Couples often choose to have a loved one read a meaningful passage or two during their wedding ceremony, but the options from which to choose are overwhelming. There are a variety of sources from which you can select, whether it's famous works of fiction, poetry, the Bible, or even a bit of comedy—what matters is that it's special to the bride and groom.
If you're having a religious ceremony, be sure to check with your officiant, as they may have limitations on what can be included in the ceremony. However, couples getting married in a non-religious ceremony can feel free to be creative.
Classic and Traditional Wedding Readings
There's a reason the classics became the classics—they're timeless passages about love and relationships. Options include a sonnet from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, such as her famous lines, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways," or "Song of the Open Road," by Walt Whitman, and some classic Bible verses.
Wedding Readings From the Bible
You've probably heard the classic Corinthians verse, "Love is patient, love is kind," quite a few times, but there are many other beautiful verses about love that might surprise you. You can explore Old Testament wedding readings and New Testament wedding readings. If you are having a religious ceremony you may be limited in which you are allowed to select, even though all are from the Bible.
Jewish Wedding Readings
The most famous Jewish wedding reading is from the Song of Solomon (Ani L'Dodi v'Dodi Li / "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine"). However, there are many other traditional, modern and even secular Jewish wedding readings from which to choose.
Wedding Readings From Literature
Rather than hitting you over the head with esoteric literary devices, these literary passages use easy-to-comprehend metaphors and imagery to evoke feelings and deliver subtle messages. Each person listening will likely interpret it slightly differently, but that's part of the magic.
Romantic Wedding Readings
When your love is full of passion, you'll want your wedding reading to be equally enchantingly amorous. These especially tender passages come from a variety of sources―quotes, novels, poems, essays―but they're all romantic.
Love Poetry for Wedding Readings
Poetry can be an incredible way to describe love, leaving space for nuance, and delivering imagery that's new and different. Of course, there are literally millions of love poems to choose from, but these are particularly apt for weddings.
Unique and Unusual Wedding Readings
If you dance to the beat of a different drummer, or you just want to make sure your guests haven't heard your wedding reading before, these unique readings are for you.
Wedding Readings from Shakespeare
The Bard of Avon wrote many words about love, and several are appropriate for your ceremony.
Funny Wedding Readings
Not everything about a ceremony needs to be serious. Adding some moments of levity in between more solemn moments of ritual can do more than keeping your guests entertained. Odds are, your love for each other isn't all serious either. By adding funny wedding readings, you can express a fuller version of your relationship.