Almost every wedding ceremony has a reading or two. Whether you’ve chosen a religious service or your reception venue, readings are a good way to break up your ceremony. We’ve heard a few over the years, so we wanted to pull a few together to give you some wedding reading ideas. Here are some of our favourite wedding readings from real weddings.
A traditional church wedding almost always includes this passage from Corinthians, and we never get bored of hearing it.
Corinthians 13:4 – 13
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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
The next reading is a little different, and we’ve only heard it once. We were a little surprised at this choice, but we ultimately loved it so had to include it in our wedding reading ideas.
The Day The Saucers Came by Neil Gaiman
That Day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and
stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find out what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn’t notice because
That day, the day the saucers came, by some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because
On the saucer day, which was zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold,
and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because
On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods
day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true
brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across
the land and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because
That day, the saucer day, the zombie day
The Ragnarok and fairies day,
the day the great winds came
And snows and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling
us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of
the Time Machine day,
You didn’t notice any of this because
you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.
For something a little less sci-fi, we love this next extract by Louis de Bernieres.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
This next wedding reading came from one of our favourite childhood books, so we may be a little biased towards it, but we had to include it in this post.
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
I will love you forever: whatever happens.
Til I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead,
I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, til I find you again.
I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment.
And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling so together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart.
Every atom of me and every atom of you. We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those specks of light you see floating in sunbeams.
And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me.
We also love this poem by Wilfred Arlan Peterson, which talks about the key to a successful marriage.
The Art Of Marriage by Wilfred Arlan Peterson
A good marriage must be created.
In the 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 having a mutual sense of values and objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
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 person can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person
It is being the right partner.
And finally in our wedding reading ideas, we wanted to include this poem on being attracted to each other.
I Like You by Sandol Stoddard
I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, ‘Remember when you told me something special?’
And both of us remember
When I think something is important
You think it’s important too
We have good ideas
When I say something funny, you laugh
I think I’m funny and you think I’m funny too
…And I like you because when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad…
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…
I like you because I don’t know why but
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then
I like you because because because
I forget why I like you but I do.
For more wedding inspiration and tips, take a look at the Wedding Tips section of the blog.