One of the best ways to personalize and add meaning to your wedding ceremony – apart from writing your own vows – is to incorporate readings for weddings into your ceremony. But it can be hard to choose the wedding reading that is right for you!
As wedding officiants, we’ve heard a lot of readings – some good and some not so good. Below, we’re sharing our top 10 readings for weddings. We’re also sharing why we love these particular wedding ceremony readings so much and what makes a good reading for your ceremony.
Getting started with readings for weddings
What are wedding ceremony readings?
A wedding ceremony reading is a passage that is read during a wedding ceremony. Typically these passages are readings about love, marriage, unity, etc. They are selected by the couple getting married and read by a chosen speaker (known as the reader) or by the officiant.
Wedding readings can come from any place. Religious couples may choose script readings or prayers for couples to be read during their ceremony. You could go for something cultural, like the well known Irish wedding blessing, or something lyrical, like a wedding ceremony poem. Your reading could also be inspired by your favourite song, movie or TV show.
Where do I incorporate wedding sayings and readings?
Check out our wedding ceremony outline post to find out exactly where readings on love and marriage can fit into your ceremony. Remember, the wedding ceremony script is just a guide. Talk with your officiant to find the perfect reading placement for your ceremony. You may even want to include wedding readings in your reception.
How do I choose from all of the love readings for weddings?
Lucky for you, we’ve written a blog post on that very topic: How to choose readings for your wedding. The post outlines not only how to choose the perfect reading – by focusing on what matters most to you as a couple and what sounds most authentic to who you are – but also shares our tips for choosing who should do the reading at your ceremony and if you need a wedding reading at all!
Our top 10 readings for weddings
1) The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach
A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
Why we love this wedding ceremony reading: We love this wedding reading by Richard Bach because it’s romantic without being too mushy. It feels like it has substance! Plus, it’s not super popular, so you probably haven’t heard it at too many weddings before.
2) Wedding blessing
Lord, bless this beautiful couple with love and hope we pray.
Keep alive forever more the vows they’ve pledged today.
May you bless their dreams and visions,
And keep them always safe.
May peace and joy be with them now
On this their wedding day.
Why we love this prayer for couples: This is the perfect option for religious couples who want to incorporate their faith in a short and sweet way. Plus, we love the rhyming scheme!
3) The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
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 at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.
Why we love The Art of Marriage: The Art of Marriage is a classic wedding reading – and for good reason! We love the instruction aspect as the reading perfectly lays out what it is to be the right partner.
4) Thank You by Led Zeppelin
If the sun refused to shine
I would still be loving you
When mountains crumble to the sea
There would still be you and me
Kind woman, I give you my all
Kind woman, nothing more
Little drops of rain
Whisper of the pain
Tears of loves lost in the days gone by
Our love is strong
With you there is no wrong
Together we shall go until we die. My, my, my
Inspiration’s what you are to me
Inspiration, look and see
And so today, my world it smiles
Your hand in mine, we walk the miles
Thanks to you it will be done
For you to me are the only one
Happiness, no more be sad
Happiness…. I’m glad
Why we love this reading about love: Think your wedding reading has to be traditional and boring? Think again! These rock lyrics by Led Zeppelin would make a great reading for any music lover’s wedding.
5) Love Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Why we love this wedding poem reading: We love this beautiful sonnet by Pablo Neruda because of the imagery it evokes and the lyrical language. If you’re looking to add a bit of romance and beauty to your ceremony, this might be the best reading for you!
6) Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the ‘blaze of passion’ often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet. Perhaps their surrounding world, the strangers they met in the street, the wide expanses they saw on their walks, the rooms in which they lived or met, took more delight in their love than they themselves did.
Why we love this ceremony reading: This is the perfect reading for couples who feel like something magical conspired to bring them together and who want to better the world with their love.
7) Zoidberg on Valentine’s Day (Futurama)
As the candy hearts poured into the fiery quasar, a wondrous thing happened, why not. They
vaporized into a mystical love radiation that spread across the universe, destroying many, many
planets, including two gangster planets and a cowboy world. But one planet was exactly the
right distance to see the romantic rays but not be destroyed by them: Earth. So all over the
world couples stood together in joy.
Why we love this nerdy wedding reading: Are you and your partner big Futurama fans? Then consider adding this hilarious, and quite sentimental, reading from Zoidberg to your ceremony. It’s the perfect blend of nerdy and romantic!
8) 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.
Why we love this movie reading for weddings: Nothing beats a good rom-com! We love this passage from When Harry Met Sally all about the small details of love and wanting to celebrate your love as soon as you can.
9) All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned…
Play fair. Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad. Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
Why we love this wedding ceremony reading: Not only is this a great wedding reading, it’s also just wonderful advice! This quirky reading is perfect for the couple who doesn’t want anything too romantic but does intend to walk through life holding hands.
10) Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
It was a happy and beautiful bride who came down the old, homespun-carpeted stairs that September noon – the first bride of Green Gables, slender and shining-eyed, in the mist of her maiden veil, with her arms full of roses. Gilbert, waiting for her in the hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won after years of patient waiting. It was to him she was coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was he worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as he hoped? If he failed her – if he could not measure up to her standard of manhood – then, as she held out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other’s keeping and both were unafraid.
Why we love this classic wedding reading: Taken from a traditional piece of Canadian literature, this passage about Anne and Gilbert’s wedding beautifully explains what it is for two people to come together and belong to one another, without a doubt in the world.
Even more readings for weddings
Need more ideas? Check out our full list of wedding readings, scripture, sayings, wedding prayers, blessings and more!
- Wedding Ceremony Readings from Songs
- Romantic Wedding Ceremony Readings
- Wedding Ceremony Readings from TV & Movies
- Wedding Ceremony Readings from Literature
- Offbeat Wedding Ceremony Readings
- Alternatives to 1 Corinthians 13 for Your Wedding
- The Best Wedding Prayers & Blessings for Your Wedding Ceremony
- 33 Wedding Love Quotes to Include in Your Wedding Ceremony
Where else to find love readings for weddings? If you still need more readings for weddings, head to Google for an exhaustive list. Narrow it down by searching for readings that involve your favourite hobbies, like travel or reading, or your favourite fandoms for the best nerd wedding reading. Also think back to weddings you’ve attended: Did they recite a reading you really loved?
Now that you’ve found your wedding reading, it’s time to find your wedding officiant: Get in touch to meet our team and start planning your custom ceremony now!