If you choose a religious wedding ceremony reading, you’ll likely select a passage or verse from a sacred text, or a religious poem or blessing. A secular wedding reading can be a poem, book excerpt, song lyrics, or even lines from a movie or television show.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Kahlil Gibran

…Love one another, but make not a bond of love, let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping for only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together for the pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Rainer Marie Rilke

Once we realize that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist. A wonderful living side by side can grow if we succeed in loving the distance between us, which makes it possible to see the other whole against the sky. A good relationship is the one in which each appoints the other guardian of his individuality. And as a separate thought: Love consists of this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.

Wedding Ceremony Reading from I Corinthians 13:4-8:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres. Love never fails.

Wedding Ceremony Reading from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Kahlil Gibran

Marriage is the union of two divinities that a third might be born on earth. It is the union of two souls in a strong love for the abolishment of separateness. It is that higher unity which fuses the separate unities within the two spirits. It is the golden ring in a chain whose beginning is a glance, and whose ending is Eternity. It is the pure rain that falls from an unblemished sky to fructify and bless the fields of divine Nature.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Richard Bach

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Gary Snyder (after a Mohawk prayer)

Gratitude to Mother Earth, sailing through night and day and to her soil: rich, rare and sweet in our minds so be it.

Gratitude to Plants, the sun facing light-changing leaf and fine root hairs; standing still through wind and rain; their dance is in the flowing spiral grain in our minds so be it.

Gratitude to Air, bearing the soaring Swift and the silent Owl at dawn. Breath of our song clear spirit breeze in our minds so be it.

Gratitude to Wild Beings, our brothers, teaching secrets, freedoms, and ways; who share with us their milk; self complete, brave and aware in our minds so be it.

Gratitude to Water: clouds, lakes, rivers, glaciers; holding or releasing; streaming through all our own bodies salty seas in our minds so be it.

Gratitude to the Sun: blinding pulsing light through trunks of trees, through mists, warming caves where bears and snakes sleep he who wakes us in our minds so be it

Gratitude to the Great Sky who holds billions of stars and goes yet beyond that beyond all powers, and thoughts and yet is within us Grandfather Space. The Mind is his Wife. So be it.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Paul L’Herrou

If your love is to grow and deepen, you must find a way to move with each other; perhaps in a slow and graceful dance, a dance, that circles and tests and learns as it gradually moves closer to that place where you can each pass through the other and turn and embrace without breaking or losing any part of yourselves but only to learn more of who you each are by your touching, to find that you are each whole and individual and separate yet, in the same instant, one, joined as a whole that does not blur the two individuals as you dance. The music is there if you will listen hard, through the static and noise of life, and other tunes that fill your heads. You are here, marking time to the music.

The dance can only begin if you will take the first tentative, uncertain, stumbling steps.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Sir Hugh Walpole

The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Denise Levertov

Two angels among the throng of angels paused in the upward abyss, facing angel to angel.

Blue and green glowed the wingfeathers of one angel, from red to gold the sheen of the other’s. These two, so far as angels may dispute, were poised on the brink of dispute, brink of fall from angelic stature, for these tall ones, angels whose wingspan encompasses entire earthly villages, whose heads if their feet touched earth would top pines or redwoods, live by their vision’s harmony which sees at one glance the dark and light of the moon.

These two hovered dazed before one another, for one saw the seafeather, peacock breakered crests of the other angel’s magnificence, different from his own, and the other’s eyes flickered with vision of flame petallings, cream gold grainfeather glitterings, the wings of his fellow, and both in immortal danger of dwindling, of dropping into the remote forms of a lesser being. But as these angels, the only halted ones among the many who passed and repassed, trod air as swimmers tread water, each gazing on the angelic wings of the other, the intelligence proper to great angels flew into their wings, the intelligence called intellectual love, which, understanding the perfections of scarlet, leapt up among blues and greens strongshafted, and among amber down illuminated the sapphire bloom, so that each angel was iridescent with the strange newly seen hues he watched; and their discovering pause and the speech their silent interchange of perfection was never becoming a shrinking to opposites, And they remained free in the heavenly chasm, Remained angels, but dreaming angels,

Each imbued with the mysteries of the other.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Phoebe Cary

I think true love is never blind,

But rather brings an added light,

An inner vision quick to find

The beauties hid from common sight.

No soul can ever clearly see

Another’s highest, noblest part;

Save through the sweet philosophy

And loving wisdom of the heart.

Wedding Ceremony Reading by Shakespeare, Sonnet 106

When in the chronicle of wasted time

I see descriptions of the fairest wights,

And beauty making beautiful old rhyme

In praise of la

dies dead and lovely knights,

Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best,

Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,

I see their antique pen would have express’d

Even such a beauty as you master now.

So all their praises are but prophecies

Of this our time, all you prefiguring;

And, for they look’d but with divining eyes,

They had not skill enough your worth to sing.

For we, which now behold these present days,

Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

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.

Apache Marriage Blessing

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for each other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before. Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship as they threaten all relationships at one time or another remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Heart Centered Weddings


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