“Love it patient, love is kind”
Good old faithful Corinthians 13:4-8. It’s a classic wedding reading, and for that reason you’ve probably heard it all but a gazillion times. To avoid a crowd of glazed eyes at the ceremony, more and more couples are ditching the traditional readings for more creative options. Even choosing to commission personalized wedding poems.
“With more and more people wanting something that little bit different for their special day, bored of the same readings, or finding that sourcing the perfect reading has become an arduous task - that’s where I come in,” says Christina Dale (pictured above) of The Wedding Whisperer.
After years of writing poetry and having her work published, Christina now offers her service, as The Wedding Whisperer, to write bespoke, original poetry for weddings. “This could be read by the couple as vows or by a friend instead of a traditional or oft used reading, or simply as a commemorative piece.”
Intrigued? Here Christina shares her tips on how to create your own personalized wedding poem.
Be inspired by the couple’s favourite poems
Unless you’re a master poet that can write a prose before your morning coffee, Christina recommends starting with some inspiration for. “When I meet with clients, I often ask them to bring along a list of favourite authors or poems, in order to gauge the style they might like.
Think about what ties the couple together
The key to a personalized poem, according to Christina, is what captures the idiosyncrasies of the couple and turns it from being just ‘a poem’ into ‘their poem’.
“Their quirks, their differing personalities, the ‘journey of them’: what makes their love story unique. Embrace the blank page and find your hook: what do you think of first when you think of the couple? What is it that ties them together?”
Keep it humorous
In addition to the personal touches, Christina also recommends keeping it quirky and humorous. “You’re helping to set the tone of the day in a way, honouring the couple (no pressure), and there’s nothing like a giggling congregation to begin the joyous, revelrous beat.”
Always think about delivery
“Readings at weddings can be daunting, it’s often one of the first things to happen in the day’s events, before that little liquid courage,” says Christina, which is also why she offers performance coaching. The key to successfully delivering a poem at a wedding? Speaking honestly, confidently and from the bottom of the heart.
An example of a personalized poem:
The following was written by Christina for a musician and a writer / actress, who met whilst on a show, and it was read by three of their friends together (pictured above).
This is how it starts.
with a kiss,
in the wings
as the baseline beats
beloved, beloved, be my beloved?
With a promise,
to eat the leftovers
so they don't rot in the Tupperware pot,
to never dot the i's in
I love you
because being with you makes me stand
taller, stronger, more
me, than I ever thought I could be.
It all grows
with my love for your
in flip flops,
the way your hair
falls in hip hop beats
around the speckles in your cheeks
at dusk, as we begin to taste
So this is trust, we say.
This is what it feels like
to stare at someone
scratching their nose
watching your lover bend
prose into poetry
on a stage, to misbehave
in mundanity. The every day,
when we promise each other
no platitudes, but to say -
The poem was then followed by the promises the couple wanted to make to each other.