There are lots of different types of readings. Some are funny, some wax poetic and some are deeply deep. These have been selected to be shorter than most, and would be good in the vow section when the couple are a little shy and don’t really want to say a lot.
A nice reading in this spot before the legal vows can work really nicely.
Love is Giving
Love is giving, not taking,
mending, not breaking,
and faithfully sharing
each joy, each sorrow,
today and tomorrow.
Love is kind, understanding,
but never demanding.
Love is constant, prevailing,
its strength never failing.
A promise once spoken
For all time unbroken,
Love’s time is forever.
I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.
I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realise that your interest, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.
I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.
I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the windows of my world
into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.
I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep
our relationship alive and exciting.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside
in the only way I know how – completely and forever.
Dorothy R Colgan
When the one whose hand you’re holding
is the one who holds your heart,
When the one whose eyes you gaze into
gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last
is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together
make the world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in
puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love
People are Like Cities
“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 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.”
Seven years and two kids ago, my (now) husband knelt on a moonlit boat dock in Camden, Maine, and asked if I would love him forever. For me, it was a no-brainer. I wept and said yes. There was no one there but us and the moon and the swaying boats in the harbour. There was no ring. There was just his earnest ask. I treasured that intimacy, and I wanted to carry it through to our wedding vows.
I was not someone who had been planning her wedding since childhood. I had no vision for what I wanted or what my dress would be — I actually admire women who are this decisive. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted my wedding to be small. To me, this was my most personal moment — the moment where I pledged to love another person through all of life’s triumphs and tragedies, and that felt sacred to me. The thought of saying my vows, personal and handwritten, in front of people who I might not even know seemed counter to how I wanted the moment to feel and be remembered.
A few weeks after our engagement, I told my then-fiancé that I’d like to have around 20 people at our wedding. The two of us, his three best friends and their plus-ones, my three best friends and their plus-ones, and our parents and their significant others (his parents are divorced). He was stunned. My husband is loving and charismatic and has a wide social circle. “But,” he argued, “we need more people on the dance floor!” Point taken.
I grew up attending large, gregarious weddings my whole life. I’m from a big extended family, and I loved those gatherings, but I wanted something different for myself. My family alone would have been nearly 100 people. My parents had a difficult time understanding that I wanted to get married far away and have only a handful of people attend. As it often happens while planning a wedding, tensions mounted and feelings were hurt. How would I balance the desires of my family with what I really wanted for my wedding? Meanwhile, my husband’s list took on a life of its own. “Weddings are also about having fun,” he reasoned.
Eventually, we got the number to 40 people. My husband, bless his heart, even added a couple of people two days before the wedding. I’m glad that I compromised with him and had more people attend because ultimately part of marriage is about consistently compromising with your partner to ensure you are each happy.
My husband and I were concerned that we would be blubbering messes while delivering the vows that we wrote for each other. So, instead, we were married with traditional vows during the ceremony. Then, that night in the honeymoon suite, damp with sweat from dancing (you see a theme here, right?) and high on the adrenaline of the day, we sweetly read our handwritten vows to each other. Not a soul on this earth has heard those vows but us, and each year on our wedding anniversary, we take them out and read them to each other again.
In the end, our wedding still felt incredibly intimate because all of the people who attended are still in our lives, and they have supported us through some truly difficult times. I’m extremely grateful that they could be there to bear witness to our marriage. And to shake their asses on the dance floor.
I am often asked if I can suggest some lighthearted readings for weddings and ceremonies. So I thought I would put a small collection together for you. Enjoy – Lisa.
“I Rely on You,” by Hovis Presley
I rely on you
like a camera needs a shutter
like a gambler needs a flutter
like a golfer needs a putter
like a buttered scone involves some butter
I rely on you
like an acrobat needs ice cool nerve
like a hairpin needs a drastic curve
like an HGV needs endless derv
like an outside left needs a body swerve
I rely on you
like a handyman needs pliers
like an auctioneer needs buyers
like a laundromat needs driers
I rely on you.
“All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,”
by Robert Fulgham
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…
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.
From Captain Corellies Mandolin
by Louis de Bernières’
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 promotion of eternal passion.
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.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
“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 soul mate 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 soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.”
by Richard Bach
“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
As a producer and creative director over many decades I am familiar with working alongside other creatives, writers, musicians and artists. Your talent radar goes OFF when you are around other gifted creatives. This happened on Sunday morning.
The day before I was honoured to officiate the marriage of Brenton De Zylva and Cassie Mitchell. The next day the bride was uploading photos onto Face Book ,as you do. In one of the posts she published an account of the wedding which was written by her baby sister Georgia who was the junior bridesmaid. Georgia is 10 years old.
I have asked for permission to publish this today.
I wanted to share it with you because it is such an exceptional account of a wedding through the eyes of wonder and of pure love.
Photo Cred by Barry Kearney.
Mr & Mrs de Zylva – by Georgia
“You may now kiss the bride,” announced the celebrant!
Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, this fairy-tale recount doesn’t begin here it progressively unfolds with what really happens behind the scenes of my older sister Cassie’s wedding!
Instead of just having a wedding day why not have a wedding week!
And that’s basically what occurred for my sister during this crazy time of ‘wedding ness’. It’s stressful, exciting and a lot of fun! It’s especially awesome if you are part of the bridal party because it tells you that you mean something quite special to either the bride or groom.
I was especially fortunate to be a bridesmaid for my sister. I was accompanied by 2 other girls, my other sister Sarah and Cassie’s best friend, that she’s know for 15 years, Steph.
It was an absolute honour to be a Junior bridesmaid!
During the week many little things were being taken care of, prepared for or practiced for the special occasion!
The 24th of Feb 2017. It was a little bit frightening knowing that my sister was actually get married the next day. On this day we did a few quite special things to make this wedding become what every girl dreams of a wedding being! This included a spray tans, manicures and much more!
The night of the wedding I was lucky enough to get too stay with my sister/bride. We stayed in a very secluded little cottage in Yerring! Before I drifted to sleep I watched a movie Now and Then with my sister! And seeing as though it was getting late we paused the movie for a bit and eventually fell asleep!
“Wakey, Wakey” murmed Cassie. Apparently I woke up with the biggest smile on my face. It was ‘the day’, not just any day ‘the wedding day’! I was just bursting with excitement and happiness, I just couldn’t believe that my sister was finally getting married. I just couldn’t explain how joyful I was and I was soooooooo happy that my sister had found the one for her!
Unfortunately I had to awaken at 6:30am that morning to begin because things were going to get crazy at 8:30am with the makeup artist and hairdresser both arriving! We had a schedule so things wouldn’t turn out boncos but I’m pretty positive that things would have been quite fine if there wasn’t a plan. I had my hair done before makeup and seeing as though I’ve got lots of hair, a hairstyle wasn’t to hard to create! In the end I had my hair curled and in a braid to the side. My makeup also looked equally awesome! Cassie was lucky enough to have won a contest and she won a wedding videographer! We also had the photographer there during the day.
We’re finally dressed and ready to roll after many photos and relaxing! I was wearing a pale pink dress and it was a bit chilli on the night so I got a bit cold.
Once we arrive at the venue I couldn’t believe that it was actually happening. It was so nerve racking seeing all of the people watching! As I walked down the aisle I became less and less nervous!
During the ceremony I felt like bursting into tears because I was so happy, especially when they signed the paper work to finalise there long lasting marriage.
“And now you may kiss the bride” announced the celebrant! My sister was no longer a Mitchell she was now a de Zilva.
At the end of the ceremony it was time for photos and more photos and more! It seemed as though it never ended. I greeted many family members end it seemed as though the night never ended but of course it had to, and at the end of night I couldn’t have been any happier for my dearest sister!
And I dearly hope that my sister has her happily ever after……..
When planning a wedding the list of rituals and ceremonies to cover can actually get quite long. A white wedding dress, matching bridesmaids dresses, wedding veils, something borrowed something blue, rings on the fourth finger of the left hand, wedding cakes and sayings like tying the knot and giving your hand in marriage. What about the bouquet, the garter toss?? All of these rituals and ceremonies have a history and a beginning. Most are steeped in folk lore and involve good luck and protection from evil spirits.
Where did all of these things come from?
1. The custom of placing rings on the fourth finger of the left hand came from the Egyptians who believed that there is a vein of love that runs from from the heart to the fourth finger on the left hand signifying both the union of the hands and hearts.
2. Queen Victoria is credited with starting the Western world’s white wedding dress trend in 1840 — before then, brides simply wore their best dress.
3: Custom of the Eternity Ring. The custom of the eternity ring is thousands of years old and dates back to ancient Egypt. Wedding eternity rings are designed to symbolize the never-ending circle of both love and life. The Egyptians believed that love was eternal and was stronger than death.
4. If your bridesmaids are less than thrilled about matching dresses, tell them they’re good luck! The tradition of matching maids dates back to Roman times, when people believed evil spirits would attend the wedding in attempt to curse the bride and groom (how rude). Bridesmaids were required to dress exactly like the bride in order to confuse the spirits and bring luck to the marriage (source).
6. Tossing the Bouquet. Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from England. Women used to try to rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Sounds terrifying to me.
7. The original version of the Wedding Cake could give you a headache. One of the first traditions began in Ancient Rome where bread was broken over the bride’s head to bring good fortune to the couple. In Medieval England cakes were stacked as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over.
8. Ever wondered where the phrase “tying the knot” came from? In medieval days couples hands were bound together or hand fasted. It may have been a year before the local cleric or priest came though the celtic village so the couple would bind their hands together in a small ceremony before the community to pledge their love and committment to each other and to be hand fast or to tie the knot.
10. Where did the Honey Moon come from? “Honeymoon” also has origins that date back to the 5th century, when cultures represented calendar time with moon cycles. Back then, a newlywed couple drank mead (the “honey”) during their first moon of marriage. Mead is a honey-based alcoholic drink believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
In some very early honeymoon origins, including (but not just) Scandinavian, it involves kidnapping. Many brides were kidnapped by their grooms. They were then hidden away for months, until either their family stopped looking for them or they became pregnant (and thus it was considered too late for the marriage to be nullified) (source).
11: History of the bridal bouquet. The custom of carrying bouquets originated in ancient times, when it was believed that carrying or wearing strong-smelling herbs and spices would ward off evil spirits, ill health and bad luck. Later, Romans extended this tradition, when the bride and groom both wore garland made of herbs and spices that were expected to bring good luck and fertility. An actual bouquet came to symbolize a bride in bloom.
Traditional Celtic bouquets included ivy, thistle and heather. If a bride carried sage, the flower of wisdom, she was to become wise. If she carried dill, the flower of lust, well, she became lusty (if that’s a word). Flower girls would carry sheaves of wheat, which symbolized growth and fertility (Source).
12: Diamonds are Forever? Until the 19th century, all sorts of gems and stones were given to symbolise betrothal, even thimbles. The use of the diamond as an engagement ring really came about through a successful advertising campaign. In the 1930s, when demand for diamond rings declined in the U.S. during hard economic times, the De Beers Company began an aggressive marketing campaign using photographs of glamorous movie stars swathed in diamonds. Within three years, the sales of diamonds had increased by 50 percent.
In 1947, De Beers launched its now classic slogan, “A Diamond is Forever.” This campaign spurred even more sales. The implied durability of a diamond conveyed the meaning in the American psyche that marriage is forever. A diamond’s purity and sparkle have now become symbols of the depth of a man’s commitment to the woman he loves in practically all corners of the world.
Hold your memories
I hope you found this as interesting as I did. Lisa.
I often get asked about humorous or light-hearted readings for weddings so I thought that I would put a few alternatives up here for you to choose from. x Lisa.
A Short Wedding Reading About Love
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 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.”
He’s Not perfect by Bob Marley
He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect.
But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can.
He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break.
Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give.
Don’t analyse. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there.
Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.
Poem She’s Not Perfect
I often hear people in love,
as they speak about the ones they love.
They say odd things,
spouting out heavy words,
as though they are weightless.
The one I love?
Well, she’s none of those things.
She’s not perfect.
She’s not flawless.
See, she has thing about her,
an appeal that I can’t seem to understand.
She can be stubborn at times,
over the oddest of things
(but don’t tell her I said that,
otherwise she’ll eat me alive).
But, I love that about her.
Her stubbornness makes her a fighter…
in the good way, as her nature makes me want to be better.
When she is stubborn,
she makes me giggle – yes, me giggle…
but sometimes, she makes me furious.
Both because she becomes so passionate,
that nothing can stop her until she gets what she wants.
But, I intend on being her greatest feat of stubbornness,
as I, too, am made up of imperfections.
And it is together, that we make perfect.
At times, she’s indecisive.
Oh, how indecisive.
It flusters me often,
as I am very quick to decide,
and once I’m convinced,
it takes a lot to push me aside.
I guess that makes me stubborn too.
Her, she is indecisive,
and stubborn – a deadly combination.
But, I love that about her.
I like to watch as she tries to figure things out.
I sometimes imagine her scrunching up her nose,
thinking and coming up with ideas,
and sometimes coming up with nothing
more than a deeper confusion.
You see, I’m not perfect either.
Of that, I can assure you.
I try to be the best I can,
but in the end, I remain human.
But, I have an objective.
A goal, a vision.
To be the one that can relieve her.
The one who untangles her mind
when over thinking leaves her in knots.
The one who, when I am the cause of distraught,
can embrace the opportunity to make her feel better.
And why do I hold this objective?
Because she does these same things for me,
whether she knows it or not,
even when sometimes, she causes these knots.
But, she’s worth it.
Now, I won’t claim the expected,
that our imperfections make us perfect for each other.