Brides chief sub and production editor Emma Byrne is a wordsmith with an English degree. No wonder she's constantly asked by friends where to find ceremony readings. She says:

First things first: before you start flicking through your favourite book or googling 'love poems to make them cry', make sure you know what kind of ceremony you're having and whether there are any limitations to the kind of reading you're allowed.

For example, in civil ceremonies your reading can contain no religious or spiritual references and your chosen passage must have been approved by your registrar beforehand.


Now the good news - anything goes! Don't just search among the obvious; Shakespeare's sonnets and 1 Corinthians 13:3 are beautiful, but chances are you've heard them at every other wedding you've been to. 

Your favourite novel, song, or even film script, can prove the perfect inspiration for a reading that talks about you as a couple.


And remember: a poem that speaks about the madness of first-love might not be altogether relevant to you if you've been together for eight years before tying the knot…