Wedding Readings

Civil Wedding Readings

It is quite usual to have wedding readings or poetry at civil weddings. Close family and friends traditionally will read the wedding readings or even the bride and groom to each other! There are strict guidelines on what is acceptable and must be non-religious. Each registrar may have differing views on which wedding readings have religious connotations and which ones do not. Robbie Williams “Angels” was deemed to be religious at one point – so it is very important to check with the registrars office before.  Rather than be disappointed on the day. Each ceremony has time for a couple of weddings readings if they are of suitable length. You may be able to include more if they are short.

Your local registrars office can give you a list of suitable readings and poetry, and we have included the most popular ones below.

Religeous Wedding Readings

A church wedding is an obvious choice for couples who have a strong Christian faith. The Christian faith encompasses the Church of England, Church in Wales, Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Churches and Free Churches (Baptist, Methodist and United Reform Churches). You have the right to marry in the parish church of the town you reside in or are on the electoral role. Church of England will now marry in any church if they are a family member or have a connection with the church.

Church weddings usually feature readings, either from the minister, or by one of the wedding guests. It is usual to have two readings, and one should certainly be religious. However, it may be possible to have a secular reading – check with your minister on what is acceptable and what is not.

There are lots of readings suitable for weddings, but to make your choice easier we have included a list of the most popular readings below.

  • Civil Wedding Readings

    Dove Poem

    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

    Love and Friendship

    Love is like the wild rose-briar
    Friendship like the holly tree
    The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
    But which will bloom most constantly?

    The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
    Its summer blossoms scent the air
    Yet wait till winter comes again
    And who will call the wild-briar fair?

    Then, scorn the silly rose-wreath now
    And deck with thee the holly’s sheen,
    Then when December blights thy brow
    He still may leave thy garland green.
    Emily Bronte

    If Thou Must Love Me

    If thou must love me, let it be for naught
    Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
    “I love her for her smile…her look…
    her way of speaking gently -for a trick of thought
    That falls in well with mine and certes bought
    A sense of pleasant ease on such a day.”
    For these things in themselves, beloved, may be changed,
    or changed for thee – and love so wrought may be unwrought so.
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    The Art of Marriage

    A good marriage must be created,
    In 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 a day.
    It is never going to sleep angry.
    It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
    It is standing together and facing the world.
    It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
    It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
    It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
    It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
    It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
    It is not only marrying the right person –
    It is being the right partner

    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 root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
    Because this is what love is. It 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 left over 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.
    Louis de Bernieres

    True love

    True love is a sacred flame
    That burns eternally,
    And none can dim its special glow
    Or change its destiny
    True love speaks in tender tones
    And hears with gentle ear,
    True love gives with open heart
    and true love conquers fear.
    True love makes no harsh demands
    It neither rules nor binds,
    and true love holds with gentle hands
    The hearts that it entwines

    ‘Yes, I’ll Marry You’

    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!
    Pam Ayres

    Wedding Wind

    The wind blew all my wedding-day,
    And my wedding-night was the night of the high wind;
    And a stable door was banging, again and again,
    That he must go and shut it, leaving me
    Stupid in candlelight, hearing rain,
    Seeing my face in the twisted candlestick,
    Yet seeing nothing. When he came back
    He said the horses were restless, and I was sad
    That any man or beast that night should lack
    The happiness I had.

    Now in the day
    All’s ravelled under the sun by the wind’s blowing.
    He has gone to look at the floods, and I
    Carry a chipped pail to the chicken-run,
    Set it down, and stare. All is the wind
    Hunting through clouds and forests, thrashing
    My apron and the hanging cloths on the line.
    Can it be borne, this bodying-forth by wind
    Of joy my actions turn on, like a thread
    Carrying beads? Shall I be let to sleep
    Now this perpetual morning shares my bed?
    Can even death dry up
    These new delighted lakes, conclude
    Our kneeling as cattle by all-generous waters?
    Philip Larkin

    Sonnet 116

    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 not 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.
    William Shakespeare

    A Red, Red Rose

    O, my love’s like a red, red rose, That’s newly sprung in June:
    O my love’s like the melodie, That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

    As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in love am I,
    And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry.

    Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear,And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
    I will love thee still, my Dear, While the sands o’ life shall run.

    And fare thee weel, my only love, And fare thee weel a while!
    And I will come again, my love. Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!

    Robert Burns

    On Your Wedding Day

    Today is a day you will always remember
    The greatest in anyone’s life
    You’ll start off the day just two people in love
    And end it as Husband and Wife

    It’s a brand new beginning the start of a journey
    With moments to cherish and treasure
    And although there’ll be times when you both disagree
    These will surely be outweighed by pleasure

    You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
    When the secrets of marriage were spoken
    But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
    Where the bond of true love lies unbroken

    So live happy forever as lovers and friends
    It’s the dawn of a new life for you
    As you stand there together with love in your eyes
    From the moment you whisper ‘I do’

    And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real
    May success find it’s way to your hearts
    Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
    But today is the day it all starts
    Author Unknown

  • Religeous Wedding Readings

    Love, actually!

    The number 1 most popular reading for weddings is (1 Corinthians Chapter 13)

    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

    And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

    Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
    Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

    Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    God creates women and men to look after the earth

    (Genesis, Chapter 1, verses 26-28)

    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    A love poem between two lovers

    (Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, verses 10-13; Chapter 8, verses 6&7)
    My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

    For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

    The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

    The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

    Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
    8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

    Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

    Jesus teaches how to live a life that brings true happiness

    (Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 1-10)

    The Beatitudes
    And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

    And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

    Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

    Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

    Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
    Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

    Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Jesus teaches about marriage, and welcomes children (Mark, Chapter 10, verses 6-9)

    But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

    For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

    And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

    What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    Committing to each other

    Ephesians Chapter 5, verses 21-33)

    Wives and Husbands

    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

    For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

    Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing
    Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

    That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

    For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

    For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

    For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

    This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

    Getting the perfect relationship

    (Colossians Chapter 3, verses 12 – 17)

    Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

    Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

    And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

    And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

    And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

    Being a good lover!

    (1 John Chapter 4 verses 7 – 12)

    God’s Love and Ours
    Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

    He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

    In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

    Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.