Unusual wedding readings for your big day
Choosing your wedding readings is hard.
Really, really hard. It’s what tells everyone at your ceremony how you see each other, how you feel about each other and most importantly how incredibly tasteful and well read you are. There are some classics (we’re looking at you, Sonnet 116 and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) and they’re beautiful, but if you’re one of the several weddings this summer, you don’t want it to be the fifteenth time someone’s heard your reading. So, if you’re looking to go for something a bit quirkier, we’ve got you covered.
Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy
Not a red rose or a satin heart.
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light like the careful undressing of love.
It will blind you with tears like a lover.
It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief.
I am trying to be truthful.
Not a cute card or a kissogram.
I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful as we are,
for as long as we are.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.
Vow by Roger McGough
I vow to honour the commitment made this day
Which, unlike the flowers and the cake,
Will not wither or decay.A promise, not to obey
But to respond joyfully, to forgive and to console,
For once incomplete, we now are whole.
I vow to bear in mind that if, at times
Things seem to go from bad to worse,
They also go from bad to better.
The lost purse is handed in, the letter
Contains wonderful news. Trains run on time,
Hurricanes run out of breath, floods subside,
And toast lands jam-side up.
And with this ring, my final vow:
To recall, whatever the future may bring,
The love I feel for you now.
Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
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.
The Confirmation by Edmund Muir
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face,
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.
A Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
One recognises the truth of Saint Exupery’s line: Love does not consist in gazing at each other. But in looking outward together in the same direction. For in fact, man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction, they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots, a firm base….Here one makes oneself part of the community of men, of human society. Here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up
For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, but many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow-growing devotion and, playing through these, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences.
It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language too, a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.
The Promise by Heather Berry
“Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise. Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside. Where all things are made possible by the astounding love shared by two spirits. As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, may your unconditional love and devotion take you to places where you’ve both only dreamed. Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms.”