Eight Alternative Wedding Readings You'll Love To Work Into Your Ceremony

Wedding readings can be a thorny subject and, come time to choose one, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the task. You know you want something a bit different. You know you don’t want anything cringey. But beyond that, it’s all a bit of a blur (and a job that keeps getting pushed further and further down the endless wedmin to do list).

No need to panic. We’ve done some digging and found a few wedding readings that haven’t been done to death yet that strike a nice modern tone, while ensuring there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:
the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

the edge of the receding glacier
where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far


we are learning to make fire.

Margaret Atwood


“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.” Albert Einstein


“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.”  Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli's Mandolin

"Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: you are my sun, my moon and all my stars."
ee cummings


"I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it. Centuries and centuries of it. And it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate. It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves…You could search the farthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful…
Is this love? I never imagined I’d know it for myself. My heart- it feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange- no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart in exchange for mine.” Neil Gaiman, Stardust

"I love you without knowing how or when or from where. I love you straightforwardly without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep." Pablo Neruda


Masons, when they start upon a building
Are careful to test out the scaffolding.

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all leaders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So, if my dear, there sometimes seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me


Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Seamus Heaney

"He’s more myself than I am.
Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
Emily Bronte


For more bridal inspiration, see the Jan/Feb issue of Image Magazine, on newsstands now. 


Photo credit: Aliis Sinisalu, Unsplash




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