Finding Ceremony Readings To Suit You
16th August 2017
As you may have noticed by now, our keyword when talking about weddings is personal. Personal, personal, personal. Making a room look pretty for a planner is the easy part but personalising the whole event and making it truly unique is the challenge that makes it all worthwhile.
With that said, ceremony readings don’t need to be generic either. At one of our weddings, the groom’s sisters wrote a poem for them, about how the couple met and wishing them luck in the future. It was really heart-warming, so if any of your friends or family fancy writing their own ode to your marriage, we can assure you it is a real crowd pleaser. However, we don’t all have a buddy poet in the family so if your chosen reader would like to recite a ‘ready-made’ passage instead, why not suggest one of these off-beat readings and make it a ceremony to remember!
The reading that everyone adores is ‘Love is a temporary madness’ from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières.
“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 roots have 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, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. 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.”
This is Debbie’s favourite reading and it is very popular in civil ceremonies with good reason. It is profound, concise and 100% beautiful! We thoroughly recommend it but as you know, we like to be a little different so have a look at these alternative options that you may not have considered.
Wild Awake by Hilary T Smith
It’s funny how deep novels aimed at teenagers can be. Popular young adult novelist John Green also has great quotes that are perfect for wedding readings. This delightful passage isn’t cheesy or overly sentimental so it’s ideal if you’re not hopeless romantics.
“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 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.”
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
A little more on the poetic side, this extract from Philip Pullman is so enchanting. A little mushier than the last pick and the Captain Corelli’s quote but if you want a sweet, dreamy reading without being cheesy, this one strikes the perfect balance!
“I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling 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 little 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’ll be joined so tight…”
The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear
This is probably one of our all time favourite’s as it takes us right back to our childhood, Debbie loved this poem so much she learnt it by heart. If you’re a literary couple and have a favourite poem, featuring it in your wedding would make your ceremony even more unique.
“The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.”
For religious ceremonies, you have some great romantic choices as well. We would definitely recommend speaking to your vicar about readings and psalms that you can feature in your wedding because they are likely to give more sound advice in this regard. However, here are a few of our favourite biblical readings that are perfect for weddings.
Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, Verses 10-13 & Chapter 8, Verses 6&7
Think of this as the bible’s love song! A true ode to love – definitely a top pick!
“My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.’
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
all the wealth of one’s house,
it would be utterly scorned.”
The Gift of Love – 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13
We really like this one! It is very popular in religious weddings for good reason! The language isn’t too verbose nor is it too heavy or God fearing. Nice and light hearted, this passage will add to the romance of your wedding.
“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
Ecclesiastes Chapter 4, Verses 9-12
This one is truly ancient and it shows in the language, but it is a nice poem about the everlasting bond between you – how lovely!
“Two are better than one;
because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:
but woe to him that is alone when he falleth;
for he hath not another to help him up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat:
but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
And that’s it! Let us know what you think about our choices and what readings you’re planning on featuring in your wedding ceremony on Facebook or Twitter! we’d love to hear your suggestions.
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