The Best Poems and Readings For Weddings
Choosing the best wedding readings to have on your special day can be very difficult. Along with all of the other decisions you have to make for your wedding, the readings you choose are an impactful and meaningful aspects of your ceremony.
Why Have A Reading At Your Wedding
Regardless of the type of ceremony you choose to have, there’s usually room for at least one personal reading throughout the service.
Often you’ll collaborate on a reading together as a couple and work together to choose poems and other sentimental pieces of literature that resonate and perfectly relate to your relationship.
While it’s a beautiful thing to be able to choose your readings, it can also be a challenge when trying to narrow down the options, as there are so many amazing pieces which could fit perfectly into a ceremony; however, with time often being of the essence we thought we’d collate and categorise some of the best poems and readings for weddings, so that you don’t have to sift through thousands of them yourself – leaving you time to complete all of the other endless wedding tasks that we’re sure are on your list!
The Best Religious Readings For Weddings
For many couples, bringing their faith into a ceremony is incredibly important. There are a some really lovely examples of most popular faith-based readings, which add the perfect touch to this kind of ceremony. Whilst it may seem like you’re just using cliched or common religious readings for your wedding, it’s important to remember that religious readings mean different things to a variety of different people and that these readings are very popular for a reason.
1. Corinthians 13:4-8
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 wrong doing, but rejoices in truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
And now faith, hope, and love abide,
and the greatest of these is love.
2. Romans 12:9-12
Let love be genuine.
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honour.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
The Best Traditional Wedding Readings
If a religious reading may not be the direction that you want to go in, or if you aren’t opting for a faith based ceremony yet want to keep a traditional feel to the day, there are still plenty of traditional classic readings which are perfect for your special day.
1. On Love
by Thomas à Kempis
Love is a mighty power,
a great and complete good.
Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth.
It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders
all bitterness sweet and acceptable.
Nothing is sweeter than love,
Nothing more pleasant,
Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.
Love flies, runs and leaps for joy.
It is free and unrestrained.
Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.
Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil,
attempts things beyond its strength.
Love sees nothing as impossible,
for it feels able to achieve all things.
It is strange and effective,
while those who lack love faint and fail.
Love is not fickle and sentimental,
nor is it intent on vanities.
Like a living flame and a burning torch,
it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.
2. Sonnet 116
by William Shakespeare
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 wand’ring 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.
3. 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.
by Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way.
All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with
“I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late-night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.
All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
The Best Quirky or Modern Readings For Weddings
It can sometimes feel as though there is an expectation to have a more traditional approach to a ceremony, when in fact, this may not suit yours or your partner’s personality; having a more quirky or modern reading can offer the same amount of sentimentality, along with injecting a spark of humour or unexpectedness to the day.
1. I Wanna Be Yours
by John Cooper Clarke
I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that’s how deep is my devotion
2. Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney
Little Nutbrown Hare, who was going to bed, held on tight to Big Nutbrown Hare’s very long ears. He wanted to be sure that Big Nutbrown Hare was listening.
“Guess how much I love you,” he said.
“Oh, I don’t think I could guess that,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.
“This much,” said Little Nutbrown Hare, stretching out his arms as wide as they could go.
Big Nutbrown Hare had even longer arms. “But I love YOU this much,” he said.
Hmm, that is a lot, thought Little Nutbrown Hare.
“I love you as high as I can reach.” said Little Nutbrown Hare.
“I love you as high as I can reach,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.
That is quite high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I had arms like that.
Then Little Nutbrown Hare had a good idea. He tumbled upside down and reached up the tree trunk with his feet.
“I love you all the way up to my toes!” he said.
“And I love you all the way up to your toes,” said Big Nutbrown Hare, swinging him up over his head.
“But I love you as high as I can hop,” smiled Big Nutbrown Hare – and he hopped so high that his ears touched the branches above.
That’s good hopping, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I could hop like that.
“I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river,” cried Little Nutbrown Hare.
“I love you across the river and over the hills,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.
That’s very far, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. He was almost too sleepy to think any more.
Then he looked beyond the thorn bushes, out into the big dark night.
Nothing could be further than the sky.
“I love you right up to the MOON,” he said, and closed his eyes.
“Oh, that’s far,” said Big Nutbrown Hare. “That is very, very far.”
Big Nutbrown Hare settled Little Nutbrown Hare into his bed of leaves. He leaned over and kissed him good night.
Then he lay down close by and whispered with a smile, “I love you right up to the moon AND BACK.”
3. The Book Of Love
by Magnetic fields
The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts and figures
And instructions for dancing
But I, I love it when you read to me
And you, you can read me anything
The book of love has music in it
In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
But I, I love it when you sing to me
And you, you can sing me anything
The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we’re all too young to know
But I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings
I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings.
4. Carrie’s Poem
from Sex And The City
His hello was the end of her endings
Her laugh was their first step down the aisle
His hand would be hers to hold forever
His forever was as simple as her smile
He said she was what was missing
She said instantly she knew
She was a question to be answered
And his answer was “I do”.
Which Reading To Choose For Your Wedding
Regardless of which poems or readings you choose for your wedding day, it’s always important to keep each other in mind and making sure that whatever you choose has special meaning for the both of you. Try not to get caught up in thinking about whether other couples have had the same poems or readings for weddings that you may have been to, as each couple will incorporate this into their day in their own unique way.