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Top 40 Readings for a Wedding

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Adding wedding readings to your big day’s celebrations is a great way to add a new sense of meaning to your ceremony, outside of your personal vows. Readings have the power to really change the atmosphere throughout your venue and your congregation. Finding the perfect wedding reading for your chosen style of ceremony can be a major but important task… So, to make it that little bit easier for you we’ve chosen our favourite 40 wedding readings for your special day!

Not everyone has or wants a traditional wedding ceremony, so there are a variety of reading styles to choose from. We’ve broken this down into the most popular choices: Funny, religious, non-religious, unique readings and poetry.


 


Funny Wedding Readings 

Why so serious…? Adding some humour to your ceremony could help ease those wedding day butterflies! There’s no need to take everything too seriously right? Lighten the mood with one of these hilarious readings… Everyone loves to laugh!

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Yes, I’ll marry you – Pam Ayers

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!

 

Love is like owning a dog – Taylor Mali

Falling in love is like owning a dog.

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,

especially in a city like [insert city here].

So, think long and hard before deciding on love.

On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:

when you’re walking down the street late at night

and you have a leash on love

ain’t no one going to mess with you.

Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.

Who knows what love could do in its own defence?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.

It lies between you and lives and breathes

and makes funny noises.

Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.

It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.

But come home and love is always happy to see you.

It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,

but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!

Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

 

A Good Wedding Cake Recipe by Anonymous Writer 

4lb of love

1lb of good looks

½ of sweet temper

1lb butter of youth

1lb of blindness of faults

1lb of pounded wit

1lb of good humour

2lbs of sweer argument

1 pint of rippling laughter

1 wine glass of common sense

A dash of modesty

Put the love, good looks and a sweet temper into a well-furnished house. Beat the butter of youth into a cream and mix well together with blindness of faults. Stir the pounded wit and good humour into the sweet argument, then add the rippling laughter and common sense. Work it together until everything is well mixed and bake, gently, forever.

 

Bridled Vows by Ian Duhig

I will be faithful to you, I do vow

but not until the seas have all run dry

etcetera: although I mean it now,

I’m not a prophet and I will not lie.

To be your perfect wife, I could not swear;

I’ll love, yes; honour (maybe); won’t obey,

but will co-operate if you will care

as much as you are seeming to today.

I’ll do my best to be your better half,

but I don’t have the patience of a saint;

not with you, at you, I may sometimes laugh,

and snap too, though I’ll try to learn restraint.

We might work out: no blame if we do not.

With all my heart, I think it’s worth a shot.

 

I Rely On You – Hovis Presley

I rely on you

like a camera needs a shutter

like a gambler needs a flutter

like a golfer needs a putter

like a buttered scone involves some butter

I rely on you

like an acrobat needs ice-cool nerve

like a hairpin needs a drastic curve

like an HGV needs endless derv

like an outside left needs a body swerve

I rely on you

like a handyman needs pliers

like an auctioneer needs buyers

like a laundromat needs driers

like The Good Life needed Richard Briers

I rely on you.

 

A Word to Husbands by Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming,

With love in the loving cup,

Whenever you’re wrong admit it;

Whenever you’re right shut up.

 

I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

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

Hah-hah!

I like you because you know where I’m ticklish

And you don’t tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes

But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too

You know how to be silly – that’s why I like you

If I am getting ready to pop a paper bag,

then you are getting ready to jump

HOORAY!

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

You can’t stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute

You want to think about things

It takes time

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

They are so nice and oooh you could just about punch them on the nose

I can’t remember when I didn’t like you

It must have been lonesome then

Even if it was the 999th of July

Even if it was August

Even if it was way down at the bottom of November

I would go on choosing you

And you would go on choosing me

Over and over again

And that’s how it would happen every time.

 

Biblical Wedding Readings

Biblical readings are a great way to incorporate faith into your wedding day. Reading the perfect passage can help add a whole new meaning to the knot you’re about to tie and remind you how important the love is you share with your partner. Maybe your perfect passage is listed below!

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Corinthians 13:4-12

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but, rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now, we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Genesis 2: 24-28

The Lord God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.’ So, the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: ‘This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ For out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him.

Romans 12:9-16

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.

1 John 4: 18-19

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

Ruth 1: 16-17

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.

Song of Songs 8: 6-7

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death,

its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

 

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the dight of god and man.

 

Non-Religious Wedding Readings

If you’re not looking to have a religious ceremony, non-religious readings are the way to go. Simple stories, messages and metaphors about true love and relationships, written by people like you and me! No confusion, no fuss. Why can’t everything be that simple?

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Wild Awake 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 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.

 

A Vow by Wendy Cope

I cannot promise never to be angry;

I cannot promise always to be kind.

You know what you’re taking on, my darling

It’s only at the start that love is blind.

And yet I’m still the one you want to be with

And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.

You’re my closest friend, my favourite person,

The lover and the home I’ve waited for.

I cannot promise that I will deserve you

From this day on. I hope to pass that test.

I love you, and I want to make you happy.

I promise I will do my very best.

 

Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte

I have for the first time found what I can truly love — I have found you. You are my sympathy—my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wraps my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one. It was because I felt and knew this, that I resolved to marry you.

 

The Art of Marriage by Wilfred A. Peterson

A good marriage must be created.

In 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.

 

Untitled by R.M Drake

You will be the clouds

And I will be the sky.

You will be the ocean

And I will be the shore.

You will be the trees

And I will be the wind.

Whatever we are, you and I

Will always collide.

 

Love 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

 

Let Me Put It This Way by Simon Armitage

Let me put it this way:

if you came to lay

your sleeping head

against my arm or sleeve,

and if my arm went dead,

or if I had to take my leave

at midnight, I should rather

cleave it from the joint or seam

than make a scene

or bring you round.

There,

how does that sound?

 

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

Congratulations!

Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide-open air.

Out there, things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the highfliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang, and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!

So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

 

Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you

 

Alternative Wedding Readings

Popular wedding readings can become overused and overdone after a while which in some people’s eyes can make them lose their meaning. So, If you’re looking for something different or unique, try one of these!

blank Gravitation by Albert Einstein 

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.

 

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 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.

 

Marriage is Like My Old Car by Marie April Gismondi

The way I see it, marriage is like my old car.

When I bought it new from the dealership,

everyone around me was saying; “Wow that’s a nice car!”

It was all bright and shiny and worthy of admiration.

And then as the years went by…

there were places where the paint was starting to peel off.

It got a little dent and a scratch or two here and there…

and once it was over a decade old…

People started saying; “Why are you still driving that old thing?”

But my car ran like a top and would never leave me high and dry.

Every time something sounded a little off, or needed attention,

I got to work on it and fixed whatever needed fixing immediately,

knowing that you get what you give.

And then, when she became “a classic”,

it was off to the body shop she went for a new paint job.

People once again began saying; “Wow, that’s a really nice car!”

But what they didn’t know was that all the things that really matter,

were always things that nobody could see from the outside.

A marriage is like my old car.

It’s the maintenance you do between the high of the wedding day,

and gaining the admiration of your grandchildren

by being the couple who still laughs and shares secrets,

and still holds hands after all these years.

So don’t worry so much about what people think or say.

Just do your oil changes, keep up with your maintenance,

get out and have fun,

don’t be afraid to blow the dust off now and then,

and fix whatever breaks as soon as it happens.

This is my advice for a marriage

that will motor successfully on down the highway of life.

 

The Velveteen Rabbit 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 all 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.”

 

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

If my like for you was a football crowd, you’d be deaf ‘cause of the roar. And if my like for you was a boxer, there’d be a dead guy lying on the floor. And if my like for you was sugar, you’d lose your teeth before you were twenty. And if my like for you was money, let’s just say you’d be spending plenty.

 

Les Misérables 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. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven.

 

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins

Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honour and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words ‘make’ and ‘stay’ become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.

 

Extract from The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest, and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defences, you build up a whole suit of armour, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you.

 

Poetry for Weddings

Telling someone how much you love them is one thing… but telling them in rhyming a poem? Now that’s love. Why not go for gold and read one of these witty and romantic poems to your love?

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This Day I Married My Best Friend

This day I married my best friend.

The one I laugh with as we share life’s wonderous zest,

As we find new enjoyments and experience all that’s best.

The one I live for because the world seems brighter,

As our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.

The one I love with every fibre of my soul.

We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.

 

Love’s Philosophy Love and friendship Extract from Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Love is like the wild rose-briar

Friendship like the holly tree

The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms

But which will bloom most constantly?

The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,

Its summer blossoms scent the air

Yet wait till winter comes again

And who will call the wild-briar fair?

Then, scorn the silly rose-wreath now

And deck with thee the holly’s sheen,

Then when December blights thy brow

He still may leave thy garland green.

 

The Good Morrow by John Donne

wonder by my troth, what thou and I

Did, till we loved? were we not weaned till then?

But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?

‘Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be;

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

And now good morrow to our waking souls,

Which watch not one another out of fear;

For love all love of other sights controls,

And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;

Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown;

Let us possess one world; each hath one and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;

Where can we find two better hemispheres

Without sharp north, without declining west?

Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;

If our two loves be one, or thou and I

Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.

 

She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus, mellow’d to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair’d the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

 

Be My Homer

Be my Homer

I wanna be your Marge.

If I’m your Norfolk Broads

Will you be my barge?

Let’s please be Tom and Barbara,

I will show you The Good Life.

Even though we’re not yet married

I would love to be your wife.

I’ve the passion Lily Munster

has for her dear Herman.

I would love you if you were ginger,

I would love you if you were German.

Like Mr and Mrs Huxtable,

We’d smooch even when we’re wrinkly.

I’ll even consider ironing your shirts,

But I hope you like them crinkly.

Like Mr and Mrs Incredible

I’m flexible and you’re tough.

But if you promise to be my true love

That will always be enough.

Like Bonny and that Clyde guy

without all the dying.

Like Gwyneth and that Coldplay man

without all the crying.

My partner in crime, the love of my life,

My muse, my joy, my fun.

Please be my one and only,

Cos you’ve always been ‘The One’

 

I’ll Be There for You by Louise Cuddon

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.

 

A White Rose

The red rose whispers of passion,

And the white rose breathes of love;

O, the red rose is a falcon,

And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud

With a flush on its petal tips;

For the love that is purest and sweetest

Has a kiss of desire on the lip

 

The Day Sky by Hafiz

Let us be like

Two falling stars in the day sky.

Let no one know of our sublime beauty

As we hold hands with God

And burn

Into a sacred existence that defies—

That surpasses

Every description of ecstasy

And love.

 


Well, there you have it! 40 wedding readings for your big day! Whether you’re looking to have a quick laugh or read a pretty poem, we hope we have something listed here for you! Oh, and how could we forget… Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

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Kunmi Fasanya

Content Intern Kunmi is a recent journalism graduate with 16 years of musical theatre training under her belt. She sings, plays the piano (mediocrely) and still has dreams of becoming a performer.

She specialises in telling the stories of Encore's musicians and customers, particularly weddings.

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