(Closed) Who does the reading and where does it…

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
5428 posts
Bee Keeper

I like it when a guest of the bride’s and groom’s choosing does the readings. And it has to fall smoothly in the sermon of the officiant somehow.

Post # 4
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Your officiant will probably suggest the right moment in the ceremony for the readings. They usually fall after the declaration of intenet, but before the officiant’s message/sermon and the vows.

The reader is a guest of honor of your choice. We chose two close friends that we were unable to include in the bridal party but wanted to have a role in our wedding.

Post # 7
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

@Bunny82:  Even though you aren’t having a religious ceremony, I’d recommend that you refer to the Book of Common Prayer for the standard outline of a wedding ceremony and adjust from there to create your secular ceremony.

Post # 9
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Readings are a wonderful way to incorporate someone who is important to you but that for one reason or another perhaps wasn’t appropriate or able to be in your wedding party.  Perhaps that favorite Aunt or your fiance’s teenage brother.

Choose one or two readings that are meaningful to you.  Could be a poem, a short essay on love, or an excerpt from a short story or novel that’s meaningful to you.

From there, consider where is a natural place for it.  For example, if you chose the Velveteen Rabit excerpt about love making you real, it might fit in well before you say your vows to each other.  Or, maybe you like the hands ceremony reading, that would be ideal before exchanging rings.

Also, search the Bee for Bees who have posted their ceremonies, that can give you a lot of inspiration about where to place readings.  Hope this helps. 

Post # 10
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Usually all of that happens before the vows.  Since the vows are the most important part, they save that for last.

Post # 11
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We had 2 “readings”. One was a traditional; reading, and one was a 2 person reading, duet style. All of our readers were family members, but you close friends would be lovely, too. We chose family because we wanted the entire certemony to be about family, old and new. Here’s a link to our full ceremony text for reference:



Post # 12
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Bunny82:  We asked three friends (one on my side and two on FI’s) to do the readings.  Our ceremony is structured like this:

  • Welcome
  • Remembrances
  • Marriage Address
  • Reading #1
  • Reading #2
  • Officiant’s Address
  • Reading #3
  • Vows
  • Declaration of Support
  • Ring Exchange
  • Pronouncement

Also, since your officiant is inexperienced, I highly recommend The Wedding Ceremony Planner for drafting your ceremony.

Post # 13
22 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

We just got married a month ago and had our family friend officate. It was non-religious and very personalised; we basically wrote the entire ceremony from a template the officiant gave us. It was an amazing help:

1. Officiant’s Welcome
2. Reading (optional–Blessing of the Hands, shortened–officiant)
3. Expression of Intent
4. Reading (optional–Love by Ray Croft, shortened–hubby and me to each other)
5. Exchange of Vows
6. Giving of the Rings
7. Declaration of Marriage
8. Signing Register
9. Farewell Blessing for the Journey Ahead (optional–Apache Blessing–officiant)
10. Introduction of Couple

We have a good relationship with our officiant so we were happy to have him do the readings as a “figurehead” of marriage, as it were. One thing I consistently had to remind myself that while it was OUR day it was also EVERYONE’s day to celebrate us and have a great time. I did not want to stress anyone out by giving them extra tasks, and while I know my family or friends would have 100% stepped up to read, I know they were also thrilled that they got to sit back and enjoy the ceremony and watch us get married, not wait for their cues, be nervous, or be thinking about their part. You really do lose some of the bystander goodness by being part of it.

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