Non Religious Wedding Readings
Get inspiration for your own wedding with heart-string-tugging passages from literature, poetry, film, and music.
With the increase in popularity of non religious weddings and the approval of a large number of secular spaces for use as wedding venues in Scotland, many couples are looking for non-religious readings to use in their wedding ceremony. Wedding celebrants will have a large selection of these for you to use but you can add a very personal touch to the day by finding your own.
In our list, you will find passages from poetry, music, literature as well as film and television. You can use these or use them as inspiration to write your own. Most importantly, make your wedding readings relevant to you as a couple and personal. Let your guests identify you in the passage and there will not be a dry eye in the house.
NON RELIGIOUS WEDDING READINGS FROM LITERATURE
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.
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.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.
But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passer-by would think that my rose looked just like you—the rose that belongs to me.
But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing.
Because she is my rose.”
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Madly in love after so many years … they enjoyed the miracle of loving each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out old people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.
From Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another—acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.
Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you.
For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this—is my husband, this—is my wife.
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
A photograph couldn’t ever tell its story. It’s like something you have to live to understand. One of those freak collisions of fizzing meteors and looming celestial bodies and floating debris and one single beautiful red ball that bursts into your life and through your body like an enormous firework.
Where things shift into focus for a moment, and everything makes sense. And it becomes one of those things inside you, a pearl among sludge, one of those big exaggerated memories you can invoke at any moment to peel away a little layer of how you felt, like a lick of ice cream. The flavour of grace.
NON RELIGIOUS WEDDING READINGS FROM POETRY
Love 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 the 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 straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I 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.
Untitled 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.
The Art of Marriage by Wilferd A. Peterson
The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating
gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
Always by Lang Leav
You were you
and I was I;
we were two
before our time
I was yours,
before I knew
and you have always
been mine too.
How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single:
All things by a law divine
In another’s being mingle—
Why not I with thine?
See, the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower could be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
Untitled by Christina Rossetti
What is the beginning? Love. What the course. Love still. What the goal. The goal is Love. On a happy hill Is there nothing then but Love? Search we sky or earth There is nothing out of Love Hath perpetual worth; All things flag but only Love, All things fail and flee; There is nothing left but Love Worthy you and me.
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.
NON RELIGIOUS WEDDING READINGS FROM FILM & TV
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.
For so long I wondered if I would ever find my prince, my soulmate. Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I’d ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soulmate, my friend.
Sex and 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.”
Boy Meets World
She taught me how to dance. She was always talking about these crazy things and I never understood a word she said. All I understood was that she was the girl I sat up every night thinking about, and when I’m with her I feel happy to be alive. Like I can do anything. Even talk to you like this. So that’s, that’s what I feel is love… When I’m better because she’s here…
We’re not saying you can change them, ‘cuz people don’t really change We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange People make bad choices if they’re mad, or scared, or stressed Throw a little love their way (throw a little love their way) and you’ll bring out their best. True love brings out their best!
NON RELIGIOUS WEDDING READINGS FROM MUSIC
Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
‘Cause I don’t wanna lose you now, I’m looking right at the other half of me. The vacancy that sat in my heart, Is a space that now you hold. Show me how to fight for now, And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy, Coming back into you once I figured it out. You were right here all along. It’s like you’re my mirror. My mirror staring back at me. I couldn’t get any bigger, With anyone else beside of me. And now it’s clear as this promise, That we’re making two reflections into one. ‘Cause it’s like you’re my mirror My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me.
Music is known to evoke powerful memories, so think about what songs may have been playing during key moments in your relationship—they don’t have to be love songs, just meaningful to you as a couple.
I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
My whole heart. Will be yours forever. This is a beautiful start, To a lifelong love letter
Tell the world that we finally got it all right. I choose you. I will become yours and you will become mine…
We are not perfect we’ll learn from our mistakes, And as long as it takes I will prove my love to you. I am not scared of the elements I am underprepared, But I am willing. And even better I get to be the other half of you.
There Will Be Time by Mumford and Sons, featuring Baaba Maal
But in the cold light I live to love and adore you
It’s all that I am, it’s all that I have
In the cold light I live, I only live for you
It’s all that I am, it’s all that I have
The Book of Love by Stephin Merritt, featuring The Magnetic Fields
The book of love is long and boring. No one can lift the damn thing. It’s full of charts and facts, some figures and instructions for dancing.
But I, I love it when you read to me. And you, You can read me anything.
The book of love has music in it. In fact, that’s where music comes from. Some of it is just transcendental, Some of it is just really dumb.
But I, I love it when you sing to me. And you, You can sing me anything.
The book of love is long and boring, And written very long ago. It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes, And things we’re all too young to know.
But I, I love it when you give me things. And you, You ought to give me wedding rings.