15 of Our Favourite Modern Wedding Readings
While these quotes, extracts, and verses work wonderfully for modern wedding readings and other wedding speeches, we think they’ll also work beautifully if used as part of your wedding vows!
1) All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten – Robert Fulgham
This verse from American author Robert Fulgham is a wonderful wedding speech idea that’s easily reworked to suit you. It’s both sentimental and a little on the humorous side, and we can imagine it as a best man’s speech or groom’s speech:
“All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
These are the things I learned…
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
2) Captain Correlli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernières
We love this extract from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières because it speaks of how relationships are things that need to be nurtured, and not only is it perfect for modern wedding readings, but it would also work wonderfully for an anniversary milestone or a renewal of wedding vows:
“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become 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. That is just being in love, which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
3) The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook has become a staple of romance. It’s full to the brim with some very sweet quotes perfect for both brides and grooms, making it a perfect source for modern wedding readings:
“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.”
4) How I Met Your Mother
Some of the best love quotes for modern wedding readings come from our favourite TV shows, and we particularly love this one from How I Met Your Mother:
“When you love someone you just…don’t stop. Ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just…you don’t give up… If I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be…some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is.”
5) Have You Got a Biro I Can Borrow? – Clive James
This is a beautiful extract from Clive James’ “Have You Got a Biro I Can Borrow?” and one of the sweetest modern wedding readings we can think of (especially if you and your partner were classmates at school):
“Have you got a biro I can borrow?
I’d like to write your name
From the belt of Orion to the share of the Plough
The snout of the Bear to the belly of the Lion
So when the sun goes down tomorrow
There’ll never be a minute
Not a moment of the night that hasn’t got you in it”
6) Soul Mates – Lang Leav
Another of our favourite modern wedding readings is to use a beautiful verse, like this simply stunning verse from Lang Leav about soul mates. It’s perfect for all of those people who feel such a deep connection to their partner that they feel they must have met somewhere before:
“I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place, some other existence.”
7) Sleepless In Seattle
Sleepless in Seattle is a classic romantic movie, and you get some of the best wedding readings from movies. It’s difficult to find a much more magical speech than this:
“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together … and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home … only to no home I’d ever known … I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like … magic.”
8) The Princess Bride – William Goldman
If you haven’t read The Princess Bride by William Goldman or watched the 1987 movie then you are, most likely, at least familiar with some of the fantastic quotes, like this one:
“Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches…I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids…
I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I…”
9) How I Met Your Mother
This second How I Met Your Mother quote is another great option for modern wedding readings. While less poetic than a song or poem it feels raw and real, and that’s part of its charm:
“But love doesn’t make sense. You can’t logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it, or else we’re lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do.”
10) She’s Not Perfect – Bob Marley
Bob Marley remains an icon, and as well as creating great music he created a fantastic quote for modern wedding readings when he talked about love, trust, and accepting each other in spite of imperfections. This quote is also easily reworked when talking about the groom:
“She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together – but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold on to her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”
11) The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook makes its second appearance on our list with this gorgeous quote about how, while you might feel that you’re ordinary, what you feel for another can be extraordinary:
“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
12) Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog – by Taylor Mali
Most people agree that dogs are too precious for this world, and Taylor Mali made an equally precious poem about love using man’s best friend as a comparison. It’s just one of many ways of including dogs at your wedding, and not only is it very sweet, but it will also make you smile:
“First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.”
13) The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
We love this simple and straightforward verse about irreplaceable love:
“People say they ‘find’ love, as if it were an object hidden under a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love. And Eddie found a certain love with Marguerite, a grateful love, a deep but quiet love, one that he knew, above all else, was irreplaceable.”
14) Carrie’s Poem – Sex and the City
Sex and the City remains popular, and one of the most beautiful moments came in the form of this lovely poem:
“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'”
15) The One – Rupi Kaur
And finally, we adore this simple but beautiful verse about the one by Rupi Kaur:
For more wedding readings, don’t miss our pick of some of the most romantic wedding readings.