Readings are a lovely way to help set the tone and feel of your wedding ceremony. They are also a really nice way to involve family members or friends in your special day.
Everything I know about love – by Dolly Alderton
I know that love can be loud and jubilant.
It can be dancing in the swampy mud and the pouring rain at a festival and shouting “YOU ARE AMAZING” over the band.
It’s introducing them to your colleagues at a work event, and basking in pride as they make people laugh and make you look lovable just by dint of being loved by them.
It’s laughing until you wheeze. It’s waking up in a country neither of you have been in before. It’s skinny-dipping at dawn. It’s walking along the street together on a Saturday night and feeling an entire city is yours. It’s a big, beautiful, ebullient force of nature.
And I also know that love is a pretty quiet thing.
It’s lying on the sofa together drinking coffee, talking about where you’re going to go that morning to drink more coffee.
It’s folding down pages of books you think they’d find interesting. It’s hanging up their laundry when they leave the house having moronically forgotten to take it out of the washing machine.
It’s saying “You’re safer here than in a car” as they hyperventilate on the flight back home. It’s the texts: “Hope today goes well”, “How did today go?”, “Thinking of you today” and “Picked up toilet paper”.
I know that love happens under the splendour of moon and stars and fireworks and sunsets, but it also happens when you’re lying on blow-up air mattresses in a childhood bedroom, when you’re sitting in the emergency room, in the queue for a passport or stuck in traffic.
Love is a quiet, reassuring, relaxing, pottering, pedantic harmonious hum of a thing; something you can easily forget is there, even though its palms are outstretched beneath you in case you fall.
Wedding Thoughts : All I know about love – by Neil Gaiman
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.
Bruschetta – by Nick Harkaway
Find someone who eats bruschetta: That’s ‘broo-SKET-uh,’ but ‘brushetter,’ a slender piece of ciabatta toasted and brushed with garlic and oil and covered in fresh tomato and basil – the chunks inevitably fall off the bread and the olive oil runs over your lips and down your chin. The whole thing is delicious, deeply physical and delightfully undignified, and someone who can eat a real bruschetta is someone you can love and who can love you.
Someone who pushes the thing away because it’s messy is never going to cackle at you toothlessly across the living room of your retirement cottage, or drag you back from your sixth heart attack by sheer furious affection. Never gonna happen. For that, you need someone who isn’t afraid of a faceful of olive oil.
Find someone who has books: And not just a dozen or two, but books by the kg, dragged home in bulging plastic bags from a faraway church sale. Because someone who can see the glory in this – in getting your knees dirty scraping through crates for a withered spine and a hint of a plot – that’s someone who understands that a bad day stands zero chance against a good story, that’s someone you want to lock down asap, because if you’re going to spend a life with someone, it better be someone who can tell that life well, someone with dirty knees.
Find someone who laughs: And I mean LAUGHS, in all caps, as in HAHA, not hehe. Find someone who guffaws, who bellows, who at the slightest hint of humour sounds like a hyena choking on a kazoo. Don’t go for someone who’ll let slip an austere chuckle every once in a while. Find someone who loses it on the regular, loses it so spectacularly that they have to sprint for the loo. Find someone who doesn’t quite make it. Find someone who laughs so hard that the joke is soon forgotten because the laugh is funnier anyway. That’s marriage material, right there. And you can’t have that with a hehe. For that, you need a HAHA.
Love Me When I’m Old – Bee Rawlinson
Love me when I’m old and shocking
Peel off my elastic stockings
Swing me from the chandeliers
Let’s be randy bad old dears.
Push around my chromed Bath Chair
Let me tease your white chest hair
Scaring children, swapping dentures
Let us have some great adventures
Take me to the Dogs and Bingo
Teach me how to speak the lingo
Bone my eels and bring me tea
Show me how it’s meant to be
Take me to your special places
Watching all the puzzled faces
You in shorts and socks and sandals
Me with warts and huge love-handles
As the need for love enthralls
Wrestle with my damp proof smalls
Make me laugh without constraint
Buy me chocolate body paint
Hold me safe throughout the night
When my hair has turned to white
Believe me when I say it’s true
I’ve waited all my life for you
Marriage Is Not Beautiful – author unknown
Marriage is ugly, you see the absolute worst in someone.
You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn, when they’re so unlovable they make you scream.
But you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face, and they can’t help but let out those weird gurgling noises.
You see them at 3am when the world is asleep except you two, and you’re eating in the middle of the kitchen floor.
You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty. It's snorting while laughing, it’s the tears when it feels like it’s all crashing down, it’s the farting, it’s the bedhead and bad breath, it’s the random dances, it’s the anger and the joy.
Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing.
It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you even though you said something nasty.
It’s having someone have your back no matter what.
It’s fights over stupid things, like someone not doing the dishes or picking up after themselves.
And it’s those nights you fall asleep in each other’s arms, feeling like there will never be enough time with them.
It’s cleaning up their vomit, or just rubbing their back when they’re sick.
It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is.
Because at the end of the day you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest, most annoying, loving, goofy, perfect person that you know.
Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one heck of a ride.
When I Hear You Laugh – author unknown
When we share a secret
When your eyes sparkle
When we're just us
When we don't have to talk
When I watch you sleeping
When you remember
When I don't have to explain
When you walk into the room
When we are in a crowd
When I am by myself
When you are just being you
When you make me giggle
When I hear your heartbeat
When you reach for me
Even when you're not looking
That's when I love you.
These I Can Promise – author unknown
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
I Will Be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman
If in the morning when you wake,
If the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
I will be here.
I will be here,
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we'll be together,
And I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake,
If the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.
I will be here,
And you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we're older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
We'll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I've made,
To you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.
The Promises of Marriage – by Bettie Meeks
Marriage is a promise of companionship,
Of having someone to share all of life’s experiences.
Marriage does not promise that there will not be any rough times,
Just the assurance that there will always be someone who cares
And will help you through to better times.
Marriage does not promise eternal romance, just eternal love and commitment.
Marriage can’t prevent disappointments, disillusionment or grief,
But it can offer hope, acceptance and comfort.
Marriage can’t protect you from making individual choices, or shelter you from the world,
But it will help reassure you that there is someone by your side who truly cares.
When the world hurts you and makes you feel vulnerable,
Marriage offers the promise that there will be someone waiting to listen, to console, to inspire.
Marriage is the joining of two people who share the promise that only marriage can make –
To share the sunshine and the shadows,
And to experience a richer, more fulfilling life because of it.
Always Love Each Other – Larry S. Chengges
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;
If you can be as one and walk through marriage hand in hand
Yet still support the goals and dreams that each of you has planned;
If you can dare to always go your separate ways together
Then all the wonder of today will stay with you forever.
Today I Marry my Best Friend – Bertrand Russell
Today I marry my friend;
The one I have laughed with and cried with,
The one I have learned from and shared with,
The one I have chosen to support, encourage and give myself to
through all the days given us to share;
Today I marry the one I love
Friendship – Judy Bielicki
It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round.
However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel.
True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life –
it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship,
it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony,
and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world seems cold and chaotic.
True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings,
without destroying our sense of worthiness.
True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments,
and encourages us to grow to our best potential.
‘Partner 1’ and ‘Partner 2’ came together as friends.
Today they pledge to each other not only their love,
but also the strength, warmth and most importantly,
the fun of true friendship.
Love is Giving – anonymous
Love is giving, not taking,
Mending, not breaking,
Patiently bearing and faithfully sharing
Each joy, every sorrow today and tomorrow.
Love is kind, understanding,
But never demanding.
Love is constant, prevailing,
It’s strength never failing.
A promise once spoken for all time unbroken,
Love’s time is forever.
Mouthful of Forevers – Clementine von Radics
I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers.
We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife.
We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin.
Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come.
I think that has to be part of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness.
You will hold me like I’m hope.
Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin.
I will write novels to the scar of your nose.
I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.
And I will not be afraid of your scars.
I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun,
or the nights you collapse into my lap, your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.
The Art of a Good Marriage – by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
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 a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together, facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways,
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
The Beauty of Love – anonymous
The question is asked: “Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage?
Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?”
And the answer is given “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing.
“It is the spectacle of two old people finishing their journey together on that path.
Their hands are gnarled but still clasped;
Their faces are seamed but still radiant;
Their hearts are physically bowed and tired but still strong with love and devotion.
Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love”
On your Wedding Day – author unknown
Today is a day you will always remember,
The greatest in anyone’s life.
You’ll start off the day just two people in love,
And you’ll end it as husband and wife.
It’s a brand new beginning, the start of a journey
With moments to cherish and treasure.
And although there’ll be times when you both disagree,
These will surely be outweighed by pleasure.
You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
When the secrets of marriage were spoken,
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
Where the bond of true love lies unbroken.
So be happy forever as lovers and friends,
It’s the dawn of a new life for you.
As you stand there together with love in your eyes
From the moment you whisper “I do”.
And with luck all your hopes and your dreams can be real,
May success find its way to your hearts.
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys,
But today is the day it all starts.
True Love – author unknown
True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds
And true love holds with gentle hands
The heart that it entwines
What is Love? – author unknown
Sooner or later we begin to understand
that love is more than verses on Valentines and romance in movies.
We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true,
the most important thing in our lives.
For love is the creator of our favourite memories
and the foundation of our fondest dreams.
Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent,
a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places.
And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy,
Is the greatest treasure of all – one known only by those who love.
Marriage – anonymous
A marriage is a promise
That two hearts gladly make
A promise to be tender
To help, to give and take
A marriage is a promise
To be kind and understanding
To be thoughtful and considerate
Fair and undemanding
A marriage is a promise
To share one life together
A love-filled promise meant to be
Kept lovingly forever
Love Is – Susan Polis Schutz
Love is being happy for the other person when they are happy,
being sad for the other person when they are sad.
Being together in good times, and being together in bad times.
Love is the source of strength.
Love is being honest with yourself at all times,
and being honest with the other person at all times
telling, listening, respecting the truth and never pretending
Love is the source of reality.
Love is an understanding that is so complete you feel as if you are a part of the other person
Accepting the other person just the way they are, and not trying to change them to be something else.
Love is the source of unity.
Love is the freedom to pursue your own desires while sharing your experiences with the other person
The growth of one individual alongside of and together with the growth of another individual
Love is the source of success.
Love is the excitement of planning things together,
the excitement of doing things together
Love is the source of the future
Love is the fury of the storm, the calm of the rainbow
Love is the source of passion
Love is giving and taking in a daily situation,
being patient with each other’s needs and desires
Love is the source of sharing.
Love is knowing that the other person will always be with you regardless of what happens,
missing the other person when they are away but remaining near in heart at all times
Love is the source of security.
Love is the source of life.
On Our Wedding Day – anonymous
Be with me whenever you can.
Love me for what I am.
Convince me when I am in doubt.
Give me hope when I seem without.
Respect me, show me you care.
Stand by me, always be there.
Forgive me if I should do wrong.
Caress me when nights seem so long.
Assure me, allay my fears.
Be faithful throughout the years.
Trust me as I will trust you.
Encourage my dreams, my life through.
Be with me whenever you can.
Love me for what I am.
The Day – author unknown
May this day be the start of a happy new life
that’s full of special moments to share.
May this be the first of your dreams come true
and of hope that will always be there…
May this be the start of a lifetime of trust
and of caring that’s now begun
May today be a day that you’ll always remember
the day when your hearts become one
A Love Knot – Frances Nagle
Chains do not hold a marriage together.
It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.
Picture hundreds, thousands, of threads, as long as love is.
For instance, picture kindness – how smoothly it unfurls
when people care as much about each other as themselves.
Picture gentleness: when times are less than easy,
a reassuring stream of soothing words.
And respect, the essence of being a partner, each one delighting in the other.
Look at the joys and trials of being parents,
the challenge none of us is prepared for;
imagine the tough, flexible fibres that nurturing a child together can create.
And see laced around and through and everywhere,
diamond-twinkling filaments of laughter.
These profound, priceless connections start so simply –
with a smile, perhaps, or admiring glance.
Picture again these hundreds, thousands, of threads
as long as love is; longer than life.
Today a knot is being tied in the strands that ‘Partner 1’ and ‘Partner 2’ have started to spin together.
I Promise – Dorothy R. Colgan
I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.
I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realise that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own.
I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.
I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost fears
and feelings, secrets and dreams.
I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how –
Completely and forever
A love that’s meant to be – Ju.D.G.
Love has led us here today
Along a path – that was meant to be
What started as a friendship
Grew to love for you and me.
We bring together different worlds
Where all around us see
That we are one – upon this earth
And our love was meant to be.
So on this day – each year from now
With all – we’ll share the key
For with you my friend – my loved one
Our love was meant to be.
The Keys to a Loving, Lasting Relationship – Casey Whilson
Love one another with all your hearts;
give more than you take;
don’t ever take your relationship for granted;
have heart-to-heart talks and really communicate;
be trusting, playful, intimate and kind;
appreciate all the little, special things;
recognise that time spent together is a treasure;
make the most of what each day brings;
know that nothing is sweeter than the warmth of one hand within another;
walk together in the direction you want to go;
be supportive and sharing and open to changes;
always continue to grow;
cherish this blessing which so few truly find;
have dreams to reach out for through the years;
share one another’s smiles through the good times;
be everything to one another through the tears;
what your time together lacks in quantity, make up for in quality;
call to say “I love you” in the middle of the day;
keep your sense of humour and hold on to your hopes;
don’t let work or worries get in the way;
make love a sanctuary and a celebration;
make each moment more precious and each session more glad;
realise how lucky you are to be two … together;
and make the best memories any two people ever had.
What is love? – Walter Rinder
Love is not just looking at each other and saying “you’re wonderful”.
There are times when we are anything but wonderful.
Love is looking out in the same direction.
It is linking our strength to pull a common load.
It is pushing together towards the far horizons, hand in hand.
Love is knowing that when our strength falters,
we can borrow the strength of someone who cares.
Love is a strange awareness that our sorrows
will be shared and made lighter by sharing.
That joys will be enriched and multiplied by the joy of another.
Love is knowing someone else cares that we are not alone in life.
Marriage means being in love for the rest of your life – Chris Ardis
Marriage is love walking hand in hand together.
It’s laughing with each other about silly little things,
and learning to discuss big things with care and tenderness.
In marriage, love is trusting each other when you’re apart.
It’s getting over disappointments and hurts,
knowing that these are present in all relationships.
It’s the realization that there is no one else in this world that you’d rather be with.
than the one you’re married to.
It’s thinking of new things to do together;
it’s growing old together.
Marriage is being in love for the rest of your life.
Excerpt from ‘A Man Called Ove’ – Fredrick Backman
“Loving someone is like moving into a house”, Sonja used to say.
“At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake has been made, you weren’t actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this.
Then over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there, and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfection, but rather for its imperfections.
You get to know all the nooks and crannies.
How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock with it’s cold outside.
Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them, or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without them creaking.
These are the little secrets that make it your home.
Excerpt from ‘I Love You, Through and Through – Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
I love your happy side, your sad side, your silly side, your mad side
I love your fingers and toes, your ears and nose
I love your hair and eyes, your giggles and cries
I love you running and walking, silent and talking
I love you through and through.. yesterday, today and tomorrow, too
Excerpt from ‘Love’ – Dr Seuss
I would love you in the rain.
And in the dark.
And on a train.
And in a car.
And in a tree.
Because you are the one for me!
I love you, here or there.
I would love you anywhere.
Today I love you, that is truer than true.
There is no one around I love more than you.