Updated on: Feb 16, 2024
Many brides spend days leading up to their “I do’s” by picking the perfect dress, coordinating a color scheme, and looking through wedding readings to choose one that suits their vows. If they are a pandemic bride, they may also have to worry about social-distancing their guests and having temperature checks.
In this whirlwind of planning, this article is here to help choose a lovely wedding reading for your ceremony that will help make the day even more memorable. Whether it is a Religious Ceremony, Non-religious, or held over Zoom, we have you covered! Below is a list of all the wedding readings we acquired for you.
Wedding Readings for a Non-Religious Ceremony
1. Love is an Adventure by Pierre Tielhart de Chardin
“Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops like the universe itself only by perpetual discovery. The only right love is that between couples whose passion leads them both, one through the other, to a higher possession of their being. Put your faith in the spirit which dwells between the two of you."
"You have each offered yourself to the other as a boundless field of understanding, of enrichment, of mutually increased sensibility. You will meet above all by entering into and constantly sharing one another’s thoughts, affections, and dreams. There alone, as you know, in spirit, which is arrived through flesh, you will find no disappointments, no limits. There alone the skies are ever open for your love; there alone lies the great road ahead.”
Chardin perfectly describes how two souls intertwine through love.
2. A Stunning Quote from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
Even ordinary people deserve to find a love that makes them feel divine, as Sparks points out.
3. A Marriage by Mark Twain
"A marriage makes of two fractional lives a whole; It gives two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each to perform it. It gives two questioning natures a reason for living and something to live for. It will give new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life."
This beautiful letter from Samuel Clemmens (Mark Twain) to his soon-to-be bride Olivia "Livy" Langdon shows how finding romance can transform your worldview.
4. Harry’s Speech from When Harry Met Sally
“I love that you get cold when it’s seventy-one 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.”
When you fall for someone, you fall for all their little quirks as well. In this classic rom-com, the titular character Harry describes this just right.
5. Love Is Enough by William Morris
"Love is enough: though the World be a-waning, and the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining, though the sky is too dark for dim eyes to discover, the gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder, though the hills are held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder. And this day draw a veil over all deeds passed over, yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter; the void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter. These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover."
As Morris points out, love is enough to pull you out of your darkest days and makes the world shine bright again.
6. A Lovely Excerpt from The Good Morrow John Donne
“I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
‘Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.”
For those who enjoy old-school poetry, this piece will add a memorable charm to their ceremony.
7. A 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 realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.”
Spending the rest of your life with someone may sound like a daunting task, but Cash puts it into words just how lucky those who find a forever partner are.
8. This Passage from Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words 'make' and 'stay' become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”
Robbins expresses how adoration is a whirlwind that defies the laws of society and instead consumes you whole.
9. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
"I have for the first time found what I can truly love — I have found you. You are my sympathy—my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wraps my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one. It was because I felt and knew this, that I resolved to marry you.”
Every literature nerd will enjoy this stunning passage from the historical fiction novel.
10. Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
“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 another's being mingle—
Why not I with thine?
See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?”
What better way to ask for that “I do” kiss than with a Shakespearean-like sonnet?
11. How Children See Your Day by Sandra Cook
“Today you’re getting married; some say you’re getting wed
There’s crowds of people in our house, and strangers in my bed!
We had to get up early, take breakfast all together
Allowed to have the TV on to listen to the weather
Shower time was hectic, should have seen the queue
Girls were taking twice as long and air was turning blue
Hair was being straightened, perfume being sprayed
Nails were being painted, the boys of course delayed
Lots of make-up lots of shoes, sparkles in the hair
Pretty cards and parcels, flowers everywhere
Everyone had new clothes, Dad even wore a suit
Mum is looking stunning, and I look kinda cute
Posh car turned up at the door, took my Mum away
Left me with the other kids but told I couldn’t play
Lots of photos lots of fuss, what’s it all about?
Parties are for having fun, there’s no need to shout!
Mummy looks real pretty, Daddy’s not too bad
Someone here is crying but doesn’t look real sad
Lots of people laughing, sometimes very loud
Then it goes all quiet, lady talking to the crowd
Daddy holds Mum closely, putting on a ring
Says some words and makes a speech and makes them cry again
Mummy takes another ring and puts it on his finger
Says some words and makes a speech and then we hear a singer
Someone says a poem, lots of people clap
Waking up the funny man who’s taking a quick nap
Now we are all standing, watching them both kiss
They look so very happy, think they call it bliss!
Time to do some writing in a great big book
And with all those cameras, which way shall we look?
Is it nearly over, can I go and play?
Let's come back tomorrow, we can do it all again?”
This adorable short story details your big day through the eyes of your little ones in a hilarious way.
12. Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
“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.”
If you or your spouse are in the science field, this is a nice little insertion to the speech!
13. Wise Words from your Favorite Good Neighbor
“It's you I like.
Not the things you wear,
Not the way you do your hair,
But it's you I like.
The way you are right now.
The way down deep inside you.
Not the things that hide you.
Not your toys,
They're just beside you.
It's you I like.
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings,
Whether old or new.
I hope that you remember
Even when you're feeling blue,
That it's you I like.
It's you yourself.
It's you I like."
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was a childhood staple in many of our lives, so why not add it to the most important day of your life!
14. This Quote from Friends
“For so long I wondered if I would ever find my prince, my soulmate. Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort.
And instead, I found everything that I'd ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soulmate, my friend.”
This is for all the Friends fans out there!
Religious Wedding Readings for a Spiritual Ceremony
15. Genesis 2:18-24
"18 Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.'"
"21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.' 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh."
Your partner was made for you by God, and this verse from Genesis points that out in a beautiful way.
16. Song of Solomon 8:6-7
"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.”
In this passage from the Bible, love is pointed out to be greater than all riches in the world.
17. A Love Poem from the Hindu Religion
"Let the earth of my body be mixed with the earth
my beloved walks on.
Let the fire of my body be the brightness
in the mirror that reflects his face.
Let the water of my body join the waters
of the lotus pool he bathes in.
Let the breath of my body be air
lapping his tired limbs.
Let me be sky, and moving through me the cloud-dark Shyama, my beloved."
This spiritual writing is the perfect addition to any Hinduist vows.
18. An Apache Wedding Prayer
“Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness, For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies, But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.”
For couples who enjoy exploring other cultures, or want to share theirs with others, this Apache prayer is a great incorporation into their vows.
19. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
This Bible verse from Ecclesiastes describes how a marriage is not only a union between two hearts, but also a bonding of strength and skills.
20. Colossians 3:12-17
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."
"Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Sharing your life with someone comes with its ups and downs, which is why this passage asks you to have patience with your spouse… Even if they always leave their dirty socks lying around!
21. 1 John 4:7-12
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
As this verse from John points out, God sacrificed his son for us to live, and we must honor him by loving our spouse with all we have.
22. Romans 12:9-16
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.”
This scripture reminds us to serve God through our marriage and that we should live our lives in worship of him.
23. A Wedding Prayer for a Hebrew Ceremony
“Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hath created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship."
"May there soon be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from the wedding canopy, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who gives the Bridegroom joy in his bride.”
For a Jewish couple, this prayer is the perfect piece for their vows!
24. This Passage from The Book of Ecclesiasticus
“A loyal friend is a safe shelter: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure. A loyal friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth. A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who respect the Lord will find one. Whoever respects the Lord makes true friends, for as a person is, so is his friend too."
For those who want to give a nod to their religious origins, but not too religious, this is a great addition to their vows.
25. A Spiritual Reading from The Art of Power
“"The Buddha spoke about four elements that constitute true love: the capacity to be kind and offer happiness, maitri in Sanskrit, compassion, the capacity to relieve suffering, karuna; the capacity to bring joy every day, mudita; and finally, the capacity of nondiscrimination, upeksha. When there is true love, there is nondiscrimination."
"The pain of the other is our own pain; the happiness of the other is our own happiness...To make our love meaningful, we need to nourish our bodhicitta, our mind of boundless love and compassion...First, we learn to love one person with all our understanding and insight; then we expand that love to embrace another person, and another, until our love is truly boundless."
This powerful message is fantastic for any Buddhist pair!
26. Mark 10:6-9, 13-16
“Jesus said, ‘From the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.”
This stunning verse will have you swooning over the idea of your god-given soulmate.
27. This Delightful Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson
“Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.
This prayer is sure to bless your union for many years to come.
28. Ephesians 3:14-20
“I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love."
"I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
This passage is great to include in any Christian Orthodox ceremony.
Short and Sweet Wedding Readings for a Zoom Ceremony
29. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
“Madly in love after so many years ... they enjoyed the miracle of loving each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out old people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.”
This sweet paragraph will make you long to grow old with your sweetheart.
30. My First Love Story by Rumi
“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
This quote by Rumi is the perfect length to help with any connectivity issues during your vows, without trading off any of the depth!
31. Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.”
This small excerpt from your favorite childhood book will make it seem like your marriage is one big adventure ahead of you!
32. A Short but Sweet Poem by R.M. Drake
This Untitled piece by the fantastic writer is sure to make your vows as magical as you always dreamed.
33. Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
This quote is the perfect way to intertwine childhood innocence with adult love.
34. Always by Lang Leav
“You were you
and I was I;
we were two
before our time
I was yours,
before I knew
and you have always
been mine too.”
This adorable rhyme shines the idea of soulmates in a new life, pointing out how spouses were destined for each other from the beginning.
35. A Quote from John Milton’s Paradise Lost
'With thee conversing I forget all time,
All seasons and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds'"
This dreamy passage details how falling in love is like waking up on a beautiful spring day.
Funny Wedding Readings for a Quirky Couple
36. I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg
“I like you because you know where I’m ticklish
And you don’t tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes
But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too
You know how to be silly – that’s why I like you.”
This will definitely incite a few giggles from the audience!
37. Let Me Put It This Way by Simone Armitage
“Let me put it this way: if you came to lay your sleeping head against my arm or sleeve, and if my arm went dead, or if I had to take my leave at midnight, I should rather cleave it from the joint or seam than make a scene or bring you round. There, how does that sound?”
This hilarious piece by Armitage shows how we make sacrifices in marriage, including possibly losing an arm so that your spouse can sleep peacefully.
38. A Tip to Husbands from Ogden Nash
“To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it
Whenever you’re right, shut up.”
Sometimes to keep a fight from brimming, it's best to keep your lips sealed, even if you were right.
39. Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton
“I like you a lot.
You're funny and kind.
So let me explain
What I have in mind.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to walk right by your side.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to travel with you far and wide.”
The rumor is that penguins mate for life, so why not incorporate this funny little story into your eternal promise?
40. 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!”
This amusing piece by Ayers details all of the responsibilities of a new spouse once they say “I do!”
41. An Ode to Sweet Misery
“When I fell in love with you,
it made a wreck of me.
I feel so dazed and dizzy
that it's hard for me to see.
I get too hot and sweat a lot.
I hardly eat a bite.
My pulse beats like a kettle drum
and keeps me up at night.
My stomach hurts and I go down
as if I've got the bends.
Love's causing me sweet misery--
I hope it never ends!”
That moment where you first lock eyes with your beloved has always been described as a “punch in the gut” feeling. This humorous poem describes how love is a whirlwind of emotions.
42. How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali
“First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.*
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.”
Dog lovers will get a real kick out of this one! *You can adjust the city to wherever you would like!
Best Wishes for Your Big Day!
Whether you are getting married on a sunny beach in Hawaii or in your living room through Zoom, we hope that these Wedding Readings have helped you plan your vows to be everything you always dreamed of. Now all that’s left is to find something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and get ready to say “I do!” If you are searching for other types of wedding ideas, feel free to look through other articles on our website! From processionals to dessert table ideas, our articles range through a vast array of topics that teach you all that you need to know about wedding planning.
Written by Natalia Gonzale; Contributors: Jack Leduc and Courtney Ludwig