If you are one of the lucky couples who will be creating their ceremony with an open minded and flexible officiant, (preferably, a NJ wedding officiant….smooth, eh?) you’ll probably be asked if you want to include readings in your wedding ceremony or civil union celebration. When I ask this question of my couples, many of them go into a mind freeze state. Readings…..isn’t that a code word for boring, hackneyed, over-used or scriptural?

Well, sometimes, but ideally not. Readings can be very inspiration, very entertaining, and very useful in gently directing the flow of your ceremony. They can solve the problem of how you include friends and family that are not in the bridal party.  They can, if deployed graciously, add a slightly religious note that may comfort your family without compromising your wishes….(“Aunt Mary would like to remind us of the words of the Apostle Paul….)  They can break up an uninterrupted landscape of your officiant speaking, adding new voices and new photos opps for your photographer.

How do you find these fantastic readings for your officiant or your guest readers?  There are a lot of great places to look, and some of them are totally unexpected.

1.Song Lyrics

Several of my couples last year chose “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds as part of their ceremony and as part of their first dance. It’s sweet, touching, and unusual.

2. Kids Books

Dr Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go” is a big fave, as is “The Velveteen Rabbit.” If your guest reader is a child or young teenager, these are especially appropriate.

3. Contemporary Authors

Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, Nick Banock; there is wonderful stuff being written every day.  Shakespeare did not write the last great reading….

4.Classic Authors

That being said, Shakespeare, Austin, LIndberg, Twain; wonderful stuff that may add a note of elegance and timelessness to your ceremony.

5.Movie Quotes

“When Harry Met Sally” is full of great stuff, as is “The Wedding Singer”.  And you get to watch the movie together to find the quotes!

So, look around, keep your eyes and ears open and you’ll find the perfect words for your perfect day!