7 Tips for Doing a Faultless Wedding Ceremony Reading
Being asking to present a wedding reading is quite an honour, and you may well be feeling privileged and proud. As with any presentation you make – whether for work or pleasure – the key to success in doing a wedding ceremony reading is proper preparation. Here are some tips to help you pull it off with aplomb:
Practice: Make sure the bride and groom give their chosen reading to you at least four weeks in advance of the big day. This allows you plenty of time to practice reading out loud – ideally, in front of the mirror. If you’re a commuter, you could find an isolated spot on the platform whilst awaiting your train to get in a bit more practice.
Remember to breathe: It’s not a race, so don’t try to rush the reading; ensure there are appropriate moments for you to pause between paragraphs. Use the pauses to make eye contact with the wedding guests. Think back to school – those full stops, commas and new paragraphs are all there for a reason!
Encourage laughter: If the reading is humorous then encourage some laughter, smile and acknowledge the joke. Give guests time to listen to any punch lines and pause so they have the opportunity to laugh out loud. The moment gets lost if you move onto the next paragraph without doing so.
Speak clearly and slowly: You want all the guests to be able to hear you. Stand tall to allow air to enter your lungs; this is no time for slouching. One trade secret that all salesmen know is that if you talk with a smile you naturally will sound happy. You’re at a wedding after all, and you want to sound happy.
Bring copies of the reading: Even if the bride and groom are printing the reading within the order of service, still bring your own copy as a backup. After all, you might not be able to read from the order of service as the font might be too small.
Print the reading at home, using a nice large font size, and instead of holding a flimsy piece of paper find some nice card on which to mount your printout. This way guests will see only the lovely card and not paper flipping about. You could even have a message on the card that guests will see when you start your reading.
Position: Ask the bride and groom where you will be seated for the ceremony. Ideally, you’ll be near the front and at the end of a pew. Check where the bride and groom would like you to present the reading – is there a lectern, for example?
Be on time: Ensure you allow enough time to arrive at the ceremony early. This ensures that you won’t be flustered and are nice and calm, ready for your moment in the spotlight.