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Being asked to read at a wedding. Do you love the idea, or does the thought leave you shaking in your shoes?
It is often said that speaking in public is one of our greatest fears (not something that affects me, thankfully!), so if your best friend/daughter/brother asks you to read at their wedding, it can be a nerve-wracking time….
What if you cry? What if your hands shake so you can’t hold the piece of paper? What if your voice wobbles? What if you mispronounce the words? What if you fall over walking up the aisle? What if everyone is looking at you? What if…. what if….
Being asked to read at someone’s wedding is a great honour – enjoy it! I’ve been used to public speaking all my working life. I trained initially with the Armed Forces (as a civil servant), then with the Civil Service college, where we had BBC radio and TV newsreaders advising us how to do it well. I then used to teach effective speaking within the Ministry of Defence, and I am now regularly invited to speak on radio for the BBC.
1. Don’t panic! It will be just 3 or 4 minutes out of your life. Feeling nervous is normal. I still get butterflies every time I’m about to read, and I have been speaking in public for almost 40 years! Pre-match nerves are ok – they give you the energy to get up and perform!
2. Choose your reading carefully. If you have the luxury of choosing a reading or poem, do lots of research – there are thousands of examples out on the internet. Find something that resonates with you, whether that is something from Winnie the Pooh or Pablo Neruda – if you actually like what you are going to read, it makes it a whole heap easier.
3. Practice is essential. Practise your chosen reading a lot. The more you know the piece you are going to read, that fear of losing your place or stumbling over your words disappears.
4. Print your reading in a large, clear font. DO NOT USE CAPITAL LETTERS AS THAT IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO READ IN LARGE CHUNKS. I suggest Arial 14 point, and use 1.5 or even double spacing.
5. If you have dyslexia, you may already know this one, but printing your reading onto pale yellow or peach paper makes the words easier to distinguish.
6. Read much more slowly than the speed at which you normally speak. It may sound agonizingly slow to you, but your audience will not have heard this reading before. Speaking too quickly to get it over with is where most people get it wrong!
7. Speak loudly, without bellowing. I always tell people to speak as if there is a batty old grandma in the very back row with a dodgy hearing aid…. It may sound odd to your ears, but I promise it will sound beautifully clear to those who are listening.
8. Before you get up to speak, have a good drink of cool water (ask the venue staff if you can have a glass of water to take into the ceremony room, or have a bottle of water with you to take a (discreet!) swig from. The act of swallowing water relaxes your vocal cords and stops that awful ‘dry mouth’ feeling.
9. Stand up straight with your head up – don’t hide away by ducking your head, or having your shoulders down, it will affect your voice! Take a deep breath before you start – a slow, gentle breath in through your nose is very calming.
10. Look at the bride and groom when you are reading, and SMILE! You aren’t facing the guillotine, and if you prepare to enjoy your 3 to 4 minutes, then your audience will too.
If you would like any tips on reading in public, or if you would like some ideas for readings, I am always happy to help! Email me on
Thanks for reading
Banburyshire Info Wedding Editor
International Civil Celebrant at Cherish Ceremonies
tel: 01926 930393 mobile: 07713 278699
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Ok, it may sound formal, but in fact it is anything but!
Documentary wedding photography means telling stories, documenting the wedding in the same way as a photojournalist would. Reportage, candid, observational wedding photography are other ways of describing our approach. We prefer “story telling”. However one chooses to describe our approach, the key point is this; we tell the story of your day in photographs. Who was there, what happened when, what was going on whilst that you missed in the excitement of the day. Everyone will tell you the day will go so quickly; its true.
Let us know all about your wedding plans and we will be in touch in a jiffy. If you use Hotmail, Gmail or similar, don’t forget to check your spam filter if you haven’t heard from us within a day or two.
Tel: 01869 226255
Address: 101 Isis Avenue, Bicester, Oxfordshire OX 26 2GR
Then take a look at Vine House Studios. Ivor McCullagh & Becky Moyce are one of the leading wedding photography duo’s in the Banbury area.
Experienced and trusted wedding photography by Vine House Studios
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Meet Darren Bedding wedding photography.
Known as the perfect gentleman who takes everything in his stride. With a fast developing reputation of delivering high quality photographs with excellent customer service. Both ensure a reassuring experience.
Capturing intimate moments enabling couples to relive their beautiful memories for a lifetime to come. This is where your family legacy begins.
View the reviews on Google
Darren mainly works throughout Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, and the Cotswolds. Although has been contracted to work throughout the UK.
Address: Prescote Manor in Cropredy Oxfordshire.
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Whatever your needs, Lindsay & Dawn are here to help you.
Tel: 07818 000671 or 07824 633865
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Judy the Celebrant designs beautiful bespoke weddings ceremonies. Find out why more and more people are choosing Judy as their Celebrant by visiting Judy’s reviews
Judy is based in Warwickshire, but travels worldwide.
Tel: 07713 278699 or 01926 930393
Offering a same day delivery service, which we have FREE delivery in Banbury and only a small delivery charge elsewhere.
Over 21yrs experience. Modern, Classic, Dramatic and Elegant Floral Designs.
Offering you a home, business or venue consultation at a time that suits you. From large scale venue decoration to the smallest detailing in your bridal bouquet, we will design a package to suit tailored to your unique requirements.
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Sweet Celebrations only use the highest quality qualatex balloons with a wide choice of colours and designs.
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Traditional celebration, and wedding cakes by Kit.
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Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/CakesByKit
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Tel: 07969 728751
Facebook Page: Smillies Cakes Pops
Address: 2 Maple Close Woodford Halse, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 3ND
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We have catered for most things from corporate lunches through to weddings with over 120 guests – but also birthday parties, marriage blessings, christenings and engagement parties!
Why not give First We Eat a call on 0753 034 2312 or email .
At Sharon Priscilla everything is made to the highest quality standards for what we see as possibly the most important clothing purchase you will ever make.
Sharon Priscilla is a family run business based in the heart of Oxfordshire. Creating bespoke wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, occasion wear, veils, tiaras, bridal sash belts and jewellery.
Booking an appointment is essential;
Tel: Sharon 07866 742349 or Louise 07834 599865
Address: Crouch Street Banbury OX16 9PP
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Award winning boutique caterers specialising in the creation of sensational menus. Experts in weddings.
Your dedicated Indulgence wedding expert will ensure your day is utter bliss, from the first sip of Champagne to the last crumb of cake.
A wedding is probably the most important day of two peoples’ lives. There are no rehearsals. Indulgence’s professional and talented team combined with their entirely bespoke wedding catering service, will ensure that whether your needs are simple or sumptuous, classic or contemporary, every culinary desire you have for your wedding day will be delivered with passion and meticulous attention to detail.
For enquiries, please contact us:
Tel: 01295 690888
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A horse-drawn carriage is the perfect way to arrive at your wedding in style.
Our original Victorian carriage is drawn by two stunning black Fresian horses and can be decorated to complement your chosen flowers or colour scheme. The carriage can be used open or fully closed, ensuring your occasion is a success, regardless of the weather. This carriage can carry four people.
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Address: Cherwell Edge Golf Club, Appletree Road, Chacombe, Banbury, Oxford, OX17 2EN, UK
Phone: 01295 711591
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