Unique Wedding Readings

Readings for a Non-Traditional Wedding

Casual wedding couple and officiant
Jupiterimages/The Image Bank/Getty Images

If you're looking to do something a little different in your ceremony, look to include unique wedding readings that most people haven't heard before. You want your ceremony to reflect your relationship and how you view love, which means that the readings should also be specific and special. Many of the choices in the Library of Wedding Readings are non-traditional but below are some truly unique wedding readings that might be perfect for you.



"Carrie's Poem" from Sex and the City
His hello was the end of her endings
Her laugh was their first step down the aisle
His hand would be hers to hold forever
His forever was as simple as her smile
He said she was what was missing
She said instantly she knew
She was a question to be answered
And his answer was "I do"


Two Fragments by Sappho
Love holds me captive again
and I tremble with bittersweet longing

As a gale on the mountainside bends the oak tree
I am rocked by my love


From "Goodridge Vs. Department of Health" by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall
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.



Read more about using Goodridge Vs. Dept. of Health as a non-traditional wedding reading. Is it a political statement, or just a lovely definition of civil marriage?


"To Diego and Frida" (Tina Modotti's toast) from the movie
I don't believe in marriage. No, I really don't. Let me be clear about that. I think at worst it's a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it's a happy delusion - these two people who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they're about to make each other. But, but, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don't think it's conservative or delusional. I think it's radical and courageous and very romantic.


"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.

Lyrics from "Red Right Ankle" by the decemberists
This is the story of your red right ankle,
and how it came to meet your leg
and how the muscle, bone, and sinews tangled,
and how the skin was softly shaped,
and how it whispered, "Oh, adhere to me
for we are bound by symmetry.
And whatever differences our lives have been
we together make a limb."
This is the story of your red right ankle.


"The Good-Morrow" by John Donne
I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ?

were we not weaned till then ?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die


"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.

More wedding readings from love poems

An excerpt from "The Master Speed" by Robert Frost
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.


"He Wishes For Cloths of Heaven" by W B Yeats
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


"To a Stranger" by Walt Whitman
Passing stranger!

you do not know how longingly I look upon you;
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking (it comes to me, as of a dream).
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you.
All is recalled as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured;
You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me;
I ate with you, and slept with you--your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only;
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass--you take of my beard, breast, hands in return;
I am not to speak to you--I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone;
I am to wait--I do not doubt I am to meet you again;
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.


From "Maud" by Lord Alfred Tennyson
There has fallen a splendid tear
From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;
She is coming, my life, my fate;
The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;"
And the white rose weeps, "She is late;"
The larkspur listens, "I hear, I hear;"
And the lily whispers, "I wait."

She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,
Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead,
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.