There are so many options available today to help make weddings special that the happy couple planning their marriage ceremony may have to make some difficult choices as far as just what features to include. One semi-traditional aspect of the wedding ceremony that can help lend a spark of romance to the event is the literary wedding reading. Recitation of romantic poetry, heartfelt prose, or Shakespearean verse during the wedding ceremony can add a refined touch to an already beautiful occasion.
Selections of wedding readings can run the gamut of available literature; from writings as old as Biblical passages to the more modern works of authors and poets like Amy Tan and Maya Angelou. Any piece that relates a theme of love, devotion, or commitment can be appropriate as a wedding reading. The choice, really, is up to the couple as far as what they’d like to have as a wedding reading. Following are some traditional, modern, and more unusual wedding readings.
Poetry and prose about love and devotion make for wonderful wedding readings and it is selections from this category that you will hear most often. Favorites here include Shakespearean sonnets, the famous How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and selections from The Prophet by Kahil Gibran, but can, again, include virtually anything that the couple would like to include. Thoughtful, insightful, and moving passages are the key to having your wedding reading stand out in the minds of your guests.
A favorite of religious wedding services, inspirational wedding readings are also quite common. The Bible is a fantastic source for these types of readings and certain passages have become standard fare in many church wedding services. Most familiar here is the instantly recognized “Love is patient and kind…” reading from I Corinthians and the “husbands love your wives” passage from the fifth chapter of Ephesians. Inspirational poetry can be used here as well as quotations from inspirational speakers. Anything that is spiritually uplifting and appropriate for the occasion will work here.
Out of the Ordinary Wedding Readings
Some wedding readings can be very creative, while others are just plain odd. We attended a wedding between two aspiring actors. Both the bride and the groom as well as several members of the wedding party were active in Community Theater. They used their wedding ceremony as an opportunity to perform for their guests and actually acted out the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, complete with Elizabethan costumes. Another wedding experience featured the bride and groom reciting the lyrics to Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light which, while certainly an inappropriate selection for most weddings, seemed to fit their personalities and got quite a laugh from the guests. Clearly readings like this are not going to work for every wedding, but the examples do serve to show that the choices in wedding reading selection are really unlimited. The choice of whether to include a wedding reading in your ceremony, as well as what material to use, lies entirely with you.