Finding the right reading for your wedding ceremony can be a huge challenge. You want something meaningful and moving, but not a passage that has been read at a thousand weddings. If you look up “wedding readings” online, you’re likely to find the same familiar passages over and over again.I say this in reference to some of the more popular secular passages read at weddings.
Now, back to other readings about love. You want a reading that reflects your unique relationship and love story, and those passages are definitely out there! But sometimes, you want to just think a little outside of the box. Here are a few unexpected reading ideas that can help add a unique and fresh feel to your wedding day.
I carry your heart with me (i carry it in) by E.E. Cummings
If you’re looking for a romantic poem that will make everyone tear up, look no further!
“I carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) I am never without it
(anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keep the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”
“A Marriage” by Mark Twain
This excerpt from a love letter from the famous writer to his fiancée before their marriage is a perfect reading for the literary-minded and romantic couple.
“A marriage makes of two fractional lives a whole;
It gives two purposeless lives a work,
And doubles the strength of each to perform it.
It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living
And something to live for.
It will give new gladness to the sunshine,
A new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth
And a new mystery to life.”
Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables
Classic literature is an excellent place to look for beautiful words on love, like in Victor Hugo’s famous novel Les Misérables, which inspired the musical of the same name.
“The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite. Love participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven…What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion. It is no longer composed of anything but what is pure; it no longer rests on anything that is not elevated and great. An unworthy thought can no more germinate in it, than a nettle on a glacier.”
Letter from Johnny Cash to June Carter
Whether you’re a fan of country music or just a fan of genuine love letters from real, long-lasting couples, this excerpt from a letter from Johnny to June is the perfect swoon-worthy reading.
“We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each other’s minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.”
David Levithan’s Every Day
If you’re looking for a beautiful reading that isn’t full of flowery language, consider this simple passage from David Levithan’s novel Every Day on the power of love.
“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.