We're having a friend do a wedding reading during our wedding ceremony. He says he has something really nice picked out and wants to surprise us. We're okay with him selecting something, but we'd like to read it first. Is it rude for us to ask? We don't want to come across as making a "You'll read what we tell you to read!" demand.
It's a nice gesture that your friend went out of his way to find something special to read. However, it's well within your right to get an idea of what to expect. Tell him that you're working out the specifics of the ceremony -- how long it will run and who's reciting what -- and ask if he can give a loose overview of what he'll be saying. If you're concerned that he may recite something totally inappropriate (does he have a reputation for drunken, obscenity-filled monologues?), request that he speak with your officiant about the reading prior to the ceremony. Tell him that you don't want to ruin his surprise, but add something like, "Reverend Smith likes to have control over his ceremonies." If the material is not wedding-perfect, your officiant will take care of it.
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