Doing a reading at a wedding

There will always be a Bible reading at a church wedding and possibly other types of readings too. If you’ve been asked to read something out on the day, preparation and practice will help you read with confidence.
A man in a suit reading from the lectern at the front of a church

If you’re not used to standing in front of a crowd, being asked to do a reading at a wedding can be a little nerve-wracking. But remembering a few simple points will help you keep your cool:

  1. You may be asked to read from the Bible, or you may be reading out something else which the couple has chosen. Ask the couple to let you know in advance what you’ll be doing.
  2. Rehearse the reading at home. Practice speaking slowly and projecting your voice. Some of the most popular Bible readings at weddings are given on this site, so you might find yours among them.
  3. Go to the wedding rehearsal so you know when the reading comes up during the service and at what point you need to come out to the front.
  4. At the wedding, try to sit at the end of the pew, near to the aisle, so you don’t have to push past others when you need to come out to the front.
  5. Arrive at the wedding a little early so you can make sure the Bible is on the reading stand and open on the right page. Alternatively, you can print the passage out and read from your own sheet of paper (but you’ll need to remember to bring it with you)!
  6. It often helps the congregation to tell them where the reading has come from before you begin. So for example, if a Bible reference is 1 Corinthians 13, you may introduce it by saying: “The chosen Bible reading is taken from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13”.
  7. Read slowly, projecting your voice, (though there will be less need to raise the volume of your voice if the church has a microphone).
  8. Sometimes at the end of a Bible reading in church, the reader says; “This is the Word of the Lord”, and the congregation responds; “Thanks be to God”. It is not compulsory to say this, so ask the vicar whether it is necessary.