This one thing about weddings readings that no-one ever tells you

Photo by Ruth Blamire-Brown for Jeremy Standley

I’m going to let you into a little secret. Actually, I’m not sure if it is a secret, but I’m going to treat it as one, because it does seem to be a thing that not many people seem to know and some people who are in the know don’t often share. So I’m just going to write it below, and I may even get a little bit shouty about it, but here goes;


There, I’ve said it and boy, do I feel much better now. I’ll say it again more quietly.

You don’t have to have a wedding reading.

Wedding readings to some extent are almost like what curtains are to windows. Lots of people have curtains on their windows. Many people have curtains because they like them and think they go nicely and some probably just have them because they think the windows need them. But then you get the people who know that curtains are a no-no and definitely not for them. They prefer blinds, or shutters or nothing at all! The point is, you don’t have to have curtains if you don’t want to. If they don’t suit your style, if you don’t like how they look or simply because you just don’t want them. Okay, I think I can stop talking about curtains now.

Readings seem like such a part of the furniture and furnishings of wedding ceremonies that often couples don’t stop to think, if they actually want them or not. So that’s why I’m here to tell you in a rather long-winded way that you don’t have to have them, if you don’t want to. Your ceremony isn’t going to fall apart if you don’t have a reading. Phew!


Readings aren’t for everyone. People can fully appreciate the sentiment of a reading and even be avid readers themselves but that doesn’t mean they want to have a reading during their ceremony.

Not having a reading doesn’t take away anything from your ceremony and it is so much better to have a ceremony that truly reflects you both as a couple, than to have something that you’ve added to your ceremony for the sake of it or simply to pad your ceremony out.

I tell my couples this a lot. Don’t have a reading because you think you have to. Only include a reading because it really speaks to you, it really speaks about you and adds a layer to your ceremony that you want to add. If there’s no connection between you and the words before your wedding day, there sure won’t be one on your wedding day, either.

I have to admit, I have been at the odd wedding now and again and thought ,’did they really want that reading?’ But I could have been wrong. Readings are very subjective and what one person may love, another could quite possibly and quite easily loathe!

If your ceremony is already personality-rich, already reflects you both through the other elements that you are including, then maybe a reading won’t add anything more.

If you’re sitting on the fence with your decision to have a reading in your ceremony or not, then ask yourself these questions.

  1. Why have I chosen this reading?
  2. Do I really want this reading in my ceremony?
  3. Do I really love what this reading says?
  4. Who is this reading for’ For us or for our guests?

If your answers to those questions are all a bit ‘meh,’ then I think you’ve got your answer.

Are you having a reading-less ceremony? Let me know if the comments below.



Main image by Ruth Blamire-Brown for Jeremy Standley Studio

About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

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