Using Your Favorite Love Song in Your Ceremony


Wedding ceremonies often include a “reading”.  Sometimes it is a reading from the sacred text of the bride’s or groom’s faith tradition; sometimes a favorite love poem.


Readings that speak to the couple can set the tone of the ceremony.  Whether read by the Officiant, a family member or friend, the very best readings are those that speak to the couple, that resonates with their unique story and personalities.  Your officiant likely has a list of some readings you can choose from.


A couple who I’ll be marrying this weekend asked if they could use song lyrics for the reading since they don’t have someone to sing it.  SURE! As long as they don’t want my to sing it, I’m good with that.


Some things to think about if this is what you want in your ceremony.


Our Song

Almost all couples have a song that has become “our song” – the one that has special meaning for them, that reminds them of a particular moment in the journey together, that connects them intimately.  Maybe it was the song playing when they met, or their first dance, or there’s a message in the lyrics that has a special shared joke that makes them smile.  Whatever that reason might be, a couple might want the song to have an important part in the ceremony.  Sometimes though, playing a full song might not be practical.  An expressive reading of the lyrics with attention to the couple’s favorite line could be just as special.


Do The Lyrics Work On Their Own?

Some lyrics are like a poem to being with and work very well without accompaniment.  Others lose some of their meaning without the instruments playing.  Try reading the lyrics aloud to each other to hear if, without the music, they still reflect the meaning that makes it your song.  If you find yourself tripping on the words, or thinking they sound a little off, then maybe it’s not a great choice.


Who Will Read Your Song?

Choosing who will read your lyrics is critical.  If you have a public speaker in your family or friends, this can be a perfect way to include them.  Have the person you choose read it to you as a “dress rehearsal”.  It is important that the reader has a loud and strong voice so that all of your guests will hear.   Listen to see if they are adding emotion and cadence.  Few things are more painful for your guests that a long reading in a whispered monotone.  Consider the style of the words and the mood of the ceremony, and choose someone whose personality fits the reading.


This is Your Day! 

So if the lyrics alone just don’t work, and that song is truly important to your ceremony, then go for it!  What matters most in the end is that this day is everything you dream of!  I’ve yet to see a guest get up and leave when they’ve lost attention.  J  Have your celebrant give an introduction of some sort about what the song means to you, and share any words that might not be clear in the song.  He or she could also point out a theme for folks to listen for.  .


Dare to be Creative and Have Fun!

As a wedding officiant, I welcome the unique, the fun, the pieces that will stand out 10, 15, 20 years from now when your guests are remembering your wedding day and have something that still makes them smile!  Great lyrics can be powerful, passionate and even fun in the hands of the right speaker.  Heck – how about “the ants go marching two by two” with new lyrics!  Imagine the laughter and memories you’ll create!


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