A few of my favourite wedding readings

I originally posted this selection of wedding readings in 2016 and it’s safe to say that I still love them all but I wanted to update it to add a few more wedding readings that I’d included in other posts (having them all together will make them easier to find I hope) and a few new ones that I’ve found since then…enjoy!

This year my husband and I celebrated our 21-year wedding anniversary, and we have been reminiscing about the big day. When you work in the industry it’s hard not to look back and wonder if you would have done anything differently…I loved our wedding day and there was very little I would have changed then but I’m glad I’m not getting married now as I know way too many amazing suppliers to choose from. One thing I do wonder about though is what readings I would have chosen if we’d had them, as it was a Greek Orthodox ceremony where wedding readings aren’t a part of the service.

Below is a selection of some of my favourite wedding readings to inspire you – you’ll note they come from a range of sources from music lyrics, films, and books to more traditional poetry choices.

I believe when it comes to choosing your wedding readings choosing something that is meaningful to you both and not just a “romantic” poem for the sake of it:

There are quite a few readings included in this post, feel free to go directly to your chosen reading via the contents below:

Ani Difranco’s Overlap& Falling Like This

My husband is a big music fan and one of his favourite artists is Ani Difranco, I love these lines from her songs:

“Search your profile
For a translation
I study the conversation
Like a map
’cause I know there is strength
In the differences between us
And I know there is comfort
Where we overlap”

and…

“Like you’re trying to fight gravity
on a planet that insists
that love is like falling
and falling is like this”

-Ani Difranco’s Falling Is Like This

diamond wedding rings with peony wedding readings blog post

Another favourite song of ours is Destiny by Zero 7, we used it on our wedding video too:

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‘Destiny’ by Zero 7

Now I dream of you
But I still believe
There’s only enough for one in this
Lonely hotel suite
The journey’s long
And it feels so bad
I’m thinking back to the last day we had.
Old moon fades into the new
Soon I know I’ll be back with you
I’m nearly with you
I’m nearly with you

When I’m weak I draw strength from you
And when you’re lost I know how to change your mood
And when I’m down you breathe life over me
Even though we’re miles apart we are each other’s destiny

On a clear day
I’ll fly home to you
I’m bending time getting back to you
Old moon fades into the new
Soon I know I’ll be back with you
I’m nearly with you
I’m nearly with you

When I’m weak I draw strength from you
And when you’re lost I know how to change your mood
And when I’m down you breathe life over me
Even though we’re miles apart we are each other’s destiny

I’ll fly, I’ll fly home
I’ll fly home and I’ll fly home

Lyrics by Zero 7, have been edited, find full lyrics here, see video here

The band Elbow is a firm favourite in our house for both my husband and our son. All their songs are beautiful and I’m sure there are lyrics to suit all but this song will always make me think of my boys. My son learnt to play it on the guitar for my husband’s birthday one year while he was still in primary school.

‘Sad Captain’ by Elbow

Oh, long before
You and I were born
Others beat these benches with their empty cups
To the night and its stars
To be here, and now, and who we are

Another sunrise with my sad captains
With who I choose to lose my mind
And if it’s all we only pass this way but once
What a perfect waste of time

Full lyrics here

Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare

We met in drama school so I’d like to think we would have chosen some Shakespeare too (we named our son after a character in Midsummers Night’s Dream), and Sonnet 116 is always a popular wedding reading choice:

“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:
O 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.”

-Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

Princess Bride

I love the film The Princess Bride, and this is a lovely quote from it:

“Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Arabia even though it is across the world and bring a bottle back for your lunch”.

or for a little humour

“Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world, except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.”

The Time Travellers Wife

And my favourite book of all time is The Time Travellers Wife, …Henry reminds me of my husband 😉 without the defective time-traveling gene…

“Clare, I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you.”

― Audrey Niffenegger

And I definitely consider my husband my best friend so this poem feels very apt:

Friendship by Elizabeth Jennings

“Such love I cannot analyse;
It does not rest in lips or eyes,
Neither in kisses nor caress.
Partly, I know, it’s gentleness

And understanding in one word
Or in brief letters. It’s preserved
By trust and by respect and awe.
These are the words I’m feeling for.

Two people, yes, two lasting friends.
The giving comes, the taking ends
There is no measure for such things.
For this all Nature slows and sings”

Finally, I like the modernity of this poem, telling it as it is…here’s a small excerpt…

Valentine by John Fuller (an excerpt)

“The things about you I appreciate
May seem indelicate:
I’d like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I’d like to have you in my power
And see your eyes dilate.
I’d like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate.
….

I’d like you in my confidence.
I’d like to be your second look.
I’d like to let you try the French Defence
And mate you with my rook.
I’d like to be your preference
And hence
I’d like to be around when you unhook.
I’d like to be your only audience,
The final name in your appointment book,
Your future tense.”

See full poem here

I recently came across this lovely reading by Neil Gamon who is one of my husband’s favourite authors and we both love Stardust based on his book, so wanted to include this too:

‘All I know about love’ by Neil Gamon

“This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.
This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing.

Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.

It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean.
Somebody’s got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.

It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together.

So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing,
like a book without pages or a forest without trees.

Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours,
and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.

And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.

And that’s all I know about love.”

Stardust Yvaine to Tristan

and as mentioned above we both love the film Stardust so had to include this excerpt here too:

“You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars — pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… you could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable, and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and… what I’m trying to say, Tristran is… I think I love you. Is this love, Tristran? I never imagined I’d know it for myself. My heart… it feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange: no gifts, no goods, no demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.” – Yvaine to Tristran

So if you’re thinking about what to have for your wedding readings consider looking further afield than your usual suspects, think about your favourite songs, film, books, moments you’ve shared and choose a reading that is meaningful to you both.

All images by Marianne Taylor

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