Wedding readings can include everything from modern quotes from movies and non-religious readings inspired by songs to traditional wedding readings peppered with famous quotes. Here’s everything you need to know about modern and traditional wedding readings for every kind of ceremony…

Carrie Big Love Poem Sex and The City Wedding Readings: Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony 

Wedding Readings: Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony

Whether you’re looking for religious wedding readings and traditional wedding readings with romantic quotes to use in your your ceremony, or you’d like to incorporate more modern or funny readings in your wedding – we’ve rounded up the best cheese-free selection of wedding readings for every kind of wedding ceremony…

Traditional Wedding Readings

Wedding Readings Books Traditional Modern Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony 

Extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision.

Continue reading below…

You have to work out whether your roots have become 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 of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

Why Marriage? by Dena Acolatse

“Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold…

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love, in friendship…

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements…

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole…

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage…

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.”

A Chinese Wedding Poem

“I want to be your friend
For ever and ever without break or decay.
When the hills are all flat
And the rivers are all dry,
When it lightens and thunders in winter,
When it rains and snows in summer,
When Heaven and Earth mingle
Not ’til then will I part from you.”

READ MORE: The Most Romantic Quotes for Your Wedding Day 

If you want a classic poem as a reading at your wedding then Love’s Philosophy, by the romantic Victorian poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, is hard to beat…

Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelly

“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?”

Blessing for a Marriage by James Dillet Freeman

“May your marriage bring you all the exquisite 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. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack.

May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.

May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.

May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another’s presence — no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.

May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.”

book with rose petals wedding readings traditional and modern wedding reading ideas Wedding Readings: Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony 

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 wandering 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.”

I Carry Your Heart by E.E. Cummings

“I carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart).”

My True Love was written by Elizabethan poet Sir Phillip Sydney over 400 years ago. It may be old, but the words still ring true today, and it’s a lovely piece if you want to have a traditional wedding reading at your ceremony…

My True Love by Sir Phillip Sydney

“My true love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given,
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides,
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.”

Extract From Symposium by Plato

“Humans have never understood the power of Love, for if they had they would surely have built noble temples and altars and offered solemn sacrifices; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done, since Love is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills which prevent us from being happy.

To understand the power of Love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now, but different. Human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. There were three sexes then: one comprised of two men called the children of the Sun, one made of two women called the children of the Earth, and a third made of a man and a woman, called the children of the Moon. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the Gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought for a way to end the humans’ insolence without destroying them.

It was at this point that Zeus divided the humans in half. After the division the two parts of each desiring their other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one. So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.

Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the indenture of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. Those whose original nature lies with the children of the Sun are men who are drawn to other men, those from the children of the Earth are women who love other women, and those from the children of the Moon are men and women drawn to one another.

And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.”

Extract From Every Day by David Levithan

“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot.

The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible.

And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.”

The author of Dove Poem (below) is unknown, but these words create a wonderful image of two birds joined together for the rest of their lives in peace and harmony. If you’re planning on releasing doves during your ceremony then this wedding reading will be an appropriate addition…

Dove Poem by Anon

“Two doves meeting in the sky,
Two loves hand in hand eye to eye,
Two parts of a loving whole,
Two hearts and a single soul.

Two stars shining big and bright,
Two fires bringing warmth and light,
Two songs played in perfect tune,
Two flowers growing into bloom.

Two Doves gliding in the air,
Two loves free without a care,
Two parts of a loving whole,
Two hearts and a single soul.”


Popular Wedding Readings

Wedding Readings Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony rose petals in book

I will be here by 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.”

He’s not Perfect by Bob Marley

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect.

But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can.

He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break.

Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyse. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there.

Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”

Extract From Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.

We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again.

And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.”

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“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.”

On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran

“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

Letter From Johnny Cash to June Carter

“We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others’ minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit.

Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realise how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.”


Modern Wedding Readings

The Notebook modern Wedding Readings Wedding Readings: Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony 

Extract From The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it was like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me.

But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created.

For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory.”

Why Marriage? by Mari Nichols-Haining

“Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night,
With someone I feel blessed to hold…

Because marriage means opportunity,
To grow in love in friendship…

Because marriage is a discipline,
To be added to a list of achievements…

Because marriages do not fail, people fail,
When they enter into marriage,
Expecting another to make them whole…

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility,
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness,
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage,
Together we create our marriage…

Because with this understanding,
The possibilities are limitless.”

Love Quote From How I Met Your Mother  

“When you love someone you just…don’t stop. Ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then.

You just…you don’t give up… If I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love.

That would be…some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is.”

Quote from Sleepless In Seattle

“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it.

I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known…

I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.”

Extract From Carrie’s Poem, 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.'”


Funny Wedding Readings

book with rose in middle Wedding Readings: Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony 

Yes, I’ll Marry You by Pam Ayres

“Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
And here’s the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch, you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.

Yes, I’ll marry you,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!

It’s you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!”

Gravitation by Albert Einstein

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?

Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”


Alternative Wedding Readings

love quotes from book wedding readings Wedding Readings: Wedding Reading Ideas for Every Kind of Ceremony 

How about reciting a few lines from a meaningful song as an alternative to a wedding reading? We think the lyrics in L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole, are a wonderfully romantic choice…

“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.”

And 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 which makes the perfect wedding reading for the bride or groom..

Quote from 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.”


READ MORE: 


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.

Previous articleThe Mr & Mrs Quiz: Mr and Mrs Questions to put the Bride and Groom to the Test
Next articleThe Most Romantic Quotes for Your Wedding Day
Jennifer Read-Dominguez is the Digital Editor of Wedding Ideas magazine, heading up the website and covering all things lifestyle and beauty – from the best hen weekend destinations and luxury honeymoon hotspots, to the perfect hair extensions for your wedding day. When not on her soapbox about her home renovations and commuting troubles, she's known around the office for her love of Millwall FC and MasterChef. Despite telling the world she was about to get engaged underneath a spectacular show of the Northern Lights in Finland last year, Jennifer is still waiting for her boyfriend Ashton to propose...