13 Best Wedding Reading Ideas And Tips That'll Stand Out — From Traditional To Creative

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Readings are some of the most memorable parts of a wedding. And while it may be incredibly common to use bible verses or psalms as part of a wedding reading, it’s not the only option. Wedding readings are very personal, and the best ones (the most memorable ones!) are those that are unique and tailored to the couple being celebrated.

Of course, that can be taken in many different directions, and for that reason, there’s lots of room to get creative. Whether it's songs, quotes from books or movies, or something deeply personal that only those who know you will get, this is one to have fun with, but also take very seriously. 

RELATED: 5 Beautiful Wedding Ideas & Rituals That Are Spiritual, But Not Religious

1. Don’t do too much

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Uliana Popa  Calligrapher (@popnco_creations) on Jul 6, 2019 at 3:54am PDT

You don’t have to cram everything into the wedding ceremony, so consider doing no more than two readings. “You have all day to do things and honor people. More than that and you risk losing the attention of your guests,” says Reverend Clint Hufft of ProMaster of Ceremonies.

2. Consider your options

A reading could be part of a toast or printed on place cards for the meal. Overall, says Hufft, “The goal is to continue the celebration of the couple throughout the day.”

3. No coercion

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Interfaith Rev. Hannah Grace (@graceceremonies) on Aug 10, 2019 at 1:51pm PDT

The reader has to want to do it, so that means no forcing anybody to do something they are clearly nervous about. “Not many are comfortable with public speaking,” adds Hufft. If the person you want to choose refuses, respect their decision.

4. Ask someone close

The reader should be relevant, not an obligation. “A personal, emotional connection between the couple and the individual,” says Hufft. So, think about individuals who are closest to the couple, and consider asking them.

5. Train-like collaboration

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  N A T A L I E  (@natraybouldweds) on Aug 7, 2019 at 3:33am PDT

Sometimes, couples give out very short one- or two-line readings to specific guests. Suggests Hufft, “At the appropriate time, the guest rises from their chair and shares the reading without coming to the front.” If you have a few people in a row do this, everyone can get involved.

6. Dare to be different.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Helen Tuttle (@helsev) on Jul 16, 2019 at 2:36pm PDT

Love to dance? Use dance music lyrics for a wedding reading. Yes, really! You can even get bonus points if you play the song during the reading. You can also choose a slower remix of the song to make it ceremony-appropriate.

“I actually used an EDM song for my own wedding!” reveals Marie Kubin, CEO of Rent My Wedding. More into ballads?

RELATED: 10 Traditional Wedding Vows You Can Use At Your Own Ceremony

7. Go Greek

If the couple was in a fraternity or sorority, you may want to use that as part of the wedding reading.

Recommends Tracie Domino, Founder and Creative Director of Tracie Domino Events, "We love the idea of incorporating sorority or fraternity ritual readings into weddings, especially when the couple met through the Greek system at their university and their bridal party is made up of their 'brothers' and 'sisters.'”

8. Poetry

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@littlewishingwellco) on Apr 27, 2019 at 11:47am PDT

Poetry has some of the most beautiful verses and combination of words, sometimes even more so than those words set to music.

For example, this quote from a poem by Rumi: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."

9. TV or movie quotes

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Clay Kyle, LMFT (@winecountryofficiant) on May 13, 2019 at 10:13pm PDT

Does the couple have regular dates watching Outlander together? Or, do they sit on the couch for hours re-watching The Office? If so, quotes from Jamie and Claire’s timeless love story, as well as the funniest moments from Dunder Mifflin, would be perfect for their wedding.

“Dialog from the couple’s favorite movie or TV show is a fun idea," says Katelyn Stanis, owner and creator of Wedding Words.

10. Old love notes

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Feather Lettered (@featherlettered) on Aug 12, 2019 at 10:39am PDT

“Reference their old love letters and cards to each other,” suggests Stanis. You can pull concepts from these sentimental items to create your own, very personal reading. Plus, you'll remind the couple of how strong their love is.

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11. Yearbooks

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sagittarius (@savageway707frmtheebay) on Aug 9, 2019 at 9:29pm PDT

Did the couple meet in high school and are now getting married? That's an extra special footnote on your big day that deserves to be celebrated. “For high school sweethearts, flash back to what you wrote in each other's yearbooks,” Stanis says.

12. Your song

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Koren Harvey (@korenharveyweddings) on Mar 21, 2019 at 1:37pm PDT

What song was playing during your first dance? What about your first kiss, or even on your first date? When you hear the lyrics from that one song that's incredibly sentimental, you'll think "this is so us!"

13. Something custom for you

Your story is your story, so make it your own and keep things personal. Says Stanis, “Have a close friend or family member write a personalized reading or poem about you two.” It's just another way to make things romantic and personal.

RELATED: 8 Short, Beautiful Wedding Love Poems For When Two Become One

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.