What Are Good Wedding Readings for Kids, for a Parent’s Wedding?


Literary ladies, share your best stuff!

Wedding Advice Two Cents Confetti Sign

Q: I have the great luck to be getting a husband and a daughter (age ten) in one fell swoop. We would like her to give a wedding reading, something about the power, importance, strength, and/or value of family and we’ve been having a heck of a time finding something appropriate.

None of the blended family stuff I’ve found is right for us. This is a first marriage for both of us, my daughter’s bio-mom isn’t in the picture at all, and I will be adopting her once we’re married. Help!

ANSWER FROM THE EDITOR:

We love your idea of a specific wedding reading to address the importance of the value of family. While we don’t have a specific reading in mind, take a look at what this blended family did to create a heartfelt celebration with family values in mind.

How have you celebrated becoming a blended family? Where have you found readings recognizing such an important transition? 

 If you want the APW community’s two cents, send it to QUESTIONS AT APRACTICALWEDDING DOT COM, and we’ll do our best to crowd source you some answers!

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  • Angela’s Back

    I wonder if there might be a good Sesame Street sketch on that subject, or maybe something from Lilo & Stitch or Frozen? This is such a good question.

    • GotMarried!

      I second something from Lilo & Stitch!

    • Maya

      I think that all of those things are far too young for a ten year old, to be honest. And I say that as an adult who loves Lilo & Stitch.

      • Lexipedia

        Yep, I think there’s sort of a gap where the movies are too young for pre-teen or teenager, and then when they cross over into adults they are great again. I read an A.A. Milne quote at 21, but I wouldn’t have wanted to read it at ten.

  • Amo

    We used the poem, “Put Something In,” by Shel Silverstein as a reading for our wedding. It wasn’t for a kid to read, but I think would be appealing to one! It’s not a traditional wedding reading, but we liked that it was about creating something new and wonderful.

    Put Something In, by Shel Silverstein

    Draw a crazy picture,
    Write a nutty poem,
    Sing a mumble-gumble song,
    Whistle through your comb.
    Do a loony-goony dance
    ‘Cross the kitchen floor,
    Put something silly in the world
    That ain’t been there before.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      My first thought was Shel!

  • Little Owl

    Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
    “Pooh!” he whispered.
    “Yes Piglet?”
    “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
    -A.A. Milne

    My cousin’s stepson read this at their wedding, and everyone was in tears. So perfect and sweet.

    • Jess

      I’m not sobbing, you’re sobbing.

      • notquitecece

        I showed up to post exactly this, yep.

    • Katie

      This is a really nice reading, but…this child is ten, I’m not sure she’d want to read something from Winnie the Pooh, which I’m pretty sure is aimed at 3-6.

      • quiet000001

        Winnie the Pooh is always age appropriate. (Says the person who still has an Eeyore stuffed animal. :D )

      • Victwa

        Having a 5 year old at the moment, Winnie the Pooh is definitely aimed at the older than 3-5 year olds. You could convince me of 6-8 maybe, but it’s not that easy to read and it’s a little slow moving for the preschool set.

  • Jane

    This doesn’t particularly relate to blended families, but my mom and step-dad had me read this Ogden Nash poem at their wedding when I was about 10:

    To My Valentine

    More than a catbird hates a cat,
    Or a criminal hates a clue,
    Or the Axis hates the United States,
    That’s how much I love you.

    I love you more than a duck can swim,
    And more than a grapefruit squirts,
    I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
    And more than a toothache hurts.

    As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
    Or a juggler hates a shove,
    As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
    That’s how much you I love.

    I love you more than a wasp can sting,
    And more than the subway jerks,
    I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
    And more than a hangnail irks.

    I swear to you by the stars above,
    And below, if such there be,
    As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
    That’s how you’re loved by me.

  • Kate

    Could your daughter write something herself? Or sing a song? Both of these things would melt my heart like the heat of a thousand suns. Also, I love it when people say special vows to their children at wedding ceremonies.

  • louise danger

    The Velveteen Rabbit excerpt (“What is Real?”) is nice for this, I think.

    Or the portion of Le Petit Prince where the fox explains that you’re responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

    “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard
    I like you because
    If you find two four-leaf clovers
    You give me one
    If I find four
    I give you two
    If we only find three
    We keep on looking.
    … I like you because if I am mad at you
    Then you are mad at me too
    It’s awful when the other person isn’t
    They are so nice and hoo-hoo you could
    just about punch them in the nose.
    … I would go on choosing you
    And you would
    go on choosing me
    Over and over again.

    • Lexipedia

      I sob my way through that Velveteen Rabbit reading EVERY TIME.

      At my parents’ wedding I read an A.A. Milne one:

      Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh. There’s always Pooh and Me. Whatever I do, he wants to do.”Where are you going today?” says Pooh. “Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too. Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he. “Let’s go together,” says Pooh…

      “Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh. “Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me. We crossed the river and found a few. “Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh. “As soon as I saw their beaks I knew. That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he. “That’s what they are,” said Pooh.

      “Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh. “That’s right,” said Pooh to Me. “I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh, and I held his paw and I shouted, “Shoo! Silly old dragons!” – and off they flew.

      “I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he, “I’m never afraid with you.”

      So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh. There’s always Pooh and Me. “What would I do?” I said to Pooh, “If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True, it isn’t much fun for one, but two can stick together,” says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

      • Eve

        Oh my goodness in my dream wedding, I’d ask people to read both the Velveteen Rabbit and the A.A. Milne poem. I definitely want the Velveteen Rabbit in the real wedding but I’m afraid I’m going to sob the entire time.

    • Colleen

      We had “I Like You” read at our wedding. We used the whole thing, tweaking it a little here and there, to make it more personal. IMO, it’s the single best piece I’ve ever read that describes what a relationship should be. I love it so, so much. I think it’s such a great suggestion for this situation!

  • Amandalikeshummus

    Ten is maybe too old, but My Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton is great for weddings. Friends of mine read it to each other at their wedding.

    Or maybe something from A Wrinkle In Time is more age-appropriate.
    “”Mrs. Whatsit hates you,” Charles Wallace said.

    And that was
    where IT made ITs fatal mistake, for as Meg said, automatically, “Mrs.
    Whatsit loves me; that’s what she told me, that she loves me,” suddenly
    she knew.

    She knew!

    Love.

    That was what she had that IT did not have.

    She had Mrs. Whatsit’s love, and her father’s, and her mother’s, and
    the real Charles Wallace’s love, and the twins’, and Aunt Beast’s.

    And she had her love for them.

    But how could she use it? What was she meant to do?

    If she could give love to IT perhaps it would shrivel up and die, for
    she was sure that IT could not withstand love. But she, in all her
    weakness and foolishness and baseness and nothingness, was incapable of
    loving IT. Perhaps it was not too much to ask of her, but she could not
    do it.

    But she could love Charles Wallace.” (12.135-144)

    I guess you’d need to have read the book to get it, but there are lots of good quotes.

    • ssha

      A Wrinkle In Time <3 <3 <3

  • penguin

    I’d check with the kid and see if they WANT to read anything. Being asked to stand up and vocally support something is a big deal, and if it’s something you don’t want to do (either because you don’t support the marriage itself, or because you don’t like being the center of attention), especially as a kid when you maybe can’t say no, it sucks a lot.

    • Stephanie

      My mom got re-married (while I was a junior in college) and asked me to sing at the wedding. Despite the fact I was very happy for her, it was a very emotional day (parents had only been divorced a few years) and I literally couldn’t get through the song (it’s hard to sing while crying) and had to give up halfway through. It was fine, and we played it off as sweet and “classic emotional LastName family!”

      However, my mom didn’t ask me if I wanted to do it in a way that let me opt out. I didn’t want to show a lack of support, so I said yes… All the +1/upvotes/yeah! to finding out if the kid wants to do it and a plea to frame it in a way so that she doesn’t feel she’s making a statement about her feelings on the whole weeding…

    • Alex

      Question asker here. Don’t worry, her desire to do a reading is what has sent us on this quest!

      • penguin

        Whew, great! I hope you find something that she is excited to read.

  • rebecca

    “Dragons and Giants” from Frog and Toad Together was one of our wedding readings, which is a pair of people (err amphibians) but about being brave enough to face things simply because you are together?

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    We had two littles read “Inscription for Katrina’s Sun-Dial” by Henry Van Dyke:

    HOURS fly
    Flowers die.
    New days,
    New ways,
    Pass by.
    Love Stays
    – – –
    Time is
    Too Slow for those who Wait,
    Too Swift for those who Fear,
    Too Long for those who Grieve,
    Too Short for those who Rejoice;
    But for those who Love,
    Time is Not.
    Henry Van Dyke

    • Anne

      Oh wow I love this.

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        It was so lovely. They took turns reading alternate lines, and it was so sweet. It’s one of my favorite parts of the ceremony.

  • Cleo

    Is there something that you like to do as a family together – read, sail, go to football games, etc.? Maybe look for a poem or reading about one of those topics and have the officiant explain that Daughter is going to read about the fun you have as a family.

  • Maya

    Well, my biggest concern would be choose something that your daughter actually likes and wants to read! In my experience, the best wedding readings are things picked out because they fit the reader.

    • Eenie

      Yes! I think she should pick out a few things that she’d like to read, whether they perfectly summarize your new blended family or not.

      • quiet000001

        This. Plus being sure she knows she doesn’t have to. If she can’t think of anything to start with, this is a good time to brainstorm – maybe things she associates with “family” or “love”? And it is a good idea to think about what you are hoping her reading will achieve – a child-appropriate reading about love in general would let her participate without feeling like she is commenting on the relationship itself, for example.

  • Anne

    Interesting, I think I read the question differently from many commenters. I think a reading by a 10-year-old doesn’t necessarily have to be kid-specific (depending on the confidence and desires of the 10-year-old herself). I was thinking more about readings that speak to a new family coming together, this kind of thing: http://offbeatbride.com/family-wedding-readings/ (I like the last 3 especially)

    • norah_charles_ftw

      Great Source! This one seems to me like exactly what was asked for:

      “I Love My Family So Much” by Filoi Hemopo

      To be apart of a family like mine
      is so divine
      where love is shown
      hurt is shared
      our love for each other is never impaired

      we talk
      we laugh
      we cry
      but we are a family
      and we do it all together
      for as a family we do it all as one

      for we are family
      a family full of strength
      a family full of love
      a family no one can touch
      that’s why I love my family so much
      my family is my life and always will be forever

  • notquitecece

    I think it would be lovely to work with her to plumb her favorite books, movies, or poems. You could also find 3-5 options and have her pick her favorite. There’s also a lovely poem called “Celebrations of the Day” from a book of children’s poetry called “I Hear You Smiling” (author Holman):

    A man is driving
    around the square
    Playing a harmonica
    rigadoon.
    The car is rattling to the tune.
    The day hears it.

    A man is sitting
    in the square
    Combing his long beard
    with two thumbs.
    A sparrow is waiting
    for the crumbs.
    The day sees it.

    In the old cannon
    on the square
    Four birds have built
    their nests.
    Children are coming
    to be their guests.
    The day celebrates!

  • Co1133n

    I wouldn’t worry about finding a reading that addresses blended families–you’re blending your families, you’re doing the thing, you don’t need a reading to hammer it home or symbolize it. It sounds like you and your daughter-to-be are pretty close, and that this day is one of unity for her as well. I suggest looking for something together about love or family or joy that you all enjoy. So much of wedding prep is on the nuts and bolts of event planning and getting the look right, it would be a lovely time for you to process the feelings about the day without the pressure of sitting down to talk about feelings. Good luck!

    • Alex

      Question asker here! Thanks for your thought on this Colleen, the further we get into wedding planning the more I want to focus on the super personal stuff with the ones I love most, so what you’re suggesting is what I’ve been leaning more and more towards in the time since submitting my question.

  • Alexandra Rihm

    Question asker here! Thank you all so much for your responses, the APW community has been so helpful in our planning process and I knew you would come through for this rather specific need.