Popular Christian and Secular Wedding Readings

Popular Christian and Secular Wedding Readings

Many couples ask a close friend or family member to present a wedding reading at their ceremony. Ranging from romantic to humorous, there are many popular wedding readings to choose from in order to celebrate your love at your special event. If you are on the hunt for the perfect reading, the suggestions below are sure to help you and your betrothed.  

Popular Christian Wedding Readings

If you are getting married in a house of worship, consider choosing a religious wedding reading to complement the event. There are several scriptures from the Bible that perfectly describe the lasting union between husband and wife. When selecting a reading from the Bible, keep in mind that there are several versions available, such as the New American Standard Version and the King James Version.

Is your speaker shy? Picking a short but beautiful verse will convey the speaker’s feelings while alleviating any anxiety or stage fright. Popular shorter verses from the Bible include:  Colossians 3:12-14; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; and John 15:9-12.

If your loved one is an accomplished speaker who feels comfortable in front of an audience, you may wish to select a longer passage for your reading. Consider the following verses:  I Corinthians 13:1-13; Genesis 2:18-24; and I John 4:7-19

For non-Biblical options, there are several other popular religious wedding readings to consider. The Traditional Irish Blessing is a beautiful reading wishing the couple well in their new life together. You may also consider The Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi, which imparts an uplifting message on both the new couple and guests alike. 

If you are having trouble picking out the right religious reading, you can always consult your priest, rabbi, or other spiritual advisor for assistance; he or she will be able to recommend appropriate wedding readings for your ceremony. 

Popular Secular Wedding Blessings

Did you know that an excerpt from a beloved childhood book is also a popular wedding reading? It’s true; The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is a popular pick for many couples who wish to celebrate their special day with a bit of nostalgia. Discussing how love makes one “real,” this piece is a sweet ode to marriage.

The Apache Wedding Blessing is a beautiful reading that celebrates the joining of two lives. While there is a popular misconception that this is a traditional Apache prayer, it was actually written by a screenwriter for the film Broken Arrow, which starred James Stewart and Deborah Paget.

Poetry and love were made for each other (just like you and your fiancé). The following romantic poems are a popular choice for weddings:  “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson; “If Thou Must Love Me” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning; and “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron.

There is a reason Shakespeare is still read in schools across the world. With several love sonnets and passages from plays such as The Merchant of Venice, consider revisiting the bard to find several popular weddings readings that have stood the test of time.

Do you have a comedian in your group of friends? A reading from The Princess Bride may make a fun choice. If you have seen this movie, chances are you remember the wedding scene from the movie (and the minister’s distinct pronunciation of the word “Mawwage”). A lighthearted or humorous reading can provide a nice counterbalance to a more serious piece. 

Wedding Reading Considerations

When choosing a wedding reading, there are several things to consider. For example, take into careful consideration the person who will be reading the passage at your ceremony–you don’t want to give your serious friend or family member a humorous piece to read, and vice versa. Make sure that the reader is comfortable with the piece you have selected for him or her.

Many couples have questions about the number of readings they should have at their ceremony. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than three readings. The combined length of time for all readings should be five minutes or less. 

Wedding readings certainly set the tone of the ceremony. Consider balancing the heavy with the light and the complicated with the straightforward. Thankfully, with so many popular wedding readings out there, finding the right mix of pieces is easy!