Love has inspired more authors than any other subject.
You have your choice of readings from Holy Scripture to Shakespeare to e e cummings to song lyrics and many more.
To honor copyright laws, and to keep this Page a reasonable size, just a few lines from each passage are listed here. An Internet search will help you find the whole reading.
Who should read?
Wedding readings for you and / or your fiancé(e)
If you are comfortable reading aloud in front of a group of people, then you might consider reading yourselves. There are some works that succeed very well when read by a couple, first one and then the other, such as “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton.
The subject of the reading might be a person of a specific gender. That is something which you may decide to consider when choosing who should do the reading.
Some examples one of you might read:
“My love for you” (song lyrics; Abner Silver, Sid Watne)
My love for you is deep and endless as the sea
Strong and mighty as a tree
My love for you
My eager heart keeps beating just for you alone
Since the moment it has known
My love for you
Robert Burns's poem “A red, red rose” was originally written in dialect form. Most people use the English version.
My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
My love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I:
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas go dry.
“A Blessing for the Journey” (Buddhist Prayer — Sensei Wendy Egyoku Nakao)
Let us vow to bear witness to the wholeness of life,
realizing the completeness of each and every thing.
Embracing our differences,
I shall know myself as you,
and you as myself.
May we serve each other
for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.
An example you both might read:
“A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton is a short book with illustrations. The book is fun for all ages.
The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice.
Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.
Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.
I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.
I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur.
She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.
But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?
Wedding readings for children
A reading from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr Seuss
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 couple who’ll decide where to go.
The book is available on Amazon.Com, where you can also listen to it read.
“Your Personal Penguin” by Sandra Boynton
I like you a lot. You’re funny and kind.
So let me explain what I have in mind.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to walk right by your side.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to travel with you far and wide.
This is a board book, with great illustrations. It is perfect for a younger child to read because all the words are easy. Two or more children might read alternating verses. The book is available on Amazon.Com.
A reading from “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 Nanna 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.”
The book is available on Amazon.Com.
Wedding readings for your relatives
You may wish to honor one or more of your parents by asking them to read a passage at your wedding.
Other wedding readings might be more suitable for a sibling to read.
“Blessing for a Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman
May your marriage bring you all the excitements a marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another –
not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make the mountain less, but more;
and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it.
So let it be with you and you.
“A Family is a Gift for Life” by Wendy Haynes
Love is constant and ever present.
Love is expressed in your voice and the words you use,
In your actions and the way you care for one another.
Love opens the door to kindness and generosity.
“A Family’s Blessing” (Author unknown)
Today you take the step of consecrating the very special relationship you have been building
and in this step you change forever the direction of your individual life paths.
Today you begin your journey together,
weaving the strands of your different lives into a strong thread that will be your guide,
no matter how stimulating or strenuous your common path.
Wedding readings for your friends
If you have very close friends who cannot be included in your wedding party, you can honor them by having your friend read at your wedding.
“For You Both” (Author unknown)
Scattered from hands of love like bread for wild birds,
Flung like rainbows of confetti from hands of joy
Released like drops of warm and living rain,
We shower you with blessings.
May companionship sustain you;
Love be your walking guide;
Joy the bricks that build your house;
“If you can be as close” by Larry S. Chegges
If you can always be as close and happy as today,
Yet be secure enough to grow and change along the way,
If you can keep for you alone
your love as man and wife,
yet find the time to share your joy,
with others in your life,
then all the wonders of today
will stay with you forever.
A reading from “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence,
he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke —
the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart.
It was love.
Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert.
Wedding readings for your officiant (Ernest Adams)
You’ve noticed that my ego doesn’t require me to read everything, or even anything. When it comes to wedding readings, I don’t have to do any.
People sometimes find it convenient to have me read rather than choose among friends and family.
“An Irish Blessing” (Traditional)
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
“Love is a temporary madness” from “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.
Passages from the Bible or other holy books
You should feel free to choose both the source and translation that appeals to you.
1st Corinthians, Chapter 13, verses 4 through 8 https://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=53&bible_chapter=13
Love is always patient and kind;
love is never jealous;
love is not boastful or conceited,
it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage,
it does not take offence or store up grievances.
…Love never comes to an end.
Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1 through 8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+3%3A1-8&version=KJV
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
… A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
A Reading from the Bhagavad Gita http://yogananda.com.au/gurus/yoganandaquotes07.html
Marriage between man and woman is for the purpose of each partner helping to uplift the other
in a commitment of divine friendship, love, and loyalty
that will move both souls closer to their true nature in the incarnation they share.
And it further provides the medium and right environment
to invite other souls seeking rebirth on earth to come into the circle of their expanding love.
“May your love be firm” from “Graces” by June Cotner http://www.junecotner.com/booklist.php"
May your love be firm,
and may your dream of life together be a river between two shores —
by day bathed in sunlight, and by night illuminated from within.
May the heron carry news of you to the heavens,
and the salmon bring the sea's blue grace.…