Welcome to the next installment of the AOC Wedding Series! In case you missed it, I’ve already covered the biggest wedding role of all (after the bride of course), the Maid of Honor. Now, I’ll be covering a role I believe to be totally underestimated, the reader! In my experience, when it comes to the actual day of the wedding, the reader is more challenging than the Maid of Honor – yes, I said it! As the reader, you have to battle nerves and emotions while actually speaking in front of the entire wedding party and guests. Do not make light of this key role!
I also want to acknowledge that my experience as a reader may be somewhat atypical and some of the following advice may not be applicable to all readers. Oftentimes, a reader is a cousin, brother/sister in-law, or someone who was not included in the wedding party that the bride and groom want to involve in the wedding in a special way. In my particular experience as a reader, the bride didn’t have a traditional wedding party, and much of my pre-wedding involvement consisted of duties often designated for bridesmaids. This is a great example of how every wedding is a unique and personal experience for those participating and attending. Now without further ado… the reader!
5 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:
Estimate Expenses, Create a Budget, & Start Saving
- Here’s a list of some possible expenses you should plan for as the reader:
- The Bachelorette Party (see below for a breakdown of potential bachelorette expenses)
- Your Dress, Shoes, and Accessories for the Wedding (keep in mind, you may already have something in your closet that will suit the dress code for the big day!)
- Bridal Shower (see below for a breakdown of potential bridal shower expenses)
- Wedding Gift
- Transportation and Accommodations for the Wedding
4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:
Mark Your Calendar for the Bachelorette Weekend
- Communicate your schedule to the Maid of Honor so that she can coordinate a day or weekend that works with everyone’s calendar – keep in mind this may require a trip to another city
- Follow the reimbursement plan and repay the MOH
- Be clear on the game plan for the weekend, and ask the MOH if you can help contribute to the festivities in any way
P.S. Don’t forget, the bachelorette party may include a lingerie shower!
3 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:
Begin Dress Shopping or Getting Alterations for Yourself
- Some brides may want to help you select a dress that will coordinate with the colors and aesthetic of the wedding party, and others may leave it up to you – either way, don’t forget about shoes and accessories
- If the bride wants to help you select a dress, you may need to get alterations
- If you’re selecting a dress for yourself, be sure to communicate with the bride about your options
2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:
Attend a Bridal Shower
- You may be invited to attend a bridal shower, so head to the registry and get a gift – again, keep in mind this may require a trip to another city
1 MONTH BEFORE THE WEDDING:
Start Practicing Your Reading
- Don’t put off familiarizing yourself with your reading – you don’t necessarily have to memorize the reading unless the bride specifically asked this of you
- Address any words or points of inflection you’re stumbling on
- Practice reading it out loud to a friend, family member, or significant other
DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING:
- Be sure to have a few easy to read copies of your reading printed, packed, and ready for the rehearsal
- Get clear on the point at which you’ll be reading in the ceremony – make note of what happens or what the officiant will say right before your big moment
- Know how you will enter and exit
DAY OF THE WEDDING:
Practice + Drink Plenty of Water (and maybe a little champagne) + Breathe!
- Practice, practice, practice
- Be sure you and your plus one each have a copy of the reading in case of emergency
- Keep yourself hydrated so that your voice and throat are clear (don’t forget, a little champagne never hurt to calm your nerves)
- Breathe and speak slowly, deliberately, and confidently
- Stand up with your girl and try not to cry – you got this!