Wedding Poems and Reading

You don't have to have a poem or a reading during your wedding ceremony. But they offer the bride and groom a great way to personalise their ceremony and involve close friends and family in the proceedings.

A reading is normally preformed during the course of the ceremony it can either have religious or non-religious connotations depending on what type of wedding ceremony you are having. For example if you are having a religious ceremony you may wish to take a reading from the bible.

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The minister who is performing the wedding can assist you in finding an appropriate reading for the occasion or you may choose to have a non-religious reading. Which ever type of reading you opt for be sure to discuss it with your minister and that they are agreeable to its use.

If you are having a Civil Ceremony your choice of reading must be a non-religious one, whose use must be authorised by the Superintendent Registrar before your wedding day.

Religious Readings

Here is a list of 10 popular religious readings The Church of England has put together:

  • God creates women and men to look after the earth (Genesis, Chapter 1, verses 26-28)
  • A love poem between two lovers (Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, verses 10-13; Chapter 8, verses 6&7)
  • Jesus teaches how to live life that brings true happiness (Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 1-10)
  • Jesus teaches about marriage, and welcomes children (Mark, Chapter 10, verses 6-9 and 13-16
  • What happens when Jesus attends a wedding reception (John, Chapter 2, verses 1 - 11)
  • Love, actually! (1 Corinthians Chapter 13)
  • Committing to each other (Ephesians Chapter 5, verses 21-33)
  • Seeing the good side. (Philippians Chapter 4, verses 4 - 9)
  • Getting the perfect relationship (Colossians Chapter 3, verses 12 - 17)
  • Being a good lover! (1 John Chapter 4 verses 7 - 12)

Try and read through each text carefully and identify any which relate to you both. You may find you don't feel any are appropriate in which case your minister will be only to happy to offer assistance in choosing a more suitable reading.

Non-religious Poems and Readings

Here 10 examples of classical poems and readings suitable for both religious and non-religious wedding ceremonies.

  • True Love Author Unknown
  • Sonnet 116 Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds  by William Shakespeare
  • If Thou Must Love Me byElizabeth Barrett Browning
  • I Will be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman
  • A Dedication to My Wife by T.S. Eliot
  • To My Bride by Steven Reiser
  • To My Dear Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet
  • Yes I'll Marry You by Pam Ayres
  • The Colour of My Love by David Foster and Arthur Janov
  • The Key to Love Author Unknown

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.

Author Unknown

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 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-fixèd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his heighth 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.

By William Shakespeare

 

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 brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day' -
For these things in themselves, beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee - and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

I Will Be Here

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.

By Steven Curtis Chapman

 

A Dedication To My Wife

To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our walkingtime
And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime,
The breathing in unison.

Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without need of speech
And babble the same speech without need of meaning.

No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only

But this dedication is for others to read:
These are my private words addressed to you in public.

By T.S. Eliot

 

To My Bride

To my bride, I give you my heart
Sharing love each day, from the very start
To my bride, I give you my kiss
Filling each day with joy and bliss
To my bride, I give you my being
To love, to play, to work and to sing
To my bride, I give you my mind
Learning each day to be more kind
To my bride, I give you my soul
Growing together to be more whole
To my bride, I give you my life
Rejoicing each day that you are my wife.

By Steven Reiser

 

To My Dear Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye woman, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
the heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
The while we live, in love let's so persevere,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

By Anne Bradstreet

 

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!

By Pam Ayres

 

The Colour Of My Love

I'll paint a sun to warm your heart
Knowing that we'll never part.
I'll draw the years all passing by
So much to learn, so much to try.

I'll paint my mood in shadow blue,
Paint my soul to be with you.
I'll sketch your lips in shaded tones,
Draw your mouth to my own.

I'll trace a hand to wipe your tears
And trace a look to calm your fears.
A silhouette of dark and light
To hold each other oh so tight.

I'll paint the stars in the evening sky,
Draw the light into your eyes,
A touch of love, a touch of grace,
To softly fall on your moonlit face.

And with this ring our lives will start,
Let nothing keep our love apart.
I'll take your hand to hold in mine,
And be together through all time.

David Foster and Arthur Janov

 

The Key to Love

The key to love is understanding.
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word
But those unspoken gestures,
The little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness.
To accept each others faults and pardon mistakes
Without forgetting, but with remembering
What you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing.
Facing your good fortune as well as the bad, together.
Both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
To intensify your happiness

The key to love is giving.
Without thought of return,
But with the hope of just a simple smile
And by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect.
Realising that you are two separate people, with different ideas.
That you don't belong to each other,
You belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all.
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients.
It is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work..
But the rewards are more than worth the effort.

And that is the key to love!

Author Unknown