Wedding top tips – finding the perfect wedding reading
Finding the perfect wedding reading can be a tricky thing. You want something that will capture the essence of your relationship, something that sums up the two of you, a reading that is uniquely you. During my time photographing weddings I have heard many wedding readings. Some are heartfelt and beautiful, some are fun and quirky and some are truly personal. You need to decide on the style of reading you would like, be that serious or a little more lighthearted. If you are lucky enough to have a friend or family member who is a talented writer that is a very special way to incorporate a personal reading.
If you haven’t got the next J K Rowling on your guest list you can still get a wonderfully personal reading by using the talents of a creative writer, such as Lizzie, from In Your Own Words. As someone who struggles with creative writing I’m blown away by what Lizzie does. She gets to know each couple and creates a wonderfully personal poem or reading that completely captures the two of you and your relationship.
Here is a selection of readings that might inspire you to find the perfect wedding reading. Some are poems, some from books, some from movies or TV shows. Lizzie has also very kindly provided one of her poems for me to share. It doesn’t matter where you get inspiration, its about finding the right words for you…
PERSONAL BESPOKE POEM BY ‘IN YOUR OWN WORDS’
If we don’t spend much time dwelling
On the things that we have done
The flip-flopped, sea-splashed memories
We made under the sun
If we don’t replay repeatedly
Adventures we’ve been on
Traversing the two continents
To which we two belong
It’s ‘cause we’ve got things to do
Plans and dreams of future fun:
There are dancefloors undiscovered
There are races to be run
Puppies playing in a garden
Excited footsteps on a stair
Whoever snaps the better photo
It’s a picture we will share
We’ve brought with us, from then ‘til now,
Down Under’s finest friends
Whom we know to be family,
On whom we’ll endlessly depend
So if treading streets, barefoot on sand –
Wherever we may roam,
We’ll go there holding hands and hearts:
Together, we’ve found home.
From ‘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.
From ‘So Long and Thanks For All the Fish‘ by Douglas Adams
There was a sort of gallery structure in the roof space which held a bed and also a bathroom which, Fenchurch explained, you could actually swing a cat in, “But,” she added, “only if it was a reasonably patient cat and didn’t mind a few nasty cracks about the head. So. Here you are.
“Yes.” They looked at each other for a moment. The moment became a longer moment, and suddenly it was a very long moment, so long one could hardly tell where all the time was coming from.
For Arthur, who could usually contrive to feel self-conscious if left alone long enough with a Swiss cheese plant, the moment was one of sustained revelation. He felt on the sudden like a cramped and zoo-born animal who wakes one morning to find the door of his cage hanging quietly open and the savannah stretching grey and pink to the distant rising sun, while all around new sounds are waking.
He wondered what the new sounds were as he gazed at her openly wondering face and her eyes that smiled with a shared surprise.
He hadn’t realized that life speaks with a voice to you, a voice that brings you answers to the questions you continually ask of it, had never consciously detected it or recognized its tones until it now said something it had never said to him before, which was,“Yes.”
From ‘The Road‘ by Cormac McCarthy
Lying under such a myriad of stars. The sea’s black horizon. He rose and walked out and stood barefoot in the sand and watched the pale surf appear all down the shore and roll and crash and darken again. When he went back to the fire he knelt and smoothed her hair as she slept and he said if he were God he would have made the world just so and no different. -The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite.
The Princess Bride
“True love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT — mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe.”
Meet Joe Black
“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. If you don’t start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who’ll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I’m not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you’ll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love—well, you haven’t lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.”
“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”
“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, – everyday. You and me… everyday.”
Four Weddings and a Funeral
“I am as ever in bewildered awe of anyone who makes this kind of commitment…I know I couldn’t do it, so I think it’s wonderful they can.”
Leslie, Parks and Recreation
“The things that you have done for me, to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy, go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.”
Monica Geller-Bing, 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.”
Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother
“But love doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it, or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do. When you love someone you just…don’t stop. Ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just you don’t give up…If I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be…some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is.”
Topanga, Boy Meets World
“I wasn’t sure this day would ever come, but you were. I wasn’t sure love could survive everything we put it through, but you were. You were always strong and always sure. And now I know I want you to stand beside me for the rest of my life. That’s what I’m sure of.”
Khaleesi and Khal Drogo’s Wedding Vows, Game of Thrones
“As you are the Moon of his life, he shall be your Sun and Stars. Your love shall be as ever present as those two celestial bodies…even though they are sometimes hidden from one another’s sight. Your love will be the guiding force that charts the course of your tomorrows, holds your world together in difficult times, and will make life itself shine bolder and brighter than we human beings have a right to dream of.”
Why Marriage, by Dena Acolatse
Because of the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body.
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me.
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night,
With someone who is thankful for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold.
Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship.
Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements.
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole.
Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage.
Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless
and our love will last forever.
I’ll Be There For You, by Louise Cuddon
I’ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said “Fine”, but you’re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue ’cause
I’m telling you, I’ll be there.
Here, by Steven Curtis Chapman
If in the morning when you wake,
If the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
I will be here.
I will be here,
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we’ll be together,
And I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake,
If the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.
I will be here,
And you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we’re older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
We’ll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I’ve made,
To you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.
Love’s Philosophy By Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the rivers
And the rivers with the oceans,
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother,
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?
Love Monkey by Edward Monkton
It was once custom that every monkey would carve for himself a wooden heart. And the heart that love monkey carved was the most beautiful of all. Its contours were soft and rounded, like an ancient pebble sculpted by the oceans. Its surface was smooth and shiny like liquid silk, and it shone as bright as a ruby in the desert sun. “Take your hearts with you wherever you go,” said their teacher. “Nurture them as a mother nurtures her new-born baby. For when you want to give of yourself fully, your heart is the only true gift you will have.”
That night, Love Monkey had a dream. He dreamt of a monkey whose smile lit up his soul like sunshine. He held out his heart to her, so radiant, so splendid and so new. She took him in her arms and he felt truly, perfectly, at peace. When Love Monkey awoke he resolved that, from that day forward, he would search for his Dream Monkey until he could stand before her and give to her his perfect heart.
He travelled through deserts…and climbed over mountains. He trekked across forests…and sailed many oceans. Love Monkey looked after his heart as best he could, but the storms that he endured on his travels chipped away at its surface and each new adventure reshaped it. By the time he arrived on the last distant shore, his heart was so changed by the patina of time that it barely resembled his old heart at all.
And then, he saw her. Standing before him, as radiant and as beautiful as the sunshine, was his Dream Monkey. At first he could not speak. But then, from somewhere deep inside himself, he found a voice. “I have travelled the world over to find you, and to give you my heart,” he said.“But now that I am finally with you, I see how foolish I have been. You are so beautiful, so perfect. And my heart that was once smooth, so bright and so new is now not something that I could even bring myself to show you,” and he turned to go. “Let me see it,” said Dream Monkey. She took his heart and held it up to the light. “Nothing to me is more beautiful. Every fissure tells a story. Every blemish makes you more real. All my life I have been waiting for a heart like this; a heart that speaks the truth.” “Come here,” she said. “I have something for you too.” In her hand was a tiny golden heart. It was as worn and as scratched as Love Monkey’s own…and it was the most precious thing that he had ever seen.
Love Monkey put his arms around her and they held each other for a long, long time. “I shall treasure this heart for as long as I live,” said Dream Monkey, running her fingers over its ridged and dimpled surface. Then they looked into each other’s eyes and, feeling the joy of truth in their souls for the first time, they began to laugh. And often they sit together still, holding each other’s hearts in their warm hands, lifting them to the light…and laughing. Always laughing.
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!
A Vow by Wendy Cope
I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You are my closest friend, my favorite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.
Let Me Put It This Way By Simon 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.
To Keep Your Marriage Brimming by 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.
SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT
Gravitation – Albert Einstein
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.
Big thank you to Lizzie from In Your Own Words for contributing to this post, find out more about her creative writing work here. If you fancy a go at writing your own reading, Lizzie shares some great tips for DIY wedding readings.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and have been inspired for your own perfect wedding reading. I’d love to hear what you are planning to have as a reading so please share! Why not check out more of my ‘Wedding Top Tip’ posts in my wedding Planning Guide.
Thanks for popping by