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Image / Style / Off The Cuff / Weddings

8 alternative wedding readings that will have everyone tearing up at your ceremony


by Laura George
28th Sep 2020
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If you’ve opted to have a non-religious ceremony, or simply want to give it a modern spin, here are some alternative wedding readings that you probably haven’t heard before.


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, not too cringy, and one no one has heard before. It’s also one of those jobs that keeps getting put on the long finger, you have a million other things to worry about and decide before then.

But the day and the ceremony are going to creep up on your quickly. 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.

 

Habitation  by Margaret Atwood

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.

 

Albert Einstein on relativity

“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.”

 

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

“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.”

 

You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars by e. e. cummings

Silently if, out of not knowable
night’s utmost nothing, wanders a little guess
(only which is this world) more of my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile

sings or if (spiraling as luminous
they climb oblivion) voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss

losing through you what seemed myself, I find
selves unimaginably mine; beyond
sorrow’s own joys and hoping’s very fears

yours is the light by which my spirit’s born:
yours is the darkness of my soul’s return
–you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars”

 

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

“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.”

 

Sonnet 17  by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way
because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I nor you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep
it is your eyes that close

 

Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney

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.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë 

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

 

Featured image: Brianna Santellan on Unsplash


Read more: The secrets to marriage and relationships according to couples together 10, 20, 30 and 40 years

Read more: Cards & ideas to cheer up a friend who has postponed their wedding

Read more: From disco to dogs of honour: 6 wedding trends that are about to blow up

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