8 Ideas to Revolutionise Your Wedding Reading
Readings. Boy oh boy, readings can be hard work for both the reader and the audience. I think we’ve all been there. Friend/Brother/Sister/Auntie/Uncle/etc come up to a reading, and, oh no, it’s Shakespeare and, oh no, they’re not a trained actor or even an amateur one and, oh no, you’ve got no idea what they’re saying and, oh no, please let it be over soon.
So, in the hope of saving both readers and guests from an uncomfortable situation, here are seven ideas which may help you in your search for an appropriate reading.
- Ask your readers to choose the reading themselves, and to keep it a surprise from everyone. People really rise to this challenge, and I’ve worked with many readers who have come up with surprising and amazing ideas – poems or extracts which are very unusual and personal.
- Choose the words to a favourite or meaningful song. It’s a great moment when people ‘click’ that they recognise the words. It usually takes a few lines, and always evokes a smile.
- When using the internet to search for readings, rather than typing in ‘wedding readings’ – which will result in an overwhelming abundance of readings type in words which are more specific as to your interest eg: ‘poem dog love’, ‘lyrics love travel’ or ‘funny poem dance couple’.
- Share the content of a letter. It could be a love letter between the bride and groom, or the parents/grandparents of one of the party. I conducted a ceremony where a letter written by the groom to the British Home Office was read by the best man requesting them to process his visa application so he could be with his bride-to-be. I think a little creative licence was used in the re-reading of the letter, but it had many guests in (good) tears.
- Be resourceful. I conducted a wedding where the couple had come from the same town but had both moved away as adults and met via internet dating. They had never met when living in the same town but Sarah’s mother, who had passed away some years prior, had taught Jack. Jack’s reader, Adam, started ‘I know that Sarah’s Mum would have loved Jack. In fact let’s hear what she has to say about him …’ It transpired that Adam had asked Jack’s parents whether they still had any of his school reports, which they did. One of the reports had been written by Sarah’s mother, and Adam read out her synopsis of Jack’s behaviour and aptitude in her class.
- If you have children, ask them to collectively deliver a reading. I had a couple marry who between them had seven children aged from 2 to 16 years. The children wrote their own poem to read, two lines each, with the older children supporting the younger. As it was held in the family home, even the dog came up on the stage.
- If you have chosen creative readers who enjoy writing, you could ask if they would write or say something bespoke for you. I’ve had readers deliver a poem, a passage, or some wise-words about marriage, written especially for the couple… it’s almost like a gift they can give to you for you to keep thereafter.
- If you have friends or family who are musically blessed, you might want to take advantage of their talents. I did a wedding where a friend of the bride and groom performed ‘You’re the One That I Want’ from Grease, slowed down, a cappella, in a room with incredible acoustics. It was barely recognisable, but so very beautiful and moving. Not a dry eye in the house…
I got chills
And I’m losing control
‘Cause the power you’re supplying