Looking for modern wedding readings for your wedding ceremony? Discover 29 of our favourite ceremony readings, plus tips for how to find the best readings and readers for your wedding day!

How to choose readings for your wedding

Deciding how to choose readings for your wedding ceremony can be overwhelming. There are so many to choose from! The most important thing is that you and your partner feel connected to the reading. If you have a personal connection to it or resonate with the words, your choice will feel personal to you and much more engaging for your guests.

How to choose wedding readers 

Not only do you have to choose a wedding reading, but you also have to choose the readers! We recommend choosing people who are close to you, comfortable with public speaking and appropriate for the reading. For example, your grandparents who have been married for 50 years might be the perfect people to do a reading about the power and strength of marriage. Your frat buddy or 12 year old cousin? Probably not.

With readers in mind, make sure you pass along our top tips for wedding readers so they can nail their reading on the big day!

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by Page & Holmes Photography

Why choose personal, modern wedding readings?

With so many readings to choose from, why are personal, modern wedding readings so appealing?

A personal reading is one that means something to you. Perhaps it’s connected to your heritage, like an Irish blessing in honour of your Irish family, or your interests, like a Jane Austen quote for a diehard Janeite. More than beautiful words, you have a deeper connection to this reading. And best of all, you and your partner can choose the reading together, combining your interests and ensuring it feels good to both of you.

When you opt for modern wedding readings over traditional ones, you increase the odds that no one has heard your reading before. Everyone is familiar with 1 Corinthians and most guests will zone out when a reader starts saying, “Love is patient, love is kind…” It’s not that these readings are bad, they’re just not as unique or memorable to you or your guests.

But because these modern readings are new, they’re more likely to engage your guests. People’s attention will be piqued and they’ll be interested to hear why you chose the reading you did and what it says about you.

A personal reading choice also ensures that your reading will fit with the mood of your ceremony. If you’ve asked your wedding officiant to craft a ceremony that is personal and funny, it can be odd to then have a traditional reading that is stuffy and serious. Instead, you can choose a more light-hearted reading to match the emotional flow of your ceremony.

Not sure if modern wedding readings are right for your ceremony? Keep scrolling for more sample wedding ceremony readings from literature, history, religion and more! 

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by Aileen Choi Photography

29 modern wedding readings 

Friends wedding reading

“For so long I wondered if I would ever find my prince, my soul mate. 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.” —Monica Geller-Bing

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it was like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me.

But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created.

For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory.

Time Travellers by Terah Cox

May you take on the world together with all your hopes and dreams,
may you be each other’s anchor in smooth or rocky seas.

May you bend to the world’s winds and brave stalls and storms,
may you find common ground in all its changing forms.

May you cross stubborn boundaries and turn many a stone,
may you find haven for your souls, may you have heart and home.

And if some days are grey and some nights are long and cold,
May you be each other’s sun and moon as your destinies unfold.

And should you lose sight of each other and start to drift apart, may you circle back by following the compass of your hearts.

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.

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Parks n Rec wedding reading

“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.” —Leslie

What is a soul mate? by Emily Matthews

If you have found a smile that is the sweetest one you’ve known,
If you have heard, within a voice, the echoes of your own,
If you have felt a touch that stirs the longings of your heart,
And still can feel that closeness in the moments you’re apart,
If you have filled with wonder at the way two lives can blend
To weave a perfect pattern that is seamless, end to end,
If you believe some things in life are simply meant to be,
Then you have found your soul mate, your heart’s own destiny.

Schitt’s Creek wedding reading

“I have never liked a smile as much as I like yours. I’ve never felt as safe as I feel when I’m with you. I’ve never known love like I do when we’re together. It’s not been an easy road for me but knowing that you will be there for me at the end makes everything okay. Patrick Brewer, you are my happy ending.” – David Rose

Blue-eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.

Carrie’s Poem from Sex and the City

His hello was the end of her endings
Her laugh was their first step down the aisle
His hand would be hers to hold forever
His forever was as simple as her smile

He said she was what was missing
She said instantly she knew
She was a question to be answered
And his answer was ‘I do.’

newlywed couple, bride in pink dress with veil, groom in colourful tux in wheelchair

Better Together by Jack Johnson

There’s no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams,
And they are made out of real things
Like a shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving

Love is the answer.
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like: “Why are we here?”, “And where do we go?”,
“And how come it’s so hard?”.
It’s not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing:
It’s always better when we’re together

Boy Meets World wedding reading

“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.” —Topanga

The Luckiest by Ben Folds

What if I had been born fifty years before you
In a house on the street
Where you lived
Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike. Would I know?
And in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

Love Actually wedding reading

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. The general opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there — fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge — they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” —Prime Minister

From Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another—acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you.

For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this—is my husband, this—is my wife.

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Tangled wedding reading

And at last I see the light
And it’s like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the sky is new
And it’s warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once everything looks different
Now that I see you.

Every Day by David Levithan

This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer wedding reading

“When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman. You’re the one.” – Spike

You and I by Ingrid Michaelson

Don’t you worry there, my honey
We might not have any money
But we’ve got our love to pay the bills
Maybe I think you’re cute and funny
Maybe I wanna do what bunnies do with you, if you know what I mean
Oh, let’s get rich and buy our parents homes in the south of France
Let’s get rich and give everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance
Let’s get rich and build a house on a mountain making everybody look like ants
From way up there, you and I, you and I
Well, you might be a bit confused
And you might be a little bit bruised
But baby how we spoon like no one else
So I will help you read those books
If you will soothe my worried looks
And we will put the lonesome on the shelf

Twilight wedding reading

“It’s an extraordinary thing to meet someone who you can bare your soul to, and who will accept you for what you are. I’ve been waiting, what seems like a very long time, to get beyond what I am. And now…I feel like I can finally begin…No measure of time with you will be long enough. But let’s start with forever.” – Edward Cullen

The One by Rupi Kaur

They should feel like home

A place that grounds your life

Where you go to take the day off

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by John Bello Photography

How I Met Your Mother wedding reading

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.

Soul Mates by Lang Leav

I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place, some other existence.

The Princess Bride wedding reading

I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

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.

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by Northern Wind Photography

Shall We Dance wedding reading

We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying, “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

People say they ‘find’ love, as if it were an object hidden under a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love. And Eddie found a certain love with Marguerite, a grateful love, a deep but quiet love, one that he knew, above all else, was irreplaceable.

Fleabag wedding reading

It turns out it’s quite hard to come up with something original about love, but I’ve had a go. Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. It makes you selfish. It makes you creepy, makes you obsessed with your hair, makes you cruel, makes you say and do things you never thought you would do.

It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there. So no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own. I was taught if we’re born with love then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot, feeling right, when it feels right, it’s easy. But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do. Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is, when you find somebody that you love, it feels like hope.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the centre of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.

A Beautiful Mind wedding reading

I’ve always believed in numbers and the equations and logics that lead to reason. But after a lifetime of such pursuits, I ask: ‘What truly is logic?’ ‘Who decides reason?’ My quest has taken me through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional—and back. And I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life: It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found.

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by John Bello Photography

More wedding ceremony reading inspiration!

Need some more wedding reading inspiration? Not sure the above modern wedding readings are for you? Check out our list of wedding readings, scripture, sayings, wedding prayers, blessings and more!

Now that you’ve found modern wedding readings you love, it’s time to plan the rest of your wedding ceremony. Check out our ceremony packages and get in touch to book today!