Wedding Readings: Civil Ceremonies

Continuing on from our series on wedding readings I’m now going to talk a little on Civil Ceremonies. The most important thing to remember is you cannot have any reading that includes religious content, so no bible readings and no poems mentioning god. But that aside, the world is your oyster, you can have extracts from books or songs, poems or even quotations from a film you love. It was tough shortening my list to just 5, I’d love to hear what your favourite readings are.

‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernieres

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 eternal passion. 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. 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.

The Irrational Season, by Madeleine L’Engle

Ultimately there comes a time when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling.”

An Apache Wedding

Now you will feel no rain,

For each of you will be shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

For each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no more loneliness for you,

For each of you will be companion to the other.

Treat yourselves and each other with respect,

and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness

that your connection deserves.

When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship;

as they threaten all relationships at one time or another,

remember to focus on what is right between you,

not only the part which seems wrong.

In this way, you can ride out the storms

when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives,

remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment,

the sun is still there.

And if each of you takes responsibility

for the quality of your life together,

it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Go now to your dwelling place,

to enter into the days of your life together.

And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

The Day, Author unknown

May this day be the start of a happy new life

that’s full of special moments to share

May this be the first of your dreams come true

and of hope that will always be there…

May this be the start of a lifetime of trust

and of caring that’s now begun


May today be a day that you’ll always remember

the day when your hearts become one….


The Bridge Across Forever – by Richard Bach (1984)

A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

On Your Wed­ding Day (seen on English Wedding) Author unknown

Today is a day you will always remem­ber The great­est in anyone’s life You’ll start off the day just two peo­ple in love And end it as Hus­band and Wife It’s a brand new begin­ning, the start of a jour­ney With moments to cher­ish and trea­sure And although there’ll be times when you both dis­agree These will surely be out­weighed by plea­sure You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past When the secrets of mar­riage were spo­ken But you know that the answers lie hid­den inside Where the bond of true love lies unbro­ken So live happy for­ever as lovers and friends It’s the dawn of a new life for you As you stand there together with love in your eyes From the moment you whis­per ‘I do’ And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real May suc­cess find it’s way to your hearts Tomor­row can bring you the great­est of joys But today is the day it all starts.

 Photo Credit: Mark Bothwell



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