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A Word About Ceremony Readings: Picking Your Readers

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2007

As you gear up for your search, think about whom you'd like to have recite. Many couples assign readings to relatives or friends not included in the wedding party. The bride's and groom's mothers could each read something, or, if the bride has both a father and stepfather, one might walk her down the aisle and the other do a reading. It's also best to ask someone who has a strong voice -- and isn't shy. "Some people are really uncomfortable reading in public," says Liz Seccuro of Dolce Parties in Greenwich, Connecticut. So even if your heart is set on your Uncle Paul, if he declines, "don't press the issue," she advises.

Some brides and grooms decide on specific selections for specific readers. Others let each reader help choose what he or she will recite, offering two or three alternatives to pick from. Still other brave couples leave the choice of passages entirely up to their readers, even encouraging them to compose an original poem or essay. If you go this route, be sure to look over the readings before the wedding so that you won't be unhappily surprised. Even if you didn't assign the material, the sentiments it contains "should be a reflection of what you both would want to say," advises bridal consultant Carol Marino of A Perfect Wedding in Fairfax, Virginia.

Decide who reads what (and when they'll read) at least three months before the wedding, so participants will have time to practice. On the big day, distribute fresh copies to each reader and have duplicates at the podium, along with glasses of water.

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