Sources of wedding readings

I love to see the wedding readings that couples choose for their ceremony. Sometimes they ask me to suggest a readings and sometimes they choose readings which are totally new to me which is great. This year has been a combination of these plus the wedding readings written especially for that wedding by one of the couple or by friends of theirs.

Wedding reading celebrant

Allowing other people to choose or write wedding readings for you that you don’t hear until the day is a way of allowing others to give you a special gift and means that there are some surprises on your day. As Celebrant I get the readers to send them to me in advance – I would hate two readers to have chosen the same reading at a wedding! Also it means that we can put the reading at the right place in the ceremony.


So here is my first selection (in no particular order!) from this year’s busy wedding season. I haven’t used the personally written ones as they tend to refer specifically to that couple and things about them. I will have to write another blog post on writing your own wedding readings! I have made a note about who read the readings as that may help you to decide who to ask.

1.    I belong in your arms by Deborah Brideau

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the groom read this poem to his bride. It was fabulous.

I belong in your arms.
Finally, I have found a place
Into which I fit Perfectly, Safely
And securely with no doubts,
No fears, No sadness, No tears.

This place is filled with happiness and laughter
Yet it is spacious enough, to allow me
The freedom to move around,
To live my life and be myself.
This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed,
I have found – finally
Inside your arms, Inside your heart, inside your love.

2.    From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières 

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

This was read by the bride’s brother in law. It linked beautifully into the tree planting which the couple did as part of their ceremony. His daughter, the flower girl, had fallen asleep in his arms ?



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 promises of eternal passion.
That is just being in love, which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is leftover when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love,
have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

3.    The One (Author unknown)

This short and simple wedding reading has been very popular this year – read at different times by a brother in law and two bridesmaids- it seems to sum up what many couples feel is what their wedding is all about.

When the one whose hand you’re holding
Is the one who holds your heart
When the one whose eyes you gaze into
Gives your hopes and dreams their start,

When the one you think of first and last
Is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together
Make the whole world seem just right,

When the one whom you believe in
puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love
You’ll share your whole life through.

4.     “The Promise” by Eileen Rafter

Tipi wedding NottinghamshireThis wedding reading was chosen and read by the groom’s sister.

The sun danced on the snow with a sparkling smile,
As two lovers sat quietly, alone for a while.
Then he turned and said, with a casual air,
(Though he blushed from his toes to the tips of his hair)
“I think I’d quite like to get married to you.”

“Well then,” she said, “well there’s a thought,
But what if we can’t vow to be all that we ought?
Can you promise me, say, you won’t grumble and shout
If I’m late yet again, when we plan to go out.
For I know I can’t say that I’ll learn to ignore
Dirty socks and damp towels strewn all over the floor.

So if we can’t vow to be all that we should,
I’m not sure what to do, though the idea’s quite good.”
But he gently smiled and tilted his head
Till his lips met her ear, then softly he said,

“I promise, to weave my dreams into your own.
That wherever you breathe shall be my heart’s home.

I promise, that whether with rags or with gold I am blessed,
Your smile is the jewel I will treasure the best.

Do you think then, my love, we should marry, do you?”
“Yes,” she said smiling, “I do.”

5.    Love Is the Greatest from I Corinthians 13 in the Bible

Mother of groom readingThis reading was read by the mother of one of the grooms. It is a version of a very well known wedding reading from the Bible. The couple would have been happy to have a Church wedding but the local Church didn’t yet allow it. So we were able to include this reading, some prayers and two hymns as well as other readings and music to make the ceremony just as they wanted it to be – a real mix of fun, faith and the seriousness of making promises to each other to last a lifetime.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love,
I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even die for my faith, but I don’t love, I’ve achieved nothing. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude.
Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
Love is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever
But for right now, until we are complete in God, we have three things to do:
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love.


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