Non-religious readings for ceremony

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

this: 

Post # 4
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Commenting so I can follow 🙂 great topic!

Post # 5
Member
825 posts
Busy bee

I’m was a political science major and am a huge politics nerd, so we are thinking of using this quote from a MA Supreme Court Justice

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations….

Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.” Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family…. Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

 

Post # 6
Member
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

This was read at my first wedding and I thought it was lovely: 

The Apache Wedding Prayer

Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no more loneliness, For each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, But there is one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into the days of your togetherness. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Post # 7
Member
38 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

This is the one i’ve asked the registrar to use within the services itself (UK wedding) and underneath isan extract from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin which my maid of Honour is reading for us

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married,” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped for, and dreamed of – 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, partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.”

 

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
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 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,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

Post # 8
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@futuremrs1986:  Just so you know there are a few other threads like this on the bee with really good ideas.  Actually, this site is where I got most of my reading ideas from.  I haven’t decided which ones to use yet, but here are the ones I like the most:

The Union by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. 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.

LOVE
by Roy Croft

I love you, 
Not only for what you are, 
But for what I am 
When I am with you.

I love you, 
Not only for what 
You have made of yourself, 
But for what 
You are making of me.

I love you 
For the part of me 
That you bring out; 
I love you 
For putting your hand 
Into my heaped-up heart 
And passing over 
All the foolish, weak things 
That you can’t help 
Dimly seeing there, 
And for drawing out
Into the light 
All the beautiful belongings 
That no one else had looked 
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you 
Are helping me to make 
Of the lumber of my life 
Not a tavern 
But a temple; 
Out of the works 
Of my every day 
Not a reproach 
But a song.

I love you 
Because you have done 
More than any creed 
Could have done 
To make me good, 
And more than any fate
To make me happy.

You have done it 
Without a touch, 
Without a word, 
Without a sign. 
You have done it 
By being yourself.

 

 

These are the hands of your best friend, 
strong and full of love for you,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as you promise to love each other today and from this day forward. 

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, 
as together you build your future and realise your dreams. 
These are the hands that will love you and cherish you through the years, 
and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. 
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. 
These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes; 
Be they tears of sorrow or tears of joy. 

These are the hands that will guide your children, 
the hands that will help you to blend and hold your family as one. 
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, 
will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness 
with just a touch.

A Quote from Ogden Nash  

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

………..
Ok that one’s not really a reading but I thought the quote was funny! 


“Falling in love is like owning a dog” by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Somethimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

 

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

 

 

This poem was written for the marriage ceremony of the poet’s son and is particularly appropriate where a couple have lived together for some time before their wedding

A Love Knot

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.

Simone Signoret (French actress)
 

Picture hundreds, thousands, of threads,

as long as love is.

 

For instance, picture kindness – how smoothly it unfurls

when people care as much about each other as themselves.

 

Picture gentleness: when times are less than easy

a reassuring stream of soothing words.

 

And respect, the essence of being a partner,

each one delighting in the other.

 

And look at the joys and trials of being parents,

the challenge none of us is prepared for;

imagine the tough, flexible fibres

that nurturing a child together can create.

 

And see laced around and through and everywhere

diamond-twinkling filaments of laughter.

 

These profound, priceless connections start so simply –

with a smile, perhaps, or admiring glance.

 

Picture again these hundreds, thousands, of threads

as long as love is; longer than life.

 

Today a knot is being tied

 

in the strands that ………… and …………

 

have started to spin out together.

A love-knot.    For ever.

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 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 blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

 

The day of your wedding
Is a time to reflect
On the things you can hope for
And the things to expect.
You could hope for great riches
Huge bundles of cash
But then lose it all
In a Stock Market crash
Or you could hope for
A life of great ease
With the time and the money
To do as you please
But it’s better to hope for
The good things in life
Like a long happy life
As husband and wife
Like the smile and the kiss
As you walk through the door
And the baby that wakes you
At a quarter to four
And a life of variety
With sunshine and rain
And Frosties for breakfast
Instead of champagne
Expect times of anger
The occasional huff
Because no one annoys you
Like the on that you love
But don’t look for problems
That the future may bring
Just to love and be loved is a wonderful thing
Life’s not all plain sailing
Not always a ball
But I know you’ll be happy
Because love conquers all.

 

Post # 9
Member
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We had this: 

These I Can Promise 

I cannot promise you a life of sunshine; 
I cannot promise you riches, wealth or gold; 
I cannot promise you an easy pathway 
That leads away from change or growing old. 
But I can promise all my heart’s devotion; 
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow. 
A love that’s true and ever growing; 
A hand to hold in your’s through each tomorrow. 

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) 


and I also liked :

Adapted from Far from the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy) 

We are all on our own paths, all on our own journeys.
Sometimes the paths cross, and people arrive at the crossingpoints at the same time and meet each other.There are greetings, pleasantries are exchanged, and then they move on. But then once in a while the pleasantries become more, friendship grows, deeper links are made, hands are joined and love flies. The friendship has turned into love. Paths are joined, one path with two people walking it, both going in the same direction, and sharing each other’s journeys. Today N and N are joining their paths. They will now skip together in harmony and love, sharing joysand sorrows, hopes and fears, strengthening and upholdingeach other as they walk along side by side. At home by the fire, whenever I look up, there you will be. And whenever you look up, there I shall be.

Post # 10
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Yay keep em coming!  I’ve added the Mark Twain one and the Robert Fulgham one to my “Readings” tab on our “Weddin’ Stuff” google doc haha 🙂

Post # 11
Member
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I need to follow this thread!! And find the others like it.

Post # 12
Member
3199 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@futuremrs1986:  we did Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda, I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg and The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne. 

Post # 13
Member
958 posts
Busy bee

I’ve seen some good excerpts from The Hitchhikers Guide used in the past.

Post # 16
Member
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I carry your heart with me-E.E. Cummings

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 keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


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