Inspirational readings about love and marriage are one of the most popular additions to wedding ceremonies. We have put together a classic collection of some of the most beautiful non-religious wedding readings. All you have to do is choose your favourite.
No matter if you’re going for a religious reading or one that’s more secular, the choice of reading is up to you. You’ll only need to have it approved by your registrar or minister beforehand. Our top tip for choosing a reading is to choose one that is personal to you both in some way.
Here are some of the oldest and most beautiful readings:
To Be One with Each Other by George Eliot
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?
Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the rivers And the rivers with the oceans, The winds of heaven mix forever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single; All things by law divine In one spirit meet and mingle. Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven And the waves clasp one another; No sister-flower would be forgiven If it disdained its brother, And the sunlight clasps the earth And the moonbeams kiss the sea: What is all this sweet work worth If thou kiss not me?
Perfect Woman by William Wordsworth
She was a phantom of delight When first she gleam’d upon my sight; A lovely apparition, sent To be a moment’s ornament; Her eyes as stars of twilight fair; Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair; But all things else about her drawn; A dancing shape, an image gat, To haunt, to startle, and waylay. I saw her upon nearer view, A spirit, yet a Woman too! Her household motions light and free, And steps of virgin liberty; A coumtenance in which did meet Sweets records, promises as sweet; A creature not too bright or good For human natures daily food; For transient sorrows, simple wiles, Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles. And now I see with eye serene The very pulse of the machine; A being breathing thoughtful breath, A traveller between life and death; The reason firm, the temperate will, Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill; A perfect woman, nobly plann’d, To warn, to comfort, and command; And yet a Spirit still, and bright With something of angelic light. But never doubt I love.
Love Lives by John Clare
Love lives beyond The tomb, the earth, which fades like dew. I love the fond, The faithful, and the true
Love lives in sleep, The happiness of healthy dreams Eve’s dews may weep, But love delightful seems.
‘Tis heard in spring When light and sunbeams, warm and kind, On angels’ wing Bring love and music to the mind.
And where is voice, So young, so beautiful and sweet As nature’s choice, Where Spring and lovers meet?
Love lives beyond The tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew. I love the fond, The faithful, young and true.
So, We’ll Go No More A-Roving by Lord Byron
So, we’ll go no more a-roving So late into the night, Though the heart be still as loving, And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outweighs it sheath, And the soul wears out the breast, And the heart must pause to breathe, And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving, And the day returns too soon, Yet we’ll go no more a-roving, By the light of the moon
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These useful guides to wedding readings will ensure that your choices are spot‐on, whether you require religious readings or non‐religious wedding readings. Choosing the right religious or secular wedding readings…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.