Romantic -not sappy - funny, but not inappropriate readings!

Hello. My wedding isn't particularly alternative but i am trying to make slightly unlike every other wedding i have been to!!

I am in favour of keeping the ceremony as short as possible - as much as can be cut out will be cut out. This included a reading but thats more because i have no idea what reading i (we) want.

I want something funny, romantic and appropriate for a church but not religious!

My friend had song lyric read at hers and i like the idea but want don't want to take that idea.

Any ideas?


  • Hmmm it depends, what do you do, what are you like and where are you? Depending on what part of the UK you are in you could have something quintessentially English/Irish/Scottish/Welsh....The only example I can think of is "My Love is Like a Red Red Rose" (Scottish)

    Have you looked online for slightly 'different' readings or poetry? For example, at the dinner I am considering reading this as a speech (made by me):

    "From "Goodridge Vs. Department of Health" by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

    Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations....Without question, civil marriage enhances the "welfare of the community." It is a "social institution of the highest importance." ... Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.... Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."

    I can't have it at our ceremony because it is a religious ceremony, and I know its not everyone's cup of tea but I love it.... :\) And I am currently in training as a solicitor so it's perfect for me being from a legal case, and it's American and so is my H2b.....

    Try googling "unusual wedding readings" or something like that. Hopefully when you read something it will just click and you will really like it.

    I'm sure the others will have some good suggestions. xx

    EDIT: just looked a few threads below this one and there is an entire thread dedicated to unusual readings etc which I have never read so I'm off to browse it now, you will probably get some good ideas in there.... image

    [Modified by: MrsSmith on March 06, 2008 10:57 AM]
  • migginsukmigginsuk Posts: 479
    I'm going to have my chief BM's fiance read the Owl and the Pussy Cat. Loved it since I was a child and is very very apt for hubby to be and I.

    Mrs Smith I might just pinch your legal speech, I like it!
  • MrsForkMrsFork Posts: 399
    I really like Pam Ayres "yes I'll marry you" and Edward Monkton's love poem about two dinosaurs is gorgeous!!

    Yes, I'll Marry You.

    Yes, I'll marry you, my dear,

    And here's the reason why;

    So I can push you out of bed

    When the baby starts to cry,

    And if we hear a knocking

    And it's creepy and it's late,

    I hand you the torch you see,

    And you investigate.

    Yes I'll marry you, my dear,

    You may not apprehend it,

    But when the tumble-drier goes

    It's you that has to mend it,

    You have to face the neighbour

    Should our labrador attack him,

    And if a drunkard fondles me

    It's you that has to whack him.

    Yes, I'll marry you,

    You're virile and you're lean,

    My house is like a pigsty

    You can help to keep it clean.

    That sexy little dinner

    Which you served by candlelight,

    As I do chipolatas,

    You can cook it every night!

    It's you who has to work the drill

    and put up curtain track,

    And when I've got PMT it's you who gets the flak,

    I do see great advantages,

    But none of them for you,

    And so before you see the light,

    I do, I do, I do!

    A lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton

    The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.

    Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

    The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur's cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

    I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

    Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.

    He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.

    I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.

    She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.

    But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

    He is also overly fond of things.

    Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?

    But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.

    Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?

    I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.

    I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.

    Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.

    Look at them.

    Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

    And that, my friends, is how it is with love.

    Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.

    For the sun is warm.

    And the world is a beautiful place.

    Hope that helps!!!! xx
  • han87birhan87bir Posts: 501
    were having the owl and the pussycat too, we love it

  • mummychopmummychop Posts: 310
    Oh I love the Pam Ayres poem! So cute -and true lol image
  • ruthemilyruthemily Posts: 13,622
    we're having the dinosaur story!
  • sophie275sophie275 Posts: 135
    OMG I love the Edward Monkton poem and am almost changing my mind now...

    We're getting married in a Church but are hopefully having one non religious reading which will be 'Us Two' by AA Milne:

    Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,

    There's always Pooh and Me.

    Whatever I do, he wants to do,

    "Where are you going today?" says Pooh:

    "Well that's very odd 'cos I was too.

    Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.

    "Let's go together," says Pooh.

    'What's twice eleven?' I said to Pooh,

    ('Twice what?' said Pooh to Me)

    'I think it ought to be twenty-two.'

    'Just what I think my self,' said Pooh.

    'It wasn't an easy sum to do,

    But that's what it is,' said Pooh, said he.

    'That's what it is,' said Pooh.

    'Let's look for dragons,' I said to Pooh.

    'Yes, let's,' said Pooh to Me

    We crossed the river and found a few--

    'Yes, these are dragons all right,' said Pooh.

    'As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.

    That's what they are,' said Pooh, said he.

    'That's what they are,' said Pooh.

    "Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.

    "That's right," said Pooh to Me.

    "I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,

    And I held his paw and I shouted "shoo!

    Silly old dragon!" - and off they flew.

    "I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,

    "I'm never afraid," with you."

    So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,

    There's always Pooh and Me.

    'What would I do?' I said to Pooh,

    'If it wasn't for you,' and Pooh said: 'True,

    it isn't much fun for One, but Two

    Can stick together,'; says Pooh, says he.

    'That's how it is,' says Pooh.

    I think we'll just be having the first and last verse. I suppose some might say its a bit childish, and even though it does make me feel 6 all over again- i just love it!
  • We had A Lovely Love Story! It was one of my favourite bits of the ceremony.
  • loved the edward monkton one may borrow it thanks!! xx
  • divingdaisydivingdaisy Posts: 106
    The dinosaur one is ace!!! I

    Mrs_Smith - I'm considering doing a reading in with my speech, or incorporating it somehow as a sort of topic or perhaps starting off or finishing my 'speech' with one.....perhaps you could do the same or something similar if you want a peom that's not allowed at the actual ceremony? Or even have someone else do the reading as part of the speeches? I'm all for customising the bits that I can!!!
  • There's another Monkton piece which we're having printed on the back of our table names as we both love it:

    That Still and Settled Place

    In that still and settled place

    There's nobody but you

    You're where I breath my oxygen

    You're where I see my view

    And when the worls feels full of noise

    My heart knows what to do

    It finds that still and settled place

    And dances there with you

    short but very sweet!

    hope it helps x

    [Modified by: DinkyDaisy on April 22, 2008 01:56 PM]
  • katiechopskatiechops Posts: 144
    My friends had "He never leaves the seat up" by Pam Ayres which was really sweet and described the couple perfectly.

    He never leaves the seat up

    Or wet towels upon the floor

    The toothpaste has the lid on

    And he always shuts the door!

    She's very clean and tidy

    Though she may sometimes delude

    Leave your things out at your peril

    In a second they'll have moved!

    He's a very active person

    As are all his next of kin

    Where as she likes lazy days

    He'll still drag her to the gym!

    He romances her and dines her

    Home cooked dinners and the like

    He even knows her favourite food

    And spoils her day and night!

    She's thoughtful when he looks at her

    A smile upon his face

    Will he look that good in 50 years

    When his dentures aren't in place?!

    He says he loves her figure

    And her mental prowess too

    But when gravity takes her over

    Will she charm with her IQ?

    She says she loves his kindness

    And his patience is a must

    And of course she thinks he's handsome

    Which in her eyes is a plus!

    They're both not wholly perfect

    But who are we to judge

    He can be pig headed

    Where as she won't even budge!

    All that said and done

    They love the time they spent together

    And I hope as I'm sure you do

    That this fine day will last forever.

    He'll be more than just her husband

    He'll also be her friend

    And she'll be more than just his wife

    She's be his soul mate -till the end.

    Not finalised yet, but think that four our wedding my sister will be reading the lyrics of In My Life by The Beetles and H2B's dad will be reading Corinthians (predictable I know, but it was the only one of the biblical readings suggested by our minister that we could agree on).

    Some other friends had the lyrics of We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters which was lovely, but for the rest of the ceremony the tune was stuck in my head!

  • skhaskinsskhaskins Posts: 476
    i've started collecting as many readings as possible in one place (about 160 so far) as i was having a nightmare finding readings i liked. i've tagged them all so you can search by tags to make it easier. they're all on help yourself!
  • termaganttermagant Posts: 120
    Sarah, thank you for posting all your hard work!

    I'm trying to pick two readings for friends to read at the moment, so it's much appreciated.
  • gindigindi Posts: 1,369
    Sarah - I've just started looking through your site and there are some beautiful readings there; thank you so much for doing all of that and then sharing it!
  • We're having A Lovely Love Story too! I love it.
  • KeepingMumKeepingMum Posts: 566
    Hi there

    We have taken a poem mentioned on here (thank you Katiechops) and severely personalised it. I should point out that after 8 years and 4 children we are going for the "fun relaxed make everyone smile" approach rather than the serious and emotional type of ceremony.

    I'd appreciate a second(third, fourth...) opinion though

    (The original is "He never leaves the seat up" and is earlier in the thread if you want to see)

    He always leaves the seat up

    And rice crispies on the floors

    The garage overflows with junk

    His clothes don't make the drawers

    She's not so clean and tidy

    (Though she may sometimes delude -

    If you leave your shoes around the place

    She soon gets in a mood!)

    He likes to potter round at night,

    To clean the kitchen bin

    Whereas she likes watching telly

    Once the soap operas begin

    He'll go and check the house out

    If a noise gives her a fright

    She tries to keep the children quiet

    So he can sleep at night

    She's thoughtful when he looks at her

    A smile upon his face

    Will he look that good in 50 years

    When his dentures aren't in place?!

    He says he loves her figure

    And her mental prowess too

    But when gravity takes her over

    Will she charm with her IQ?

    She says she loves his flapjacks

    And getting breakfast is a must

    And of course she thinks he's handsome

    Which in her eyes is a plus!

    They're both not wholly perfect

    But who are we to judge

    He can be apathetic

    Her opinion she wont budge!

    All that said and done

    They have lots of fun together

    And I hope as I am sure you do

    That this day will last forever.

    He'll be more than just her husband

    He'll also be her friend

    And she'll be more than just his wife

    She'll organise him -till the end!

    KM x

    [Modified by: KeepingMum on April 24, 2008 10:55 PM]

    [Modified by: KeepingMum on April 25, 2008 04:17 PM]
  • wearmydresswearmydress Posts: 122
    That's really fun, and I really like the pooh quote too. There's loads of great ideas here. I found an excerpt from "A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway that I really like, maybe it is too sappy, I don't know:

    At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.

    And I love this one too, but again, maybe too soppy:

    From "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams

    "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

    "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

    "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

    "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

    "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

    "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

  • LKM1985LKM1985 Posts: 795
    "He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same... I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been his miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it... my love for him resembles the eternal rocks beneath ???????? a source of little visible delight, but necessary... I am him ???????? he's always, always in my mind ???????? not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself ???????? but as my own being."

    I really want to use this is someway - i'm such a hopeless romantic, and I love the sentiment and weight behind the words! It's a bit one sided for a reading, but I love it! xx
  • I love that Wuthering Heights quote - I wanted to write it on our Save The Dates but Alan, my h2b, said it was too bleurgh even though it is his favourite book and he nearly proposed to me at Top Withens! Men!
  • LKM1985LKM1985 Posts: 795
    lol - it is a beautiful quote! they are contrary aren't they! xx
  • goneawaygoneaway Posts: 1,676
    Here's what we had for our second reading (this version is heavily abridged):

    I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

    I like you and I know why

    I like you because you are a good person to like

    I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it's special

    And you remember it a long, long time

    You say, Remember when you told me something special

    And both of us remember

    When I think something is important

    you think it's important too

    We have good ideas

    When I say something funny, you laugh

    I think I'm funny and you think I'm funny too


    I like you because you know where I'm ticklish

    And you don't tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes

    But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too

    You know how to be silly - that's why I like you

    If I am getting ready to pop a paper bag,

    then you are getting ready to jump


    I like you because when I am feeling sad

    You don't always cheer me up right away

    Sometimes it is better to be sad

    You can't stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute

    You want to think about things

    It takes time

    I like you because if I am mad at you

    Then you are mad at me too

    It's awful when the other person isn't

    They are so nice and oooh you could just about punch them on the nose

    I can't remember when I didn't like you

    It must have been lonesome then

    Even if it was the 999th of July

    Even if it was August

    Even if it was way down at the bottom of November

    I would go on choosing you

    And you would go on choosing me

    Over and over again

    And that's how it would happen every time.

  • RosyukRosyuk Posts: 4
    Romantic wedding ceremony readings that I found...

    Tell Me By Elizabeth Jennings


    Tell me where you go

    When you look faraway.

    I find I am too slow

    To catch your mood. I hear

    The slow and far-off sea

    And waves that beat a shore

    That could be trying to

    Call us toward our end,

    make us hurry through

    This little space of dark.

    Yet love can stretch it wide.

    Each life means so much work

    You are my wealth, my pride.

    The good side of me, see

    That you stay by my side

    Two roots of one great tree.


    At the Wedding March By Gerard Manley Hopkins


    God with honour hang your head,

    Groom, and grace you, bride, your bed

    With lissome scions, sweet scions,

    Out of hallowed bodies bred

    Each be other's comfort kind:

    Deep, deeper than divined,

    Divine charity, dear charity,

    Fast you ever, fast bind.

    Then let the March tread our ears:

    I to Him turn with tears

    Who to wedlock, his wonder wedlock.

    Deals triumph and immortal years.


  • Mrs-BooMrs-Boo Posts: 208
    We are having:

    Union by Robert Fulgrhum

    An extract from Les Miserables

    The Pam Ayres poem Yes I'll Marry You

    There is a great readings thread over on Indie Bride which I read through, yes every single page, before shortlisting my favourites for H2B, so that might help.

    I really wish we could have more readings, but I fear I would bore the guests to death. Shame...
  • Natty30Natty30 Posts: 2
    Thank you to everyone for all of these, I am feeling much calmer and organised already. Such beautiful readings and looking forward to searching for more now.
  • CetaceaCetacea Posts: 654

    I know the feeling, we got sent a book of readings when we gave notice and most of them just made we want to hurl violently. I was thinking of scrapping them altogether but found some great advice on Offbeat Bride (see links at end) and was inspired to have a look to see what I could find.

    We're now having a reading from Stardust by Neil Gaiman and one from the Golden Compass by Phil Pullman since we both love those books (both of which I think are quoted in the links at the bottome of the page).

    I also really like:

    "Falling in love is like owning a dog" by Taylor Mali

    First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
    especially in a city like New York.
    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.
    Somethimes 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 out for a nice long walk.
    Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
    and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
    at once, or wind itself around and around you
    until you’re all wound up and you cannot 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.


    Also like:


    "Love is" by Adrian Henri

    Love is...

    Love is feeling cold in the back of vans

    Love is a fanclub with only two fans

    Love is walking holding paintstained hands

    Love is.

    Love is fish and chips on winter nights

    Love is blankets full of strange delights

    Love is when you don't put out the light

    Love is

    Love is the presents in Christmas shops

    Love is when you're feeling Top of the Pops

    Love is what happens when the music stops

    Love is

    Love is white panties lying all forlorn

    Love is pink nightdresses still slightly warm

    Love is when you have to leave at dawn

    Love is

    Love is you and love is me

    Love is prison and love is free

    Love's what's there when you are away from me

    Love is...


  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    CetaceaCetacea, which reading are you having from Stardust? We looking ting one too as its my favourite book and H2B loves the film! Xx

  • CetaceaCetacea Posts: 654

    It might be from the film, been a while since I read the book (been so busy!) and found it online while searching for a non sappy reading, but all or portion of this speech by Yvaine:

    "You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn't true. I know a lot about love. I've seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and… What I'm trying to say, Tristan is… I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I'd know it for myself. My heart… It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it's trying to escape because it doesn't belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I'd wish for nothing in exchange – no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine."

    Our Amber Spyglass reading is:

    "I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I'll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again... I'll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you... We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams... And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won't just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight..."

    Bit concerned with that one as it alludes to the religion in the book, not sure if that's permissible since it's supposed to be non-religious- but then it's a fictional religion so not sure what the rules on that are!

  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    Yeah that's the reading I want!!! Our table names are being named after our favourite films and the top table will be called 'Stardust' so its all very fitting! Xx

  • Learning to give not always to take,
    learning to forgive each little mistake,
    learning to love whatever the cost,
    always remember alone you’d be lost.
    Trying so hard your partner to please,
    trying to save whilst paying the fees,
    trying to smile when things turn out wrong,
    Always remember to curb your tongue.
    Never think of only your self,
    never to say you wish you had wealth,
    never let your temper get hot,
    always be thankful for what you have got.
    If you remember all of these things,
    you will discover the joys that it brings,
    then you’ll have what so many folks miss,
    always you’ll have a marriage of bliss.

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