Your favourite non-religious readings/vows?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 16
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

We had a simple but quite nice handfasting ceremony – I got the basic handfasting vows here on weddingbee and personalized them. Sorry I don’t have the link, but if this idea appeals to you, there are several handfasting threads you can search in this Ceremony section. 

Post # 17
688 posts
Busy bee

We did the Buddist wedding vows. There is no mention of anything religious or Buddist. When looking at different vows I found that I liked the Buddist outlook on life and marriage the best. They emphasize caring for “all living beings” – this stuck with me as I work with animals. There are no “I dos” but instead “we dos” that we said at the same time. 

Post # 18
210 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
caligirlinmichigan :  In the UK, if you’re having a civil marriage (rather than a religious marriage) they are really strict about not having any religious language, music, officiants or prayers in the ceremony. This even includes not being able to say ‘in sickness and in health’ because those are the religious vows in the Book of Common Prayer in the Church of England! Though different officiants interpret the law with different levels of strictness. It dates back to the mid-1800s when civil marriages without a religious service became possible so people of different faiths/no faith could get married, but it seems ridiculous to me now tbh.

Post # 19
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

Both my fiance and I are readers so we’re doing some readings that are significant to us.  On our first date he was reading The Portrait of a Lady before I arrived so that will be one of our readings:

“It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and — I won’t pretend to deny — brighter and nicer and even stronger. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I didn’t have them. Theoretically I was satisfied, as I once told you. I flattered myself I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid, sterile, hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”

And I’ve always loved this poem so we will be doing it as well:

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]


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)

                              <wbr />                        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)


We also intent to use some version of these vows from Psychology Today.  I love that they are actually based in science and embody the traits and behaviors I think are important in marriage:

“I promise to respect, admire, and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become.”

“I promise to support and protect your freedom; because although our lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours alone.”

“I promise to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears and your dreams.”

“I promise to always strive to meet your needs; not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy.”

“I promise to be there for you when you need me, whenever you need me.”

I promise to nurture your goals and ambitions; to support you through misfortune and celebrate your triumphs.

“I promise to keep our lives exciting, adventurous, and full of passion.”

“I promise to persevere when times get tough, knowing that any challenges we might face, we will conquer them together.”

“I promise to treat you with compassion over fairness, because we are a team, now and for always.”

“I promise to show you, every day, that I know exactly how lucky I am to have you in my life.”

Post # 20
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Canada

We are using a couple.  Currently deciding between “Union” as PP listed and “The Art of Marriage.”  Also using “Blessing of the Hands.”

The Art of Marriage

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 having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.

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.


Blessing of the Hands

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

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately 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 countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to 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.

Post # 21
907 posts
Busy bee

“Always Love Each Other” by Larry S. Chengges

If you can always be as close and as happy as today,

Yet be secure enough to grow and change along the way.

If you can keep for you alone your love as man and wife,

Yet find the time to share your joy with others in your life.

If you can be as one and walk through marriage hand in hand,

Yet still support the goals and dreams that each of you have planned.

If you can dare to always go your separate ways together,

Then all the wonder of today will stay with you forever.

Post # 23
170 posts
Blushing bee

Following this thread, love all the contributions!

Post # 24
2730 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

We had two very short readings peppered into the ceremony. 

  • 1) 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.


  • 2) Love is the reason why this day
    Was chosen by you both
    To begin your lives together –
    And love is the reason why you both
    Will give with all your hearts
    For the good of each other.
    Love is the reason
    That together you will become one –
    One in hope,
    One in believing in life and
    One in sharing the coming years.
Post # 25
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

View original reply
hippievan :  I read this at a friend’s wedding! It is such a good combination of sweet and funny. 


We have our neices/nephews share two readings. The two eldest shared an excerpt from So Long and Thanks For All the Fish by Douglas Adams: 



They looked at each other for a moment.

The moment became a longer moment, and suddenly it was a very long moment, so long one could hardly tell where all the time was coming from.

For Arthur, who could usually contrive to feel self-conscious if left alone long enough with a Swiss cheese plant, the moment was one of sustained revelation. He felt on the sudden like a cramped and zoo-born animal who wakes one morning to find the door of his cage hanging quietly open and the savannah stretching grey and pink to the distant rising sun, while all around new sounds are waking.

He wondered what the new sounds were as he gazed at her openly wondering face and her eyes that smiled with a shared surprise.

He hadn’t realized that life speaks with a voice to you, a voice that brings you answers to the questions you continually ask of it, had never consciously detected it or recognized its tones until it now said something it had never said to him before, which was,



Our second reading was a collection of Winnie the Pooh-isms: 


Piglet: “How do you spell love?”
Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”


“‘I wonder what Piglet is doing,’ thought Pooh.
‘I wish I were there to be doing it, too.'”

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”


“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.”


I found lots of great options on

Post # 26
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Following – I’m enjoying this!

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors