Wedding Ceremony ReadingWhether you are a couple's choice for the officiant at their wedding, or they just want you to read a favorite passage or piece at the ceremony, it is an honor to be asked to participate. There is no doubt you feel honored, but also nervous. Very nervous. How are you supposed to know how to adopt the right tone for the occasion, or how to complement the energy of the couple on their special day? The good news is, they hold you in enough esteem to ask this of you, so you know they trust you to do a great job. The following are some tips to help you relax and deliver the chosen words like a pro, no matter if it is a single poem or the entire service.

Prepare Your Material

Type out whatever it is you may be reading at the service in a bigger font than you may normally use for documents say, 14 or larger for easy viewing. Underline or highlight the words you want earmarked for emphasis. Go over the wedding ceremony reading to avoid tripping over complicated passages, unfamiliar words or lines written in a foreign language. Make a copy, but practice with the same sheet each time. Also, it is a good idea to keep a hold of your own prepared sheet until you need it. You do not want to get to the site and not be able to locate it.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practicing five times out loud before the service may do the trick. As you practice, think about keeping a natural tone. Speak simply and in your own voice. Although a wedding ceremony may be a momentous event for the participants, there is no need for a special orator voice or for lofty intonation. No doubt the couple chose words that have meaning for them. The focus should be on expressing those meaningful words so that they may be heard and understood clearly by the couple and the attendees.

At the Ceremony

You have your prepared sheet and you have practiced. It is time to celebrate the couple with your reading. A few last-minute suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Before you begin, wait two to three seconds. Use the moment to breathe and settle yourself.
  • Look out into the group. Make eye contact with the couple and smile.
  • You may wish to introduce the reading, but it is not strictly necessary. In fact, it may be more effective to simply start right into it without an introduction.
  • It is common to speed up the pace of your speech when nervous. Consciously slow it down. Pause briefly after each line. This allows the listeners to fully hear and absorb the words. Also, some indoor venues may be large enough to encourage an echo, so a pause lets the sound fall away before you say the next line.
  • When you are finished, smile at the couple and at the group. If you are to proceed with another part of the ceremony, pause another moment to allow for a transition.

The Perfect Reading

The truth is, the perfect reading may have very little to do with your performance. Odds are, you were asked to do the reading because the couple holds you as a cherished friend. Or, you are an officiant who performs ceremonies in line with the couple's spiritual and cultural views. Either way, they chose you to share their hearts with friends and family. One of the best pieces of advice may be to just approach the task directly and with simplicity. Gargle with a little salt water, do some breathing exercises and let the words speak for themselves. Before you know it, you will have performed the perfect reading for a very happy couple.

Category: Get Ordained Perform a Wedding

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