- “Buried Light” by Beau Taplin
- “Plato’s Symposium” – Plato
- “The Notebook” – Nicolas Sparks
- “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis De Berniere
- “Hamlet” – William Shakespeare
- “Everything I Know About Love” – Dolly Alderton
- “Les Misérables” – Victor Hugo
- “Wild Awake” by Hilary T. Smith
- “A Vow” – Wendy Cope
- “We’re All A Little Weird” – Dr Seuss
Your wedding is a chance for you to share your definition of love with your friends and family. It’s an opportunity to express the foundation your relationship is built on – whether it’s humour, passion, knowledge, or a mixture of them all. After all, your guests are there to celebrate your union – so it’s the perfect time and place to push your notions of romance.
The poems and readings you choose for your ceremony are a fantastic place to start. Take a look at these 10 romantic readings that are sure to hearten any wedding crowd, and also the one poem which is elsewhere.
“Buried Light” by Beau Taplin
“Home is not where you are from
it is where you belong.
Some of us travel the whole world to find it.
Others, find it in a person.”
Why choose this reading? This simple poem equates love with belonging; with finding your place in the world. If this rings true for you and your partner, this Beau Taplin poem is sure to resonate at your ceremony.
“Plato’s Symposium” – Plato
“When one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.”
Why choose this reading? Plato’s Symposium was written almost 400 years BC – and yet this modern translation shows that his interpretation of love still rings true today. For intellectual, romantic couples, this extract from the Symposium is the perfect reading for your wedding day.
“The Notebook” – Nicolas Sparks
“Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it was like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory.”
Why choose this reading? This extract from The Notebook celebrates the rarity of true love, and the happiness that can be found despite cultural, religious, or personal differences. It’s ideal if you and your partner have found each other regardless of differences in your backgrounds.
“Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis De Berniere
“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.”
Why choose this reading? The imagery and depth of feeling in this extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is raw and honest, and at the same time it captures the longevity of marriage, of love. It’s a beautiful reading for any couple who want to celebrate their commitment to one another.
“Hamlet” – William Shakespeare
“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.”
Why choose this reading? Who wouldn’t want a reading by the writer of Romeo and Juliet? In this short passage, Shakespeare expresses an unshakeable, indisputable love. It says everything it needs to in fewer than 25 words – so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a more subtle reading.
“Everything I Know About Love” – Dolly Alderton
“Love happens under the splendour of moon and stars and fireworks and sunsets but it also happens when you’re lying on blow-up airbeds in a childhood bedroom, sitting in A&E or in the queue for a passport, or in a traffic jam. Love is a quiet, reassuring, relaxing, pottering, pedantic, harmonious hum of a thing; something you can easily forget is there, even though its palms are outstretched beneath you in case you fall.”
Why choose this reading? This modern look at love by memoirist Dolly Alderton is perfect for down-to-earth couples who recognise the realities of love, with all its ups and downs. It’s a celebration of the everyday and the exciting, the humdrum and the heavenly elements of loving someone.
“Les Misérables” – Victor Hugo
“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And the great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.”
Why choose this reading? Les Misérables is a tale of misfortune and sorrow – but author Victor Hugo still finds a place within it for this sincere, heartwarming description of love. It’s the perfect reading for any couple who want to acknowledge the tough times they’ve been through en route to their marriage.
“Wild Awake” by Hilary T. Smith
“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a floodlit statue or a skyline. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.”
Why choose this reading? The beautiful imagery in this extract from Wild Awake defines the slow act of falling truly in love. It details the hidden beauty you can find in a person when you love them, making it a fabulous reading for long-term couples, or those who were friends before becoming a couple.
“A Vow” – Wendy Cope
“I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You are my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.”
Why choose this reading? A matter-of-fact look at the realities of love, this poem honours honesty, loyalty, and commitment – three elements at the foundation of all successful relationships. Vow to do your best by your partner with this playful, romantic poem by Wendy Cope.
“We’re All A Little Weird” – Dr Seuss
“We are all a little weird
and life’s a little weird,
and when we find someone whose
weirdness is compatible with
ours, we join up with them and
fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
Why choose this reading? Dr Seuss is the king of kookiness, so this poem is the perfect reading for couples who love to express their individuality as well as their affection. Love as “mutual weirdness” is the ultimate in fun, fearless romance.
Readings are just one small way to express your relationship during your wedding ceremony. You can also choose to write your own vows, involve your pets, and select songs that add new levels of meaning to your marriage. Get tons of great tips for personalising your wedding ceremony in our ceremony planning articles.