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Do You Need A Wedding Reading?

The power of words: Tips for Choosing your Wedding Ceremony Readings

Or perhaps I should ask.

Are you going to have a reading or readings at your wedding ceremony?

Having a celebrant-led wedding ceremony allows you to include some of your wedding guests in the actual ceremony.

And you can do that by asking them to do a reading for you.

A reader has the important job of delivering a selected poem or piece of literature to your guests during your ceremony.

Some couples will choose a reader from their guests and leave the choice of reading up to them.

Others will decide on the readings they want in their ceremony.

Which camp do you fall into?

Would you be confident enough to let your reader choose their own reading for you?

There are a few things to consider if you choose to have a reading at your wedding ceremony so lets look at what to look out for.

Wedding readings can be funny, serious and entertaining

Who Do You Choose To Do A Reading

Delivering the reading at your wedding ceremony is an important job.

And choosing the right reading is important; it can help create the right vibe for your wedding.

So you want to make sure that you choose someone who will be comfortable standing up in front of your guests to deliver the reading.

Is there a certain age they have to be?

That’s up to you; if you have a niece of 8 years old, for instance, who’s confident and can read well, there is no reason why you can’t ask them to do a reading for you.

But it’s a big responsibility, could the eight-year-old handle that responsibility?

Of course, whether you choose an eight-year-old depends on the vibe of your wedding.  

For instance, if it’s a laid-back wedding and it doesn’t matter if there are some gaps during the reading as they lose their place, that’s fine.  

It might not be a good idea if you want it all to go smoothly with no setbacks.

Does It Have To Be Somebody Close

Well, no, it doesn’t have to be somebody very close, but you want to ask someone who knows the pair of you at least a little, especially if you ask them to choose the reading.

On the other hand, if choosing a family member would cause ructions with the rest of the family, then choose a close friend.  

That way, you avoid creating any tension on your big day.

I would also choose someone whos enthusiastic about your relationship.


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How Many Wedding Ceremony Readings Do You Need

We usually recommend no more than two readings at the most during a wedding ceremony.

You could have more than two if you wanted to include a lot of your family but make them short readings.

Or take a reading and divide it up into two sentence parts for each family member to read.

Have A Back Up Plan

A Celebrant will always guide you on where you need a backup plan for your wedding ceremony, and having a backup reader is a good idea.

If your first choice gets ill on the day and can’t make it or is away with their work, you still want someone to do the reading.

So make sure you have a backup reader up your sleeve, just in case.

You could ask one of the wedding party as they will know what’s going on anyway.

Now we come to the tricky bit, choosing the correct reading

What Length Does A Reading Need To Be

When it comes to the length of the reading, you don’t want it to be war and peace, so choose something that’s not too long.

You want to keep your guests attention during the reading, and if you use a reading that’s too long, you’ll lose them halfway through.

Short readings can have as much impact as a longer reading.  

It’s all about the content of the passage, not the length.


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The Content Of A Wedding Ready

A reading needs to speak to you as a couple, hold a special meaning perhaps.

Is there something from your relationship that means something to you both?

Have you both read the same book? 

Is there a passage in that book that resonates with you?

Would that fit your ceremony?

Wedding readings are usually romantic; we are celebrating love after all.

But they don’t need to be; they can be funny too.

And there are some lovely readings that are romantic without being cheesy unless you like cheesy, that is.

If you let your reader choose the reading, perhaps give them some guidance on what’s acceptable to you both.  

Maybe have someone in the wedding party vet them to make sure they aren’t going to cause any distress to anyone at the wedding, never mind the couple. 

Usually, your celebrant will also look at the reading and guide the reader to deliver the reading perfectly.

Do you need to have a reading at your ceremony?

The answer is no you don’t have to have a reading at your ceremony.

Include a reading only if you want one.

Or if you want to give a guest a part in your ceremony, not because you feel it’s presumed you have one.

This is your wedding your way, remember!

Not every ceremony we do has readings; it’s very much a couple’s personal choice.

Whether you have a reading or not, your guests are going to love your ceremony.

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What Music Do I Need For A Wedding Ceremony?

Choosing the right music for your wedding ceremony is another way of creating memories.

I’m often asked what music do I need for my wedding ceremony?

Choosing your wedding day music can be pretty stressful for couples, and a task often left right till the end.

And that’s okay, but do you know how many songs you need for your wedding ceremony?

And what parts of the ceremony need a bit of music.

If you know how much music you need for your wedding ceremony, you can start making up a playlist with some options that you can whittle down closer to the time.

This wedding music list is different from your reception music (another thing to add to your to-do list, I’m afraid).

Consider the kind of atmosphere you want your music to convey.

Is there a particular instrument you like?

Is the wedding formal or laid back? Funny or romantic?

Sometimes it’s good to see the ceremony script once your celebrant has created it so you can see the tone of the wedding ceremony and can then choose the right music to play on your wedding day. 

Unless you already know what music you want to use, of course.

So let’s look at what music you need for the whole ceremony.

The arrival of the guests..

When your guests arrive, they always do a wee bit of mingling with each other, don’t they? And it can be pretty awkward if there is no “noise”.

You don’t have to have music playing at this part of the wedding ceremony, but it helps to relax everyone before the ceremony starts.

So I’d suggest picking a nice calming piece of music to play in the background whilst they arrive and wait to take their seats.

Aim for about 30 minutes of music for this bit, as many guests like arriving early.  

Does the music need to be live at my ceremony?

That depends on your budget.

You might choose to have a string quartet or a harpist as your ceremony music.

And they will guide you on suggestions of what they could play here.

And if your budget doesn’t stretch to live music for your wedding ceremony, you can create a playlist and play it through a PA system for any part of the wedding. That’s fine,

But you will need someone to control the music for you.

Someone to turn it on and off and play the right track

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The arrival of the wedding party..

What you have to decide here is, do you want two bits of entrance music?

One for the wedding party and one for you.

The music for the wedding party doesn’t have to be the same piece of music that the bride arrives to.

And does your partner want to walk down the aisle to a piece of music, or are they happy just gliding down there quietly?

So perhaps you need a few tunes for the wedding party’s arrival, based on your choices above.

What Music Does The Bride Walk Down the Aisle To?

Now, do you wanna come in nice and quietly, slowly?

Or do you wanna come in making an entrance?

This might be an ideal place to use your favourite song.

Are you a classical girl or a pop girl?

There are endless options to choose from, but it has to be something you’re comfortable walking down to.

If you’re nervous or quiet, you don’t want to be playing something loud.

Also, think about the length of the tune; make sure you don’t start off too early and are at the altar before the best part of the song comes on.

How Many Songs Do I Need for The Signing Of The Register?

This is another part of your wedding ceremony where you need a little music, as your guests are waiting for you to sign the marriage schedule.

As it’s the couple, the 2 witnesses and the celebrant who all sign the register, it might take 10 mins,  consider having a couple of tunes to play while your signing the register..

Your photographer will also want to take photos at this point.

Again if you have a playlist, you can stop the music once it’s all done.

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Do I Need An Exit Song?

You definitely need a song to play after your ceremony as you exit.

So, you’re married, have done the paperwork, and are ready to leave the ceremony as a married couple.

You should have a really happy song for this part.

Something that reflects your both or the fact that you’re now married.

What would you have here?

I might have something like Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m yours by Stevie Wonder.

And there you have what you need music-wise for the actual wedding ceremony.

It takes some thinking to get the right tunes.

But I promise when you pick the right tunes, it will make a fantastic difference to your wedding ceremony.

If you’re creative and inventive with your choice of wedding songs, they will be remembered for a long time.

Do you have any suggestions for songs couples could use in their wedding ceremony?

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