If you have been tasked with the epic responsibility of a gay wedding reading, then it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start.
Should you go traditional, read lyrics from an inspirational song or write something yourself?
There’s no simple answer to that, but if you’ve been given the privilege of being one of the few to do a reading at an LGBT wedding, you may be stuck and need some help.
Sometimes the brides or grooms may choose something for you to read, but for those they trust implicitly, they may give you free rein to choose a wedding reading of your own.
When it came to choosing a wedding reading for some friends of mine, I read through all the usual suspects and even some more obscure ones on the internet in the hope of finding something that fitted the personalities of the happy couple. But every time I thought I’d found something that worked, I just couldn’t quite reconcile myself with the fact that it wasn’t written for them.
So I set about writing something myself. I wasn’t the best man so didn’t need to work on a best man’s speech. I wasn’t there to tell anecdotes and make the audience laugh. This was part of the ceremony. It had to be poignant, it had to be romantic and it had to be unique and from the heart.
I started by remembering the long sermons and homilies I had sat through as a child in church. I wanted it to be in that vein, but without the lengthy diatribe or superior posturing.
So I started writing and the words just flowed freely. I thought I’d share those words with you. They may or may not resonate, but I hope they give you the inspiration you need to write the perfect gay wedding reading.
And whilst the reading should be hugely personal, I have in fact used a similar version at two different weddings, including one where the couple already had children.
For You Two
I’ve often thought that LOVE is a totally mad concept. And everyone else made it look so easy. At least that’s what they lead you to believe when you’re growing up. In fairytales, in Disney, in Hollywood the word LOVE is at the heart of everything.
They say that LOVE makes the world go round, but who are THEY? And how can anyone be an expert in the concept of LOVE? LOVE is individual and LOVE comes in many different forms. The LOVE between two people is unique. And so it should be, so how can anyone proclaim to be an expert?
I’m certainly not, but I thought I’d share my own version of love in the hope that it resonates with some of you here today. [Insert Couple’s Names], you are first and foremost individuals. Stronger together, it’s important you retain your individuality and even more so after today. You were individuals when you first fell in love. You fell in love with the individual and have flourished into the couple. But never forget the love you have for each other as individuals.
I like to think of love as being crystallised by picturing two individuals walking along your own paths. Sometimes those paths are parallel, sometimes they converge and sometimes they’ll diverge. But what makes you a couple is that all the time you’re holding hands across the divide. Sometimes it’ll only be your little fingers that are touching, whilst at other times you’ll be holding each other’s hands so tight that you are scared that you’ll crush the other person in the process.
LOVE also comes in many forms.
[Here I asked each half of the couple for a little nugget on each other or if the couple has children, I asked them for what they love most about their parents].
I already said that the LOVE between two people is unique. So unique in fact that I asked you both secretly what your favourite thing was about each other. Name 1 said that Name 2’s endless patience inspires them, they appreciate their warmth and that they’re the rock that keeps them grounded.
For Name 2, they love that Name 1 is in love with life or “Innamorata della vita”. Full of life, but also positive, enthusiastic and jubilant all in one.
So just for balance, I asked each of them what annoys them most about each other – and perhaps that’s even more telling. For Name 1, they can’t stand that when Name 2 is in the kitchen they think they are in charge.
For Name 2 it’s when they’re having a deep and meaningful conversation, no matter how serious the conversation is if a great song comes on, they’ll instantly jump up for a moment or two and then start singing along. When they’re done, they’ll return to planet earth and continue the conversation right where they left off.
So whilst no one here in this room can begin to define your love, what is clear is that there are many types of LOVE. And so for me or anyone else to try to define your LOVE would be churlish. Your love for each other, [your children and your parents] is totally unique. And that is what makes it so special. No one can ever take that away from any of you, no one else can, nor should they, try to define it for you and therefore your LOVE will always be extraordinary.