Wedding ceremony guide: Ten popular ceremony readings
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
There are many popular readings but, to truly make your ceremony personal, you may wish to choose something unique or ask the person reading to choose or write something.
The readings you choose are as personal as you are. My couples have had relatives write poetry, speak from the heart and have them dancing, sing surprise songs - all absolutely wonderful, unique and truly you! Camilla wrote a lexigraph poem made only from the letters of their names which her sister then read. It was captivating.
Here are a few popular ones as a guide. Alternative, spiritual, funny and child friendly readings are covered in separate posts.
The Princess Bride
by William Goldman
Do I love you?
My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches...I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you.
I have taught myself languages because of you.
I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body.
I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction.
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...
I love you. Okay? Want it louder?
I love you. Spell it out, should I?
I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.
The Art of Marriage
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 a 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 not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.
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 establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence in mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
By Wilferd Arlan Peterson
By Dena Acoslatse
Because of the depths of me, I long to love one person, With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…..
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, Who won’t hold them against me, Who loves me when I’m unlikable, Who sees the small child in me, and Who looks for the divine potential of me……
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night, With someone who is thankful for me, With someone I feel blessed to hold……
Because marriage means opportunity To grow in love in friendship……
Because marriage is a discipline To be added to a list of achievements…….
Because marriages do not fail, people fail When they enter into marriage Expecting another to make them whole……
Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage Together we create our marriage…..
Because with this understanding The possibilities are limitless and our love will last forever…..
The Magic of Love
by Helen Steiner Rice
Love is like magic, and it always will be, For love still remains life’s sweet mystery. Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange, And there’s nothing in life that love cannot change! Love can transform the most commonplace Into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace. Love is unselfish, understanding and kind, For it sees with its heart, and not with its mind. Love is the answer that everyone seeks; Love is the language that every heart speaks. Love can’t be bought, it is priceless and free. Love, like pure magic, is life’s sweet mystery!!
I will be here
By Stephen Curtis Chapman
If in the morning when you wake, If the sun does not appear, I will be here. If in the dark we lose sight of love, Hold my hand and have no fear, I will be here.
I will be here, When you feel like being quiet, When you need to speak your mind I will listen. Through the winning, losing, and trying we'll be together, And I will be here. If in the morning when you wake, If the future is unclear, I will be here. As sure as seasons were made for change, Our lifetimes were made for years, I will be here.
I will be here, And you can cry on my shoulder, When the mirror tells us we're older. I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty, And tell you all the things you are to me. We'll be together and I will be here. I will be true to the promises I've made, To you and to the one who gave you to me. I will be here.
Native American Blessing
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives -- remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
By Roy Croft
I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what You have made of yourself, But for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart And passing over all the foolish, weak things That you can't help dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light All the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked Quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make Of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a temple.
Out of the works of my every day Not a reproach but a song.
I love you because you have done More than any creed could have done to make me good. And more than any fate could have done to make me happy.
You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.
Where do I begin to tell a story of how great a love can be?
The sweet love story that is older than the sea, the simple truth
about the love she brings to me? Where do I start?
With her first hello she gave a meaning to this empty world of mine.
There'd never be another love, another time.
She came into my life and made the living fine.
She fills my heart, she fills my heart with very special things, with angel songs, with wild imaginings.
She fills my soul with so much love that anywhere I go I'm never lonely.
With her along who could be lonely? I reach for her hand, it's always there.
How long does it last? Can love be measured by the hours in a day?
I have no answers now but this much I can say: I know I'll need her
till the stars all burn away and she'll be there.
I’ll be there (anon)
I’ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm When the forecast said “Fine”, but you’re out in a storm When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear… When you break a rule, when you act the fool When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue’cause I’m telling you, I’ll be there.
Your love is a beautiful thing
Your love is a beautiful thing –
For like a rose, it will blossom,
growing lovelier from this, your wedding day,
through every day of the rest of your lives.
And every sunrise will bring you a new day to explore together,
a new day of joys to discover and share...
Your love is a beautiful thing,
for as you travel through life together,
it will open your eyes to the whole wide world around you...
You will find something wonderful in everything you see –
In the blueness of the sky and the colours in a leaf,
for there is beauty in even the most ordinary things
when there is beauty in the heart...
What a world of beauty waits for you within life's simplest things –
Within the touch of a familiar hand,
the warmth that lights a special smile....
And what could be more beautiful than a lifetime spent together –
Caring and sharing, hoping and planning,
helping each other through all that life brings...
Yes, your love is a beautiful thing –
And beautiful, too, is the happiness that you
two share as you begin your life together as husband and wife.
Remember that these are purely suggestions. We can discuss your choices in more depth. Do you have a favourite piece of literature you would like to include a reading from for instance?
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