Challenges, General Musings

Choosing a Wedding Reading

As you know I am being a bridesmaid cum joint Maid of Honour for my lovely best friend this year, which is very exciting! But I also said I would do a reading for her at the church. I’m not sure how this happened but hey I am doing it, no backing out now.

She is getting married in a local church which is actually our old primary school church, so it will feel a bit surreal seeing her married where we took part in Harvest and Christmas services as kids and delivering a reading, but it will be nice. Despite this though I wouldn’t say she (or her intended) are particularly religious, the church is more  a choice based on sentimental and personal reasons I would say.

So it felt quite tricky when choosing a potential wedding reading, as should it be religious or not religious? I also think it can be quite hard to find a wedding reading that accurately reflects the couple without much guidance and my friend didn’t offer any suggestions on readings that she wanted so I was going a bit blind and was frantically searching suggestion sites where there are hundreds upon hundreds of suggestions. I considered a few choices from Winnie the Pooh, Shakespeare’s sonnets to passages from a novel but I finally settled on Corinthians: 13 as I love the words, and for me they are a celebration of love and that is what a wedding is; a celebration of love.

How did I choose?
But I thought I’d share some tips I gathered when choosing my reading:

Consider how long you have to say the reading, if you are the only person perhaps you can get away with something longer, or are you one of a few? Perhaps keep it shorter. Some that I read were lovely, beautiful pieces but very very long. You also want to keep the attention of all those gathered, they have a long day ahead with more speeches to come, don’t overload early.

Another factor is also the location of the ceremony as registry offices and civil ceremonies can’t have religious readings, which luckily for me wasn’t an issue but I know this can make it harder to choose and  find a reading that seems right to the location. A formal non-religious reading is appropriate perhaps in a church, town hall or registrar but for an outside location, beach etc. you may want something lighter and more relaxed. But this isn’t gospel and depends on the feel the couple are going for at their wedding, if it is very traditional perhaps don’t go too out there but if they are more relaxed try something different.

Do you understand the words? I don’t mean this in a patronising way but you always read better when you understand a text. This is perhaps more important when someone presents you with a reading, if you aren’t comfortable with Shakespearean phrase then you aren’t going to be comfortable reading it aloud, and similarly when choosing something it helps to understand the context and meaning of the passage or poem as this really helps with delivery.

I think this is the most important and I mean it in a number of ways, are the words authentic and reflective of the couple and their relationship (or even yours with them), but I also feel that it’s just as important that the words feel authentic to you? Are you comfortable saying them? You will be standing up in a church with friends and strangers, you want to feel at ease and believe in what you are saying. I read some great humorous poems, or readings that were less traditional but I didn’t believe in them, (perhaps I am a bit more of a romantic than I thought!), but I felt they wouldn’t set the right tone. I also struggled finding something I felt was real to my friends. I did at one point consider writing something myself as I was struggling to find words I believed in saying and that I felt would ring true.

If in doubt however check in with either the bride or groom, depending on who has asked you, you don’t want to ruin their big day by getting it terribly wrong.

I am sure there are many other guides to choosing a wedding reading but those were my top takeaways from my search. I hope they help!


Challenges, General Musings, Lifestyles

Lent: Giving up Caffeine – update!

So I have been doing this non-caffeine gig for nearly two weeks now and I am pretty sure I am hungrier than I ever normally am. Perhaps caffeine suppressed food cravings or something but all I want to do is eat eat eat and eat. No food is too lowly, too naughty or too indulgent! This is really bad. I am struggling to curb myself and my need for food. I have to get it under control or that whole weight loss thing might reverse on me.

I do have to say the first  week was bearable, I did well, I barely noticed the absence of tea and coffee – this week – I’ve got pangs bad. It really doesn’t help when it’s cold as all I want to do is curl up with a hot tea. Or when I am tired. Or when we are taking a break from all the house decorating and DIY. But oh god I just want a cup of tea!

I will hold up my hands however to one slip up, and it was a completely unconscious one, we went out for dinner at the weekend at our local Wetherspoon, so nowhere fancy, and I ordered a burger (again with the bad food!) and when they asked what drink I wanted I automatically said Pepsi Max and it only hit me half way through the drink and burger what I had done!! BUT I have not slipped up since and I have resisted my major teamptation! So am allowing some kudos.I could have thrown in the towel!

Here’s to a better few weeks ahead. Perhaps I’ll stop eating and regain some equilibrium!


Challenges, General Musings, Lifestyles

Lent: Giving up Caffeine. I’m screwed.


Me and the PG Tips Monkey, I love him, just like I love tea and love coffee. I fear I would not bleed red but in fact bleed tea if cut open. I love tea in a big way. I am a proper English girl and quite convinced, as my mother and grandmother have taught me, that tea solves all of life’s ills; feeling cold have a tea, feeling hot have a tea, someones died have a tea, you’ve broken a limb have a tea….you get the gist.I have therefore set myself the challenge, the personal battle of wills with my own tea addiction to give up caffeine for Lent.

I think I’ve finally cracked. Last time I went without tea/caffeine for 24 hours there were mood swings, headaches, snappiness. It was not a pretty picture.

But I reasoned that for Lent I had to give up something that was truly truly hard for me.We discussed at work that I should give up alcohol, but I wouldn’t find this hard, give up chocolate – again not a major for me, i’m far more savoury inclined. But these would be a cop out and not really challenging myself.

So caffeine it was. I know it is in a lot; but I am specifically looking out for the liquid form i.e. coffee, tea, cokes etc. and any obvious food stuffs. While it is for Lent it’s also a good detox/health kick to end my reliance on caffeine liquids, drink more water. Work will be hard though as there is a big tea culture in the office, will have to remember to say no and fore-arm myself with herbal tea.

But I am hoping that it will hopefully be good for my skin and perhaps help my slightly insomniac sleeping – I am an awful sleeper. Apparently it’s not normal to survive on 5 or less hours regularly?

Either way I will see how this goes. I may survive intact and rational. I rather think I’ll be moody and nuts. I’ll keep you posted.




Challenges, General Musings

Blog Challenge?

I have been thinking of doing a blog challenge, something to spur myself, keep me going and motivated. I have been having a few ideas but I can’t actually decide what to do and what I can realistically achieve – I was thinking of doing an Instragram a day challenge but that can be hard to do in the blog form as you only see the pictures on the side (if anyone knows otherwise, please share!) so not sure on that – might still do it though.

I got a colouring book for Christmas, one of those adult ones so I thought I would set the challenge of finishing a picture a week, which is achievable and then just doing a post on it. Plus that could be fun.

I could do a book one – I have been promising myself to read the classics this year – so I could do a challenge to read all Dickens by the end of 2016 – something like that, though there is a hell of a lot of Dickens.

I could write a poem a day for a month. That would be hard! I think some would definitely be haiku’s!

Perhaps I’ll do a series of challenges throughout the year for myself. That may work better – keep it interesting and you never know it may let me find something really amazing that I get super interested in!

If anyone has heard of some good blogging challenges I’d love to hear them.

As we are house moving, decorating, etc. this may not be my best time to start one (but when is?) however around Easter could be viable??

But again ideas welcome!