All you need is love … and, well do you need a reading at your wedding?
First of all, why do we need or have a reading at a wedding?
Sometimes couples want a ceremony to last a certain amount of time, maybe the couple wants to include someone special in the ceremony (a reading is a good way of doing that), maybe there is a theme to the wedding the couple want to continue through the reading, maybe the couple have a favourite poet, author that they want to acknowledge, maybe they want to include a little bit of religion in the ceremony without going overboard (or just enough to keep certain family members happy)
These are all valid /good reasons to include a reading in a ceremony.
A wedding reading can in fact be anything you like (you could ask someone to read out the instructions for how to service a lawnmower, if you liked, not sure what the guests would think, but hey it’s your wedding)
I always explain to a couple when we are compiling/planning/writing their wedding ceremony to choose a reading that has meaning to them. Make sure it is a reflection on your beliefs, not what Great Aunty Fanny thinks you should have.
You also need to be mindful of the person you are choosing to perform the reading, somthing that is appropriate for an adult to read, may not sound that flash coming out of a pre-teen’s mouth. Wedding readings can also be effective if two people read it, one line each style. I always have a copy of the reading myself on the wedding day, whether the reader says they will have their own copy of not, just incase, I always type it out in nice big font for the reader, makes it easier to read. I also give that copy to the bride and groom, along with their vow cards and their licence as a keepsake of the day. If you are reading a passage from a favourite book, then it’s a lovely idea to read straight out of the book and then write a lovely note in the book, and present the book to the couple after the ceremony, as a beautiful keepsake of the wedding day.
What can be used as a reading? A wedding reading can take many forms. You can choose a piece of poetry, a passage from your favourite book, a quote from a movie (think “The Notebook”) the lyrics from a favourite song, a religious passage, a piece of wisdom passed down generation to generation.
There are thousands of wedding readings available in cyber-space, or you can ask your celebrant to recommend some if you want to include this element in your ceremony. Just make sure that is resonates with you, that it touches you and has meaning for you, that its not just a time filler.
Here’s two of my favourite readings:
He’s not perfect, by Bob Marley
HE’S NOT PERFECT. YOU AREN’T EITHER, AND THE TWO OF YOU WILL NEVER BE PERFECT. BUT IF HE CAN MAKE YOU LAUGH AT LEAST ONCE, CAUSES YOU TO THINK TWICE, AND IF HE ADMITS TO BEING HUMAN AND MAKING MISTAKES, HOLD ONTO HIM AND GIVE HIM THE MOST YOU CAN. HE ISN’T GOING TO QUOTE POETRY, HE’S NOT THINKING ABOUT YOU EVERY MOMENT, BUT HE WILL GIVE YOU A PART OF HIM THAT HE KNOWS YOU COULD BREAK. DON’T HURT HIM, DON’T CHANGE HIM, AND DON’T EXPECT FOR MORE THAN HE CAN GIVE. DON’T ANALYZE. SMILE WHEN HE MAKES YOU HAPPY, YELL WHEN HE MAKES YOU MAD, AND MISS HIM WHEN HE’S NOT THERE. LOVE HARD WHEN THERE IS LOVE TO BE HAD. BECAUSE PERFECT GUYS DON’T EXIST, BUT THERE’S ALWAYS ONE GUY THAT IS PERFECT FOR YOU.
All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
These are the things I learned…
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
As you can see readings don’t have to be super serious, they can be light-hearted, and they can be super cute.