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Sample Readings for Weddings

Herein are some sample readings for wedding ceremonies. They were collected from a variety of poetic sources and cultural origins. Couples may choose one or more reading from below when planning their wedding, or they can select their own.

Come Walk with me in the Garden of Spring

Come to me my love
And let us walk together in the garden of spring
Fingertips entwined,
Listening to the robin's call
As Lord Apollo shines brightly from above

Feel with me my love
The melting of old heart's sorrow
As our stories entwine
And our heart's sharing bring us to places
Of warmth and light being poured into
The darkness and depths we have often carried in our worlds

Let me gaze upon you my love
And behold the beauty that the Gods have bestowed upon you
The soft gracefulness of thy neck
The strength of thy arms
The firmness of thy thighs
The depth of thy soul through thy eyes
Let me drink of you
A lifetime of beauty

Come with me love
And feel the kindling of passion's desires
Within the depths of our loins
Life's sweet nature calling life into being
Hand to hand and heart to heart
Gentle warm kisses that explore and invite
Love into the Spring

Michelle Hrynyk

Sonnet 17

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove;
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

I Ching Excerpt

When two people are at one in their inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.

Part of a Hindu Marriage Poem

We are word and meaning, united. You are thought and I am sound.
May the nights be honey-sweet for us. May the mornings be honey-sweet for us
May the plants be honey-sweet for us. May the earth be honey-sweet for us.

The Art of a Good Marriage

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
The courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
But in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal;
Dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

Wilfred Arlan Peterson

From This Day Forward

From this day forward, You shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter, And my arms will be your home.

Author Unknown

Eskimo Love Song

You are my husband (wife) My feet shall run because of you; My feet shall dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you; My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you; And I shall love because of you


When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for the God's sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
And in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the season-less world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, And weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, "the Gods are in my heart," but rather, I am in the heart of Gods."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Kalil Gilbran


Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
What then kills love? Only this: Neglect.
Not to see you when you stand before me.
Not to think of you in the little things.
Not to make the road wide for you.
To choose you out of habit, not desire,
To pass the flower seller without a thought.
To leave the dishes unwashed, the bed unmade,
To ignore you in the mornings, make use of you at night.
To crave another while pecking your cheek.
To say your name without hearing it,
To assume it is mine to call.

Jeanette Winterson