Alternative Readings For Your Wedding Ceremony
My first ever job was working in a book shop. I was 15 years old and on one particularly quiet (and probably rainy day, it was Scotland after all!) I discovered W. H. Auden. I was mesmerized. Ever since then I've carried a love for anything deeply poetic, expressive and admittedly, sometimes melancholic!
Having the privilege of shooting weddings means we get to hear so many beautiful readings, poems and stories. There are a few that we frequently hear but somehow never loose their charm, like "A Lovely Love Story" by Edward Monkton, which is super cute. And "Oh The Places You'll Go!" by Dr Seuss always inspires a sense of adventure and wonder.
But it's also got me thinking about all the potential readings, poems and stories that somehow get lost or overlooked because they perhaps fall into a less traditional category. So we've spent some time gathering a few of our favourites, from Phillip Pullman to Bob Marley....with a little bit of Disney thrown in.......
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams…
And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me.”
- Phillip Pullman
"Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches… I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids."
-The Princess Bride
“The one thing I know for sure is that feelings are rarely mutual, so when they are, drop everything, forget belongings and expectations, forget the games, the two days between texts, the hard to gets because this is it, this is what the entire world is after and you’ve stumbled upon it by chance, by accident––so take a deep breath, take a step forward, now run, collide like planets in the system of a dying sun, embrace each other with both arms and let all the rules, the opinions and common sense crash down around you. Because this is love kid, and it’s all yours. Believe me, you're in for one hell of a ride, after all––this is the one thing I know for sure.”
- Beau Taplin
“Thank you for never Making my story About you.
Thank you for never Breaking my heart, for Humbling yourself, For loving me the way you do.
Thank you for letting me feel Everything.
You never wanted me to change for you, You just wanted me happy.
All our marriage vows you kept Long before we were wed, When we were just two little hearts Feeling the earth quake by Holding hands.”
The Wild Night’s Bloom by E.M.G. Somerwill
"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defences, you build up a whole suit of armour, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore.
Love takes hostages. It gets inside you."
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
My dearest friend, If you don't mind I'd like to join you by your side Where we could gaze into the stars And sit together now and forever For it is plain as anyone could see We're simply meant to be-
Nightmare Before Christmas
“I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place, some other existence.”
Soul Mates – Lang Leav
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“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 all 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 Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
"If I never knew you
If I never felt this love
I would have no inkling of
How precious life can be
And if I never held you
I would never have a clue
How at last I'd find in you
The missing part of me
If I never knew you
I'd be safe but half as real
Never knowing I could feel
A love so strong and true
I'm so grateful to you
I'd have lived my whole life through
If I never knew you"
- Pocahontas, Disney
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”
- Bob Marley
10 points to Gryffindor if you read all the poems and extracts, we hope enjoyed them and they gave you some inspiration for your own ceremony!
Hayley & Craig x