Getting asked to read at a wedding is a great honour, but it can fill many people with dread. Should you introduce a reading? What tone should you take? How can you ensure you don’t trip over any complicated words in a long passage? Robin Kermode, Europe’s leading communication coach, explains how.
It can sometimes feel a bit daunting to be asked to read at a wedding. But don’t worry! With just a little preparation you’ll do yourself proud, and you might even find that you actually enjoy it!
So, to help you along the way, here are the ten top tips for reading at a wedding service:
- Type out your reading and underline the words you want to emphasise. Use a larger font, size 14 or above, so you can see it easily.
- Practice reading it aloud at least five times before the service. Use the same sheet you will use in the service so you get used to the layout of the sentences.
- When you practice, don’t try to be the best reader in the world. Just speak simply so the congregation can listen to the meaning of your words.
- On the day, take up your sheet with you as you walk forward–don’t rely on someone else to do this for you. There’s nothing worse than getting to the lectern and finding that the sheet isn’t there.
- When you reach the front, wait two or three seconds before you start to read. This will help you compose yourself.
- It’s not always necessary to introduce a reading, especially if the congregation have printed service sheets. Saying the words without an introduction can often have more impact.
- If you can see the Bride and Groom, it’s good to smile at them before starting to read.
- As you speak, use your own voice. In a formal situation, it’s very easy to find yourself putting on your ‘posh’ voice. Just be yourself.
- Speak slowly and leave a pause after every line. An old building like a church might have a slight echo too, so it’s best to speak in shorter sentences and let the sound fall away before starting your next line.
- At the end, smile at the Bride and Groom again before slowly walking back to your seat.
Everyone will, of course, have their own methods on reading in font of an audience. So perhaps you can try different ways to find how you are most comfortable.
Robin Kermode is one of Europe’s leading speech directors and private speech coach for those looking to improve both public and personal communication skills. Working with a range of individuals including: senior executives, entrepreneurs, politicians, auctioneers, charities, corporate teams and media personalities, he has been coaching personal and public communication skills for over ten years.
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