I have been to wedding ceremonies that lasted for less than ten minutes, and ones that have stretched to almost two hours–but no matter how long a ceremony is, they always seem to fly by if they’re crafted with intention and care. These most important moments of a wedding day should be the very best end to your engagement and start to married life, thanks to the people you’re surrounded by and the readings, songs, vows, and traditions you choose to include. Continuing our ceremony readings series, here are a few meaningful choices some friends of ours have made–see more on our Ceremony Readings Pinterest board!
“Andrew and I decided to include two readings in our ceremony back in 2010. Ever the traditionalist, my husband chose 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. While it’s a popular choice for weddings, the sentiment behind the verse it still really beautiful. My sister-in-law did the honor of reading it. I, on the other hand, really wanted something lighthearted and very ‘us,’ so I picked a poem called ‘I’ll Be There for You’ by Louise Cuddon. A friend of ours read it right before we were announced as husband and wife and it was perfect! After dating for five years before we got married (two and a half of those years spent 15 hours apart!), there were things in the poem that had actually happened to us and made us laugh as we looked into each other’s eyes during that moment. It was a symbolic part of our ceremony and a festive way to end our ceremony and start our adventure as a Mr. and Mrs.” – Rhiannon Bosse, Hey Gorgeous Events
“My cousin read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 just before we shared the vows we wrote to one another. Leading up to her reading, this is what our pastor shared: ‘Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, and commitment is stronger. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love. When two people pledge to care for each other in marriage they create a unique spirit that binds them closer than any spoken words. Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people in love, but takes a lifetime to fulfill.’ The apostle Paul understood this, and in 1 Corinthians’ 13th chapter, he attempted to define for us what love is–with love being not just an attribute of God, but God being love. Pete and I chose this classic piece of scripture as a reminder for how we wish to love one another throughout our marriage. No matter what season of life we are in, what joy or sadness we may experience, what challenge or triumph we come through, we always want to honor one another through our actions, words, and love.” – Astleigh Hill, Hill Collection
We had two readings. My cousin read “The Irish Blessing,” which has special significance to my family. It has been read at many weddings on my mom’s side of the family, including my parents’. My older brother passed away a few years ago and we read it at his memorial service as well. The message is one of hope, enjoying the “simple things in life,” and the promise of heaven–great reminders on our wedding day. – Leila (See her and Sterling’s wedding here!)
What did you choose for your ceremony readings? Chime in in the comments below to add to this list!
After doing research (here at SW.com!) and talking with our preacher, we chose several readings. One was 1st John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” Our preacher did a wonderful job incorporating this into the ceremony. We also had an excerpt of a letter from Mark Twain to his, at the time, fiance. My brother read this, and so many people afterwards mentioned how sweet the reading was. (Side note, Mark Twain was my husband’s grandfather’s favorite American author, so it had that personal touch as well.) We had a good family friend read Ruth 1:16-17. The song version of this verse was sung at my parents’ wedding in 1980, and Jason and I loved the meaning behind it. We had it read, and “Wither Thou Goest” sung too (just like my parents :)
I love the “I’ll Be There For You” poem! I’d never heard it before now. My first instinct was I wanted to send it to my husband right away- but instead I think I’ll save this one for a special occasion or maybe even after a bad day to put a smile on his face :)
While scripture is the traditional source for wedding ceremony readings, I love being able to offer different options for couples who don’t want to go traditional. I have one bride who wrote poetry, and their ceremony readings were poems that she wrote.