The written word can be one of the most powerful of art forms, creating a scene in our mind and coloring it with carefully placed adjectives and words of sorrow or joy. For many couples, a reading is the perfect way to let their personality shine through on their wedding day, setting a tone for the ceremonies, whether elegant and romantic or whimsical and fun.
Traditionally, readings are done during the service, but they can also serve as a break during the reception or be incorporated into speeches. Spiritual couples may choose a favorite Bible verse, while others might opt for something a little more secular. Song lyrics, poems or monologues from literary classics can provide a great wealth of potential passages.
Keep in mind that weddings are attended by family and friends of all ages – so the reading should be appropriate for even the littlest ears. Not being offensive is at the top of the list, but experts also advise against being ‘too’ anything – too long, too cheesy, too serious, too mushy, too cliché. Instead, pick something that may be familiar, but is as unique to the proceedings as the couple themselves.
In My Life
There are places I remember,
All my life though some have changed.
Some forever not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments,
With lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living,
In my life I’ve loved them all.
But of all these friends and lovers,
There is no one compares with you.
And these memories lose their meaning,
When I think of love as something new.
Though I know I’ll never lose affection,
For people and things that went before.
I know I’ll often stop and think about them,
In my life I love you more.
All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned…
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
from “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulgham
There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard,
No song that I could sing, but I can try for your heart.
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things,
Like a, shoebox of photographs,
With sepia-toned loving.
Love is the answer,
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and,
Sometimes life can be deceiving.
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together
A Farewell to Arms
At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.
from “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway
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.
The Art of Marriage
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of 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 each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with honeymoon, it should continue through all 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 in 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 sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is in giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
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.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
He’s Not Perfect
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 analyze. 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.
To Love is Not to Possess
To love is not to possess
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence.
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another – and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony.
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are – and always secretly were.
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
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. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those who truly love have roots that grow toward each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
From “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernières