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  • Writer's picturePetra Tayler

Finding the perfect wedding reading

When I was planning my wedding, one of my most Googled topics was wedding readings. Every list I found online had a rotation of the same twenty-odd snippets; it was almost impossible to find something 'different' that hadn't been read at a thousand weddings before.

As with the rest of your ceremony, the readings should reflect you as a couple. They are an extension of what you want to say about your relationship and your hopes for the future. So where do you begin?

Here are my top tips for finding those elusive sources of inspiration.

Mine your relationship

Now is the time to dig deep into all the things you love as a couple. A penchant for Grey's Anatomy? Look to Meredith and Derek. A mutual obsession with Neil Gaiman? Consider the words he wrote for his friend's wedding, or turn to his vast collection of incredible prose for inspiration. Whatever you both love, or perhaps even argue over, see if there are some words of wisdom there.

Tell your origin story

Something I have seen couples do to brilliant effect is to look back to the beginning of their relationship and have a friend read out something from that time. This can be equally moving and hilarious, particularly if it wasn't love at first sight! So scroll back through those first chats on the dating app, the first emails you sent, the Facebook messages, and the texts you sent to friends about your spouse-to-be. Guests will love the insight into how your love story began! If you don't want these snippets as readings, try and share them with your celebrant. They don't have to be read word for word, but it's this insight into how you tick that really makes a ceremony sing.

Ask your I-do crew

If you don't have a particular wedding reading in mind, it can be a fantastic idea to ask your wedding party to choose what they would like to read for themselves. This can be a surprise, with your celebrant acting as an intermediary to ensure they don't go completely off-piste! It's a wonderful opportunity for your wedding party to share some hopes for your future in a way that is meaningful to them. If you have wordsmiths or songwriters amongst your friends, they may even like to write something that is just for you.

Chat to your celebrant

As celebrants, we are perfectly placed to help you find the perfect reading for your ceremony. For me, it is one of my absolute favourite parts of the job.

I start by looking back at everything I know about the couple, what's important to them and what the tone and feel of the wedding is. If we are going for laidback, festival vibes for example, then something ultra-traditional would be out of place.

The process of really exploring all avenues here takes time. I dig through narratives, poems, songs, film, television, and famous quotations and words of wisdom. I pride myself on finding that perfect excerpt that really speaks to the couple, and shares something about them with their guests, so I don't rush this process.

Once I'm happy I've exhausted all avenues, I'll produce a shortlist and share them with my couple for them to choose from.

I like to do all of this before I've started writing the script, as the readings then become part of the natural flow of the ceremony rather than added on as an afterthought.

If you would like to work with me then please reach out - I would love to help tell your story!

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