5 of our favourite alternative wedding readings and poems

watch-the-video-below-button

Why do people have readings at weddings? Well, we think it’s to express how you feel about the day, your emotions, what you think marriage is and your hopes and wishes for the future.

You’re almost certainly looking for something that really expresses the pair of you as a couple and you probably want a reading that’s a little bit unusual. Of course, there are some popular readings that you hear at a lot of weddings, and we’ve nothing against that, but if you’re searching for something really special to you, then you need to be a little creative in your thinking.

wedding readings dashacaffrey

Most people think that a reading should be something from the Bible (although not if you’re at a civil ceremony) or perhaps some lines from a favourite poem, but really a reading can be far much more than this.

L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole

It could be some words from a meaningful song. We think the lyrics of L.O.V.E sung by Nat King Cole would be ideal as a wedding reading.

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore and 

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don’t break it
Love was made for me and you 

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore and 

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don’t break it
Love was made for me and you 

Love was made for me and you
Love was made for me and you

When Harry Met Sally proposal


A reading could also be some lines from a film that you both love. Here are some classic lines written by the great Nora Ephron in the film When Harry Met Sally. For a cool twist on this quote, why not adapt it to talk about your loved one?

“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” 

Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelly

If you still want a classic poem, then Love’s Philosophy by the romantic Victorian poet Percy Bysshe Shelley is hard to beat.

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle;
Why not I with thine?

The Runaway Bride

It’s not just the men who make the romantic proposals either. Here’s what Julia Roberts’ character had to say in The Runaway Bride.

“I guarantee that we’ll have tough times. And I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart you are the only one for me.”

alternative wedding readings hannahwhomes

Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

You might also like these thoughts on marriage from this piece about love from the popular book Gift From The Sea.

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. 

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

We hope that this has helped you with your choice of wedding readings. Remember it’s your day, so although you choose words that some may consider non-traditional, if they mean the right things to you and your partner, then that’s the most important thing!

If you’re looking for some more amazing reading ideas, our Wedding Readings and Speeches section has everything you need!

Share via:

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter…

Real brides are loving…

and tagged with