage from Harry Potter can be just as appropriate and perhaps more meaningful to you than a sonnet by William Shakespeare.

Wedding Readings set the mood for the entire ceremony. They can be romantic, literary, traditional, contemporary, sentimental or instructive. You can use famous wedding poems or one written by a friend.

The more formal and traditional your wedding ceremony is, the more likely you are going to want to use traditional verses. If your ceremony is contemporary, you will feel more free to break out of the mold.

Religious ceremonies have their own pattern. For instance, in Catholic ceremonies there are four traditional readings, all of which come from the scriptures, although there are choices for each one.

One of my favorite wedding reading opportunities comes from favorite songs. Often, the people you want to have involved in your ceremony have limited vocal talents. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t read your favorite love song lyrics. Also, while the music might not be appropriate to the ceremony, the lyrics may express your feelings. Having a friend read the lyrics is a good compromise.

You can find Wedding Reading sites on the internet. These sites compile poems, prose, and other readings and break them down by type of ceremony.

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Finding the Right Wedding Readings

Wedding readings are meant to share the couple’s idea of love and marriage with their closest friends and family. Readings can include all different texts with all different meanings. Your wedding readings can be sweet or funny, long or short, it really depends on what you as a couple would like.

Choosing Your Reading

As mentioned before, the readings you choose for your wedding should be special to you as a couple. When you first start looking, think of readings you know. Is there some particular reading or poem that you like? Are there authors or essayists that you and your future spouse like? If so, start by looking at material written by that person. If not, don’t worry about it. There are plenty of wedding websites that can help you find the right reading.

Next, you need to think about the message you want to convey. Do you want to talk about friendship? Laughter? Love? God? This will help narrow down your search.

As you’re searching, try to find a reading that is no longer than five minutes in length. Anything longer will test your audience’s attention span. If you find a long reading, just choose a portion of it to share with the group.

When to Give the Reading

Every wedding is different, but readings are typically given during the ceremony before the couple says their vows. It doesn’t matter who gives it. The pastor can give it. The bride’s father can give it or a good friend can give it.

To make your reading go smoothly, make sure to get the reading to whoever is reading at least a month before the wedding. This will give them plenty of time to review and practice the reading.

Make sure to ask the reader to introduce themselves when they take the stage. This will help the audience understand why you chose them to do the reading. Also, remember to invite the reader to your wedding rehearsal. It’s a good idea to have them run through even a portion of it. This will make them more comfortable giving the wedding readings in front of a large group.

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Weddings Readings and Poetry

Wedding readings really personalise a wedding – they can be romantic, a religious blessing on the union of the couple, or just plain funny that makes everyone laugh – whichever flavour, often bringing a tear to the eye. But how do you decide which reading is appropriate for the occasion and you as a couple?

If you are having a civil wedding it is not allowed to have any music, readings or poetry with any religious content. As long as it is non-religious and non-offensive usually anything goes! It is usual to have up to two readings, but you could have more if they were short poems or affirmations.

Readings are traditionally read by trusted close friends and family or even the bride and groom to each other. There are strict guidelines on what is acceptable and must be secular to follow the theme of a non-religious ceremony. Each registrar may have differing views on what has religious connotations and what doesn’t – Robbie Williams “Angels” was deemed to be religious at one point – so it is very important to check with the registrars office, rather than be disappointed on the day. Each ceremony has time for a couple of readings if they are of suitable length. You may be able to include more if they are short. Your local registrars will have a list of approved music and words, but if you are choosing something off their approved list you will need to provide the registrar with your chosen content for their approval before the wedding day.

A church wedding is an obvious choice for couples who have a strong Christian faith. The Christian faith encompasses the Church of England, Church in Wales, Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Churches and Free Churches (Baptist, Methodist and United Reform Churches). You have the right to marry in the parish church of the town you reside in or are on the electoral role. Church of England will now marry in any church if they are a family member have a connection with the church.

Church weddings usually feature readings, either from the minister, or by one of the wedding guests. It is usual to have two readings, and one should certainly be religious. However, it may be possible to have a secular reading – check with your minister on what is acceptable and what is not.

There are lots of readings suitable for weddings, but to make your choice easier we have included a list of the most popular readings in our Wedding Ceremony category – Wedding Readings and Poetry.

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Wedding Readings – How to Choose the Most Appropriate Ones

It is necessary to have the right wedding readings as they are acknowledged to make sure that people have the right mindset for the wedding. It may look like a really easy task, however many people realize that getting the proper readings could be much challenging. For that reason, people need to select readings that are not only suitable, but they are also represents of what the couple feels for each other.

Wedding Readings from Poets and Famous People

Many people have for many years taken their wedding readings from popular poets and people but they should ensure that they’re tailored to suit the particular couple getting married. The most famous poets: Shakespeare is known to be probably the most romantic and talented poets ever however it is important to note that he lived over a hundred years ago and the poems may not always reflect modern times or the couple. Since such poets from famous people are very commonly quoted, it is highly recommended that people add a personal touch to the poems to enable them to be personalized and more touching to the couple getting married.

Wedding Readings from Movies and Films

Another good idea on getting the best wedding readings is using more modern poets whose work is well-known and also appreciated by many people. Not only that, what would be even more appropriate is getting quotes from a poet that was also loved by the wedding couple as they would appreciate it more. Wedding readings are normally based on love and romance although this should not necessarily be the case always. Readings could also be drawn from some comical or funny sources depending on how well one knows the couple. However, you need to understand just how far to take the humor and to ensure that the couple does not get embarrassed or insulted by the humor itself.

Therefore, before reading that quote at the wedding, one should be aware of the couple’s sense of humor and just what they consider funny. The readings can be based on the couple’s personal lives but this should also be a very well thought out plan to ensure that the couple does not feel that their privacy has been invaded.

Some people may feel that finding a reliable source for a great wedding reading is sometimes a really challenging task to do. In such cases, people are known to quote from some of the most bizarre sources possible such as plays and movies or perhaps the constitution. It is essential to make sure that either the groom or bride has watched a movie or play prior to quoting from it so that it seems sensible to them.

If people really want to know whether their wedding reading served its objective, you can look at the guests’ expression at the wedding. Their expression will tell you, because you will see feeling of comfort and belonging for them all, if they really feel the connection shared by the wedding couple.

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Wedding Readings

Whether you’re having a traditional, religious, secular, alternative or civil service, you’ll probably want to include some sort of wedding reading in your ceremony.

It may be that you have the perfect thing in mind – a poem, song lyrics, story or extract – but if you’re stuck, then these suggestions may help.

Some things to think about include:

Who will be taking the reading? A friend, family member, yourself or your partner, or you can even ask the officiant to perform your reading for you.

How long will your reading be? Wedding readings should be shorter than a few minutes long – so no Homeric epics please!

Is your reading self-explanatory or will it need some background information? ‘In jokes’ won’t work here – and it’s not fair on your guests if it’s only you and the bridesmaid sniggering at some obscure reference…

Is your reading suitable for your ‘audience’ – you don’t want to offend anyone with your reading, even if your favourite song IS a death-metal ode!

As with all aspects of your wedding, think carefully about how your reading fits in with the other elements – style, formality, personality and sense of humour. Or if you trust a close friend or family member to know you through and through, you could even ask for a surprise reading from someone you love.

Religious readings – At a church wedding service, bible readings are common, as are hymns. Your officiant can help you to choose the right extract if you’re unsure, although you should be welcome to pick your own. Religious readings focus on the joining of you as a couple, and offer blessings for your special day, emphasising the wedding vows and importance of love. Always check that your chosen reading is suitable for your setting.

Non-religious readings – At a secular wedding, your options are broader, and you can be as formal or informal as you like. Pick your favourite poem, prose, song, quotation – the sky’s the limit. You might even want to create your own piece to read as an alternative to personalised vows. Check that your reading is approved for a civil wedding as having no religious content.

The readings at your wedding will remain in your memory long after the day so think hard about what kind of message you want to put across. You might prefer a well known piece of text, or you may come across something perfect while you’re researching your readings. No matter what you choose, make sure you keep a copy of it to remind you of your perfect wedding day. Beautifully printed and famed wedding readings also make a great gift for bridesmaids.

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