24 Wedding Readings to Set the Perfect Mood at Your Ceremony
A lifetime’s worth of commitment might seem like the easiest part of getting married when you think about the many decisions that go into preparing for the big day. After an engaged couple figure out what type of wedding they’ll be having – which could range anywhere from an informal garden wedding to a religious church ceremony – they’ll need to decide on a seemingly endless list of details, including the venue, colour scheme, flowers, entertainment, and menus.
Among the most important decisions for engaged couples is choosing the wedding readings for their ceremony. Funny readings will make guests smile, romantic readings can make even the most stoic bride or groom swoon, wedding poetry offers a simple-yet-sweet approach, and nonreligious readings can work best for couples who aren’t interested in a religious wedding ceremony. There are so many possibilities, but don’t stress – we’ve rounded up the best wedding readings to celebrate all different kinds of brides and grooms on their big days. The most important thing to remember is that your wedding is what you make it, and as long as it feels personal and special to you, that feeling will resonate with everyone in attendance. So read on to see if any of these wedding readings feels like a perfect fit for your big day.
Albert Einstein on Gravitation
“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”
“Married Love” by Kuan Tao-Sheng
“You and I
Have so much love,
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one bed.”
“The Art of Marriage” by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
“A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
The courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other,
not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner –
It is being the right partner.”
“Yes, I’ll Marry You, My Dear” by Pam Ayres
“Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear.
And here’s the reason why.
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry.
And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.
Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it.
You have to face the neighbour
Should our Labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.
Yes, I’ll marry you,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!!!
It’s you who has to work the drill
And put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I DO, I DO, I DO!!”
“Grow Old With You” From “The Wedding Singer”
“I want to make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I want to do is grow old with you
I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you
I’ll miss you, kiss you, give you my coat when you are cold
Need you, feed you, even let you hold the remote control
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed if you’ve had too much to drink
I could be the man who grows old with you
I want to grow old with you.”
“To My Valentine” by Ogden Nash
“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 oaths,
That’s how you’re loved by me.”
“Love is Enough” by William Morris
“Love is enough: though the World be a-waning,
And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover,
The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,
Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder
And this day draw a veil over all deeds pass’d over,
Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;
The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
Ted Mosby’s Monologue From “How I Met Your Mother“
“But love doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it, or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do.”
“When you love someone you just…don’t stop. Ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just you don’t give up…If I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be…some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is.”
“Witch-Wife” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
“She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.
She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun ’tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of coloured beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.
She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.”
The Buddha’s Sermon at Rajagaha: 19-22
“Do not deceive, do not despise each other anywhere. Do not be angry nor bear secret resentments; for as a mother will risk her life and watches over her child, so boundless be your love to all, so tender, kind and mild.
Cherish good will right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, whatever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving-kind.”
“More” by Frank Sinatra
“More than the greatest love the world has known,
This is the love I give to you alone,
More than the simple words I try to say,
I only live to love you more each day.
More than you’ll ever know, my arms long to hold you so,
My life will be in your keeping, waking, sleeping, laughing, weeping,
Longer than always is a long long time, but far beyond forever you’re gonna be mine.
I know I’ve never lived before and my heart is very sure,
No one else could love you more.”
“The Portrait of a Lady” Excerpt by Henry James
“It has made me better loving you . . . it has made me wiser, and easier, and – I won’t pretend to deny – brighter and nicer and even stronger. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I didn’t have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied, as I once told you. I flattered myself I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid, sterile, hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”
“The Velveteen Rabbit” Excerpt by Margery Williams
“‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. ‘Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?’
‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’
‘I suppose you are real?’ said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse only smiled.
‘Someone made me Real,’ he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.'”
“The Invitation” by Oriah
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
“Wild Awake” Excerpt by Hilary T. Smith
“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.”
“Les Misérables” Excerpt by Victor Hugo
“The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite. Love participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable.”
Eskimo Love Song
“You are my husband/wife.
My legs run because of you.
My feet dance because of you.
My heart shall beat because of you.
My eyes see because of you.
My mind thinks because of you.
And I shall love because of you.”
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church for we are members of his body.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
“The Princess Bride” Excerpt by William Goldman
“I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage.
I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep.
There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids.”
“Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh, no! It is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool,
though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle’s compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
Harry Burns’s Monologue From “When Harry Met Sally”
“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
“My Wedding Day” by Lacey D. Karlek
“I think about the time
Not so long ago,
That when I needed a helping hand,
You were the first to know
I think about the memories,
The good times we’ve shared,
I think about all you’ve taught me,
And how my broken heart you always repaired
Now as I stand here today,
And reminisce on the past,
I think about how hard this day is for you,
How fast the years have surpassed
But as you walk me down the aisle,
Daddy, please don’t cry,
You know how much I love you,
And this is not good-bye
As I spread my wings and fly,
Look at me and know,
That you will forever be in my heart,
Even as the years grow
I think of today as a new beginning,
But my love for you will stay,
So walk me down the aisle Daddy,
It’s my Wedding Day.”
“There Will Be Time” by Mumford & Sons Featuring Baaba Maal
“But in the cold light I live to love and adore you
It’s all that I am, it’s all that I have
In the cold light I live, I only live for you
It’s all that I am, it’s all that I have.”