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What Is A Wedding Reading? [All That You Need To Know]

There are many different components to a wedding ceremony. And, there are many different terms to become familiar with. One such example is the wedding readings. But what are they, who delivers them, when, and why? Here is what you need to know.

So, what is a wedding reading? A wedding reading is a short quote, passage, poem, psalm, or excerpt that somebody (chosen by the couple) will read during a ceremony. The reading could be from the bible, a book, or a movie. Wedding readings are often included in both religious, and non-religious ceremonies.

What makes a good wedding reading is one that has personal significance to the couple.

Or at the very least, has a wonderful message that epitomizes the relationship.

And wedding readings can differ quite tremendously.

For some couples, they are are religious and formal.

For others, they can be a little more humorous and light-hearted.

So in reality, every wedding has the potential to have vastly different readings.

Let us now take a closer look at the details of this event, so you know exactly what they are!

Who Reads A Wedding Reading?

A wedding reading can be delivered by the couple, the officiant, or an individual chosen by the bride and groom. Often, they are read by important members of the bridal party (such as the Maid of Honor), close family members (such as Uncles, Aunties), and close friends.

Sometimes, an individual who couldn’t be involved in the bridal party is asked to provide a reading.

Alternatively, there may be instances where certain individuals offer to provide a reading.

Ultimately, it is down to the couple, along with the preferences and competencies of those selected.

Not everyone will want to give a reading, and that should be respected.

Either way, it is usually considered an honor to be chosen and one that is typically acknowledged and taken up.

When Is A Wedding Reading Delivered?

Wedding readings are usually given early on in a ceremony, following the introduction by the Officiant.

Typically, readings will follow one after the other (if multiple readings are to be given), although it has been known for them to be delivered at separate times and throughout the ceremony too.

Why Would You Want A Wedding Reading?

Wedding readings make a wedding ceremony much more personal, and they also help to extend ceremonies that would otherwise be a little short.

For the most part, readings are chosen by the couple. Or at least, they are consulted with by the individual giving the reading.

For religious ceremonies, many readings help to provide meaning and enrichment.

Whereas, for non-religious ceremonies, a reading can help to personalize their ceremony and provide insight into who they are, what they enjoy, and what is personally significant to them.

For instance, many couples will have readings from their favorite novels, or movies that they enjoy together.

Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Lord of The Rings; excerpts and passages from them have all be given.

And being such great literature, they often have some very sentimental and heart-warming dialogue that can really add to a ceremony.

How Many Readings Should You Have At A Wedding?

The number of readings delivered is up to the couple, however, most decide to have between 1-3 readings during their ceremonies. Typically, each reading is delivered by a different individual.

For religious ceremonies, at least one bible reading will be given, but for civil ceremonies, there is some greater flexibility.

In fact, a couple may decide to have no readings at all, if that is what they prefer.

Whatever is decided by the couple, it is important that any readings given are suitable in length.

They shouldn’t be too long to extend the ceremony unnecessarily. Besides, this will only bore the guests and take away the effect they are supposed to and could, have.

Can You Write Your Own Wedding Reading?

You can write your own wedding reading and deliver it during your ceremony.

Although, it is essential to ensure it is not only suitable but that it provides the right message and meaning.

Nevertheless, writing your own reading is immensely personal, and can be a very emotional and rewarding thing to do if written and delivered right.


Wedding readings are very personal moments in any wedding ceremony.

Whether it is a religious psalm or a monumental scene within a favorite book or movie, a reading can provide very meaningful sentiments.

And they can be delivered by numerous different individuals too.

They are a great way to honor particular guests, while at the same time, being a means for the couple to personalize the ceremony.

Have other questions about what certain things are at a wedding? Then my following guides may be of help: