When you’re standing at the altar surrounded by those you love most in the world, your little finger gently hooked around your soulmates, desperate to say “I do”, kiss your brand new spouse and run off into the sunset, everything seems more poignant - the bouquet in your hands, the hymns you sing, the flowers at the end of each aisle and, more than anything else, the words uttered mere minutes before your vows.
They just seem to take on a whole new meaning.
You want readings that will make your heart melt all over again, your bridesmaids shed a tear and the congregation ooooo and awwww. You want readings that will sum up your love story -- and for that there is only one place to look: passages that have spoken to you at some point in your life.
They could be passages from a book, poetry or even film, serving to clarify what love, marriage and commitment means to you. How magical would that be? And if you’re still stuck for ideas, here’s a list of non-traditional readings that promise to be the most romantic little additions to your big, beautiful ceremony:
1. This Letter From Les Miserables
Love partakes of the soul, being of the same nature. Like the soul, it is the divine spark, incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is the fiery particle that dwells in us, immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine and nothing extinguish. We feel its glow in the marrow of our bones and see its brightness reaching to the depths of heaven.
2. This Speech From Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body.
No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love," which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
3. Carrie’s Poem From Sex & 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"
4. Pure Wisdom From Tuesdays With Morrie
“Still," Morrie said, "there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike.
"And the biggest one of those values, Mitch?"
"Your belief in the importance of your marriage."
He sniffed, then closed his eyes for a moment.
"Personally," he sighed, his eyes still closed, "I think marriage is a very important thing to do, and you’re missing a lot if you don’t try it."
He ended the subject by quoting a poem he believed in like a prayer: "Love each other or perish."
5. Untitled Poem By R.M. Drake
"You will be the clouds
and i will be the sky.
you will be the ocean
and i will be the shore.
you will be the trees
and i will be the wind.
whatever we are, you and i
will always collide.”
6. So This Is Love From Cinderella
So this is love
So this is what makes life divine
I'm all aglow
And now I know
The key to all heaven is mine
My heart has wings
And I can fly
I'll touch every star in the sky
So this is the miracle
That I've been dreaming of
So this is love
7. Growing Old From The Wedding Singer
I want to make you smile whenever you're sad. Carry you around when your arthritis is bad. All I want to do is grow old with you. I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches. Build you a fire if the furnace breaks. Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you I'll miss you. Kiss you. Give you my coat when you are cold. Need you. Feed you. Even let you hold the remote control. So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink. Put you to bed if you've had too much to drink. I could be the man who grows old with you. I want to grow old with you.
8. Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne
If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart... I’ll always be with you.
9. The Speech From When Harry Met Sally
I love that you get cold when it's 71 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 realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
10. Tina Modotti's Toast From To Diego and Frida
I don't believe in marriage. No, I really don't. Let me be clear about that. I think at worst it's a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it's a happy delusion -- these two people who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they're about to make each other. But, but, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don't think it's conservative or delusional. I think it's radical and courageous and very romantic.
11. Buried Light By Beau Taplin
Home is not where
you are from
it is where
Some of us
travel the whole
world to find it.
find it in a person.
They’re the words you want to say and hear before you disappear into the sunset and off on your honeymoon.