Skip to Content

How do you incorporate reading into a wedding ceremony?

Wedding ceremonies are a joyous celebration not only of two individuals, but of the love and commitment that they share. While vows are one of the most important aspects of a wedding ceremony, incorporating readings into the ceremony is another way to add a personal touch and significance to this special day.

But how do you incorporate readings into a wedding ceremony in a meaningful way? Here are some ideas that can help make your wedding ceremony memorable.

Choosing the Right Reading

Before choosing a reading for your wedding ceremony, consider the tone and style you want to convey. Would you like a classic or traditional reading, or something more modern and contemporary? Would you like your reading to be romantic, funny, or reflective? Once you’ve determined the tone and style you want, you can start the search for the perfect wedding reading.

One place to start is your favorite books, movies, or songs. Music lyrics, movie quotes, and even lines from your favorite books can make beautiful wedding readings. Additionally, there are plenty of traditional wedding readings that have stood the test of time and can be incorporated into your ceremony.

When choosing a reading, it’s important to keep in mind that the length of the reading should be appropriate for your wedding ceremony. Generally, readings should be no more than 5 minutes in length.

Who Will Read?

Once you’ve chosen the perfect reading for your wedding ceremony, you’ll need to decide who will read it. There are several options:

The Wedding Officiant: The wedding officiant can read the chosen reading during the ceremony.

A Friend or Family Member: You may choose to ask a close friend or family member to read the chosen reading during your ceremony.

The Bride and Groom: The bride and groom can choose to read the chosen reading together as part of their vows.

When choosing who will read during your ceremony, make sure they are comfortable with public speaking, as standing in front of a large crowd can be nerve-wracking.

When to Read the Reading

Timing is everything when it comes to a wedding ceremony. You’ll want to choose the points in the ceremony that will enhance the overall flow and ambiance of the wedding. Typically, readings are incorporated into the ceremony in one of the following ways:

At the Beginning: Many couples choose to incorporate readings at the beginning of the ceremony, before the exchange of vows. This can set the tone for the ceremony and help guests settle in.

After the Vows: Reading can also be incorporated after the exchange of vows and rings. This can serve as a reflective point in the ceremony, allowing for a moment of introspection and contemplation.

During a Moment of Silence: Another way to incorporate readings is through a moment of silence before or after the ceremony. During this time, a friend or family member can read a meaningful passage or poem.


Incorporating readings into your wedding ceremony is a beautiful way to personalize your special day and make it even more memorable. By choosing the right reading, who will read, and when to read it, your wedding ceremony can be something to cherish for years to come.


What is a reading during a wedding ceremony?

A wedding ceremony is not just about exchanging vows and rings. It is also a time when couples and their significant others include special moments that symbolize their love for each other. One of these special moments is the reading during a wedding ceremony, which is a heartfelt message conveyed by a family member or friend of the couple.

In traditional ceremonies, a reading during the ceremony happens after the initial processional and the officiant welcomes and introduces the couple and the guests. The readings come in different formats, such as poetry, song lyrics, quotes, or biblical passages, that often reflect the couple’s personality and values.

One of the most popular readings is poetry. Love poems such as “How Do I Love Thee?” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “I Carry Your Heart With Me” by E.E. Cummings, and “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer are just a few of the popular choices. Song lyrics are also a common option, especially for couples who share a special song or enjoy a mutual love of music.

Besides poems and lyrics, there are other types of readings that can be included in the ceremony. Readings from literature, such as quotes from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” or Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” are perfect for couples who share a passion for reading. A quote from a famous philosopher or thinker can also lend wisdom and insight into the meaning of love and commitment.

Religious passages are also a popular option, especially in religious or spiritual ceremonies. Bible verses like “Love is patient, love is kind” from 1 Corinthians 13, or “Two are better than one” from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 are often read. Other religious texts like the Quran, Torah, or Tao Te Ching can also be included, depending on the couple’s faith and beliefs.

A reading during a wedding ceremony is an emotional moment that celebrates the couple’s love and commitment to each other. It’s an opportunity for a close friend or family member to share their thoughts and feelings with the couple and to express their blessings for the new union. Wedding readings add a personal and meaningful touch to a ceremony that celebrates the beginning of a lifetime of love and happiness together.

What should be included in a wedding reading?

Choosing a wedding reading can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. A wedding reading should be personal, meaningful, and memorable. When deciding what to include in a wedding reading, it is important to consider the couple’s personalities, their sense of humor, and the style or tone of the wedding.

To start with, think about what the couple likes. What are their interests, passions, or hobbies? This can give you an idea of what could be included in the wedding reading. For instance, if the couple loves literature, you could consider a romantic passage from a Jane Austen novel. If they are sports enthusiasts, you might look for a quote from a famous athlete that resonates with them.

In addition to their personal interests, think about the style or tone of the wedding. Is it a formal event, a casual affair, or something in between? This can help determine the appropriate level of formality for the reading. A more serious, traditional wedding might include a more formal passage, while a relaxed, informal event could feature something more lighthearted and humorous.

When it comes to the content of the wedding reading, there are several options to consider. Religious readings are common in many wedding ceremonies, and can be a good choice for couples with strong faith. Poems and love letters can be a romantic option that can be beautifully read aloud. Famous quotes about love and marriage can inspire and enchant the audience.

The most important aspect of a wedding reading is that it speaks to the couple’s unique love story. Whether you choose a traditional or modern reading, it should be chosen with care and delivered with sincerity. A good wedding reading should make the audience laugh or cry, and leave them with a lasting impression of the couple’s special day.

Does the officiant do a reading?

One of the most important aspects of a wedding is having an officiant to perform the ceremony. The choice of an officiant is crucial, as they are responsible for leading the ceremony and making it special and personal for the couple getting married. One question that often comes up is whether or not the officiant will do a reading during the ceremony.

The answer is, it depends on the type of ceremony and the couple’s preferences. If the wedding is religious, the officiant will typically read from a holy book, such as the Bible, Torah, or Quran. If the wedding is non-religious, the officiant will have more flexibility in terms of what they can say or read.

Non-religious ceremonies may still include a reading or two, often chosen by the couple as a way to inject some personal touches into the ceremony. For example, they may choose a favorite love poem or an excerpt from a favorite book that speaks to their relationship.

Additionally, some couples may request that the officiant reads a prayer or poem during their ceremony, even if it’s not religious. This can be a beautiful addition to the ceremony and serve as a way to express the couple’s beliefs and wishes for their future together.

In short, it’s ultimately up to the couple and the type of ceremony they’ve planned as to whether or not the officiant will do a reading. If the wedding is non-religious, the officiant can say words of encouragement to the couple, bless them in their union, or read a requested prayer or poem aloud. Whatever the couple decides, the officiant’s role is to help create a memorable and meaningful ceremony that reflects their personalities and love for one another.