Written by Paula Jones Last updated: January 29, 2007
These two little words are seen as the cornerstone of the whole marriage ceremony, the logical conclusion of the three little words, ‘I love you.’
These two little words are seen as the cornerstone of the whole marriage ceremony, the logical conclusion of the three little words, ‘I love you,’
So did you know that these two words are not actually included in a standard English, Welsh or Scottish ceremony? When the minister asks the bride and groom if they will take each other to be man and wife, the usual answer is ‘I will’. The vows are, naturally, the most important part of the whole day, and you’ll probably want to spend some time ensuring that they reflect what you really want to say. Even the standard wording will differ depending on whether you are having a religious or civil ceremony, or whether you have chosen an alternative such as a humanist, pagan or hand‐fasting ceremony. Whereas some people are keen to follow the traditional age‐old wording used by so many thousands of wedded couples over the centuries, others want to express something personal and individual, and put their own stamp on the proceedings.
Readings at your ceremony can add meaning to the day. Wedding readings are by no means a necessary or legal part of the ceremony, but they enhance it and allow things to be said and thought about that are not explicit in the statutory words. Readings are also a great way to involve family and friends in the ceremony.
Readings can add to the solemnity of an occasion or provide a welcome moment of light relief. In civil weddings, they add colour and individuality to the formulaic; at religious venues, they introduce a breath of worldliness that non‐religious people can relate to. Above all, readings emphasize the importance of your day by articulating the values that underlie your momentous decision to marry.
Readings are also a way of involving family and friends in your ceremony, giving them important and meaningful roles to play. If you want to involve children, there are a number of shorter readings, secular, religious and biblical, that are perfect for younger readers.