Readings which make your ceremony really “you”.

In the latter part of 2018 I have continued to love the weing readings which couples or their friends and family have chosen for their ceremonies. They have all helped the ceremony to be unique, personal and meaningful for the couple. Some readings have been romantic, whilst others have been funny or linked to the wedding theme. It’s important to choose a reading with that particular ceremony in mind. In July I shared the top wedding readings for me in the first half of the year which also included the busiest time of the year for ceremonies. Here I am looking back at the second half of the year and there are some more beauties.

Who chooses the reading and why.

Celebrant NottinghamshireIt has been great to see more ceremonies where the readings have been chosen by friends or family of the couple as a popular trend. I never fail to be impressed with how much care they take in choosing. When they send them to me they always ask if I think they are alright as they recognise the privilege that they have been given. However some couples still want to choose their own readings as they may have a favourite one which they have always wanted at their wedding or it may be something which means a lot to both of them.

I enjoy adding to my collection of readings which I can share with couples as examples of what is around. However I am always impressed when they come up with something different. I will write separately on sources of readings.

I have attached a further 5 of the readings I have enjoyed this year below. If you read the earlier blog you will get my top ten. I hope they help to inspire you as you choose your wedding readings. 

1          To love is not to possess by James Kavanaugh

This reading was chosen and read by the bride’s Godmother who she was very close to.

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.


2          Touch the Air Softly by WilliamSmith Jay 

East Midlands CelebrantThe couple chose this reading and asked a friend to read it for them.

Now touch the air softly, step gently, one, two …

I’ll love you ’til roses are robin’s egg blue;

I’ll love you ’til gravel is eaten for bread,

And lemons are orange, and lavender’s red.


Now touch the air softly, swing gently the broom.

I’ll love you ’til windows are all of a room;

And the table is laid, And the table is bare,

And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air.


I’ll love you ’til heaven rips the stars from his coat,

And the moon rows away in a glass-bottomed boat;

And Orion steps down like a river below,

And earth is ablaze, and oceans aglow.


So touch the air softly, and swing the broom high.

We will dust the grey mountains, and sweep the blue sky:

And I’ll love you as long as the furrow the plough,

As however is ever, and ever is now.


3          All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Nursery School. Based on the poem All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten by Robert Fulghum

Lincolnshire CelebrantThis reading was chosen and read by the Groom’s sister bearing in mind that the bride was a teacher.

Wisdom was not at the top of the school mountain, but there in the sand tray at nursery.  These are the things I learned…

Share everything.
Play fair.
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.
Flush. Biscuits and warm milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.

Learn things and think things 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.


4          Marriage (Anon)

This reading was chosen by the mother of one of the grooms. The other mother chose a more serious piece and so this gave a lovely contrast.Nottinghamshire Celebrant

Marriage is about giving and taking

And forging and forsaking

Kissing and loving and pushing and shoving

Caring and sharing and screaming and swearing


About being together whatever the weather

About being driven to the end of your tether

About sweetness and kindness

And wisdom and blindness


It’s about being strong when you’re feeling quite weak

It’s about saying nothing when you’re dying to speak

It’s about being wrong when you know you are right

It’s about giving in, before there’s a fight


It’s about you two living as cheaply as one

(you can give us a call if you know how that’s done!)

Never heeding advice that was always well meant

Never counting the cost until it’s all spent


And for you two today it’s about to begin

And for all that the two of you had to put in

Some days filled with joy, and some days with sadness

Too late you’ll discover that marriage is madness!


5          Bob Marley on love:

This reading was chosen by the groom’s mother who changed the gender a little to address it first of all to her son.

She is not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together – but if she can make you laugh, cause to think twice and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can.

She may not be thinking about your every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad and miss her when she is not there. 


If you want to see the earlier blogpost on readings from 2018 follow this link


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