Do you and your fiancé march to the beat of your own drum? Or, do you come from a traditional and religious background? On your big day, it’s important that your officiant recites the wedding reading that fits the wedding ceremony theme and you as a couple. Whether it’s the popular Bible verse “Love is patient, love is kind” or something a little more creative and out-of-the-box, think about a message that describes you and your partner best.
Before you send out your save the dates, draw inspiration from our collection of 36 wedding readings perfect for any ceremony. From romantic ceremony readings to funny and lighthearted sayings, you’ll have your wedding guests tearing up before you say “I do.”
Wedding Ceremony Bible Readings
If your relationship is centered around faith, a wedding Bible verse is the perfect opportunity to show your devotion. From traditional scriptures to spiritual reminders about love, there’s no better way to honor your religion.
1. 1 Corinthians: 13
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
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 perseveres.”
2. Colossians 3:12-17
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
3. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him.”
4. Ephesians 5:25-32
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”
5. Philippians 2:1-2
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
Non-Religious Wedding Readings
It can be difficult to find the perfect words to describe the love you and your partner share. Before you say your vows, find a non-religious ceremony reading that will fit your wedding theme.
6. Contact by Carl Sagan
“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
7. Marriage Joins Two People In the Circle of Its Love by Edmund O’Neill
“Marriage is a commitment to life,
the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth
that no other relationship can equal.
It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love,
marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships.
A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend,
confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.
And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing,
and the love of the other may resemble
the tender caring of a parent or child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher,
commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly,
and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life
is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life,
new experiences, new ways of expressing
a love that is deeper than life.
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage,
they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer
than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people
who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.”
8. 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.”
9. Love is an Adventure by Pierre Tielhart de Chardin
“Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops like the universe itself only by perpetual discovery. The only right love is that between couples whose passion leads them both, one through the other, to a higher possession of their being. Put your faith in the spirit which dwells between the two of you. You have each offered yourself to the other as a boundless field of understanding, of enrichment, of mutually increased sensibility. You will meet above all by entering into and constantly sharing one another’s thoughts, affections, and dreams. There alone, as you know, in spirit, which is arrived through flesh, you will find no disappointments, no limits. There alone the skies are ever open for your love; there alone lies the great road ahead.”
10. Every Day by David Levithan
“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.”
Unique Wedding Readings
For a beautiful and truly original ceremony, ask your officiant to include a unique quote or message that no one’s ever heard before. Whether inspired by nature or passion, you’ll have friends and family tearing up in no time.
11. 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.”
12. The Privileged Lovers by Rumi
“The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,
This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion.
They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.
They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion.”
13. Excerpt from Mountain Thoughts by John Muir
“Wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every finer and cell of the substance of our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own and sings our love.”
14. 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.”
15. II From Twenty-One Love Poems by Adrienne Rich
“I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming.
Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other,
you’ve been at your desk for hours. I know what I dreamed:
our friend the poet comes into my room
where I’ve been writing for days,
drafts, carbons, poems are scattered everywhere,
and I want to show her one poem
which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate,
and wake. You’ve kissed my hair
to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem,
I say, a poem I wanted to show someone…
and I laugh and fall dreaming again
of the desire to show you to everyone I love,
to move openly together
in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,
which carried the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing air.”
Funny Wedding Readings
Do you and your partner love to make each other laugh? Carry this through to your wedding day by having a little fun with your ceremony speech.
16. We’re All a Little Weird by Robert Fulghum
“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”
17. I’ll Be There For You by Louise Cuddon
“I’ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said “Fine”, but you’re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue ‘cause
I’m telling you, I’ll be there.”
18. He Never Leaves The Seat Up by Anon
“He never leaves the seat up
Or wet towels upon the floor
The toothpaste has the lid on
And he always shuts the door!
She’s very clean and tidy
Though she may sometimes delude
Leave your things out at your peril
In a second they’ll have moved!
He’s a very active person
As are all his next of kin
Whereas she likes lazy days
He’ll still drag her to the gym!
He romances her and dines her
Home cooked dinners and the like
He even knows her favourite food
And spoils her day and night!
She’s thoughtful when he looks at her
A smile upon his face
Will he look that good in 50 years
When his dentures aren’t in place?!
He says he loves her figure
And her mental prowess too
But when gravity takes her over
Will she charm with her IQ?
She says she loves his kindness
And his patience is a must
And of course she thinks he’s handsome
Which in her eyes is a plus!
They’re both not wholly perfect
But who are we to judge
He can be pig headed
Whereas she won’t even budge!
All that said and done
They love the time they spent together
And I hope as I’m sure you do
That this fine day will last forever.
He’ll be more than just her husband
He’ll also be her friend
And she’ll be more than just his wife
She’ll be his soul mate—till the end.”
19. A Word to Husbands by 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.”
20. He’s Not Perfect by Bob Marley
“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”
Wedding Readings From Literature
From classic Hemingway to the romantic Kleypas, choose a message from your favorite novel to recite. If you’re drawing a blank, get the creative juices flowing with one of our literary ideas.
21. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
“At night, there was the feeling that we had to come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.”
22. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
“Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.”
23. Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
“I no longer believed in the idea of soulmates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.”
24. The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach
“A soul mate 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 soul mate 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 soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.”
25. 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.”
26. Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words ‘make’ and ‘stay’ become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”
Wedding Poem Readings
What’s more romantic than a poem about love? A poem wedding reading can be heartfelt or unique, just be sure it reflects your personality as a pair.
27. I carry your heart with me (i carry it in) by 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)
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)”
28. Quote by Nayyirah Waheed
“Chemistry is you touching my arm and it setting fire to my mind.”
29. The Day Sky by Hafiz
“Let us be like
two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
as we hold hands with God
Into a sacred existence that defies –
Every description of ecstasy
30. 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
we are learning to make fire”
31. Defeated by Love by Rumi
“The sky was lit
by the splendor of the moon
I fell to the ground
has made me sure
I am ready to forsake
this worldly life
to the magnificence
of your Being”
Catholic Wedding Readings
Whether pulled directly from a Scripture or inspired by Catholic teachings, there are endless options to inspire and carry on your family tradition during the big day.
32. To Love is Not to Possess by James Kavanaugh
“To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able to be who really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another- and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adults’ deepens wounds
They are openly free to be who they really are- and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.”
33. Song of Solomon 8:6-7
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.”
34. Isaiah 32:2
“Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a cover from the tempest, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.”
35. Isaiah 54:10-14
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.”
36. Book of Ruth 1:16-17
“Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people shall be my people and your God will be my God too. Wherever you die, I will die and there will I be buried beside you. We shall be together forever and our love will be the gift of God.”
Resources Related to Wedding Readings
The wedding ceremony is the most important part of your big day—when you officially tie the knot as a happy couple. To decide on the perfect ceremony reading, talk with your officiant about length, personality and style.
After you decide on a wedding reading, customize the officiant speech to ensure smooth sailing on the day-of. Then, personalize your day-of decor to have guests swooning at every last detail.