5 Great Wedding Readings chosen by Wedding Celebrant Jess May
Welcome! I thought it would be helpful to share 5 Great Wedding Readings from the many ceremonies I have created over the years.
Wedding Reading 1: Spiritual Wedding Reading
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of your be alone,
Even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.From The Prophet (Knopf, 1923). This poem is in the public domain.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
I am not a Humanist Celebrant, this is partly because I spent about a decade preparing to become a Priest in the Church of England and studied Theology and Religion at University, specialising in Contemporary Spirituality in Britain. I tend to be Spiritual but not Religious and that means that if you want spiritual content you shall! Click here to see if we are kindred spirits https://jessmaysspecialdays.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2623&action=edit
Wedding Reading 2 A Classic Reading for literature lovers
A traditional poem for true romantics
My heart is like a singing bird
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a purple sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of purple and gold;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleur-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love, is come to me.Christina Rossetti https://poets.org/poet/christina-rossetti
Are you romantics? If so, Christina Rossetti always delivers romantic poems for people like you! She is popular with all kinds of different couples. I am always surprised by the breadth and variety of her reach.
Wedding Reading 3 A lighthearted fun poem
Dr Zeuss is always ideal for a lighthearted reading
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have love in your heart
You have feet in your shoes.
You can walk together
any direction you choose.
You’re on an adventure.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the pair who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down paths. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “we don’t choose to go there.”
With your hearts full of love and four shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as lovely
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
can happen to you two.
And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping each other is not easily done.
But together you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Steel Pans are playing.
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
Travelling and children, your marriage begun.
Yet even together, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will hike
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that marriage
Is a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
Because the love in your hearts no one can deny And over sugarloaf mountain you surely will fly.Dr Zeuss https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/5237527-congratulations-today-is-your-day-you-re-off-to-great-places
Wedding Reading 4 A Contemporary poem for TV addicts
A couple chose this for an Urban Chic Summer Wedding and it made me go and binge watch the series!
I know that love can be loud and jubilant…It can be dancing in the swampy mud and the pouring rain at a festival and shouting “YOU ARE AMAZING” over the band. It’s introducing them to your colleagues at a work event and basking in pride as they make people laugh and make you look lovable just by dint of being loved by them.
It’s laughing until you wheeze.
It’s waking up in a country neither of you have been in before.
It’s skinny-dipping at dawn. It’s walking along the street together on a Saturday night and feeling an entire city is yours.
It’s a big, beautiful, ebullient force of nature.
I also know that love is a pretty quiet thing.
It’s lying on the sofa together drinking coffee, talking about where you’re going to go that morning to drink more coffee. It’s folding down pages of books you think they’d find interesting.
It’s hanging up their laundry when they leave the house having moronically forgotten to take it out of the washing machine.
It’s saying ‘You’re safer here than in a car’ as they hyperventilate on an EasyJet flight to Dublin.
It’s the texts: ‘Hope your day goes well’, ‘How did today go?’, ‘Thinking of you today’ and ‘Picked up loo roll’.
I know that love happens under the splendour of moon and stars and fireworks and sunsets but it also happens when you’re lying on blow-up airbeds in a childhood bedroom, sitting in A&E or in the queue for a passport, or in a traffic jam.
Love is a quiet, reassuring, relaxing, pottering, pedantic, harmonious hum of a thing; something you can easily forget is there, even though its palms are outstretched beneath you in case you fall.Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton https://www.lovemydress.net/blog/wedding-readings/everything-i-know-about-love-by-dolly-alderton
I love this image of Chloe signing for her Mum at her wedding ceremony. Wedding Celebrants involve family members in readings.
A Wedding Reading 5 A poem for culture vultures
This rich poem has a wonderful message and it is lyrical and cultural. Are you a couple who love to spend an afternoon lost in a book shop? Can’t get your head out of your favourite novels? This wedding reading might be for you!
To love is not to Possess James Kavanaugh
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.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.To love is not to Possess James Kavanaugh https://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/to-love-is-not-to-possess
Do you have concerns about the concept of ‘possession’ in marriage?
People continue to be concerned about ‘belonging’ and there are many ways that you can re-interpret the concept. Understandably some couples are concerned to address that in their ceremonies. Although the traditional notion of wives becoming the possession of their husbands still exists, it is no longer normal to think of marriage in this way. This poem is a good example of a poem that refle
Written by James Kavanaugh, an ex-Catholic Priest, who like me became disenchanted by the Church, it does not surprise me to learn that he had grappled with and struggled with a complex relationship with organised religion.
Would you like to find out if we are a good fit? If so find out by clicking here to see if we are kindred Spirits https://jessmaysspecialdays.com/my-kindred-spirits/