Weddings

21 Wedding Readings That'll Make You Want To Marry The Next Person You Lay Eyes On

"It's you yourself. It's you. It's you I like."

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the readings they included in their wedding ceremony. Here are some of the most moving submissions:

2. This perfect passage for a non-religious ceremony:

Sjharmon / Getty Images

"Our ceremony was entirely non-religious, so it was a slight struggle to find appropriate readings. We ended up using 'Union' by Robert Fulghum. An excerpt:

'Before this moment you have been many things to one another: acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this — is my husband, this — is my wife.'"

blrmkr10

3. This insanely romantic letter from a French solider to his wife during WWI:

Eclipse_images / Getty Images

"I'm an historian and found one of our readings during one of my graduate seminars on the First World War. The reading is a letter sent from a French soldier to his wife, dated February 28, 1918.

Their incredibly preserved correspondence provided the basis for the book Your Death Would be Mine by Martha Hanna.

Section Historique de l'Armee de Terre, 1Kt T458, Correspondance entre le soldat Paul Pireaud et son espouse, 10 janvier 1910-1927, Letter from Paul Pireaud to Marie Andrieux 28 February 1918.

'My beloved,

I have never seen you so sweet so good so lovable and so confident

just the way I have wanted so often(.)

(W)ithout doubt you understood my dream(s) and my desires(,)

you could not imagine how happy that makes me

how happy you make me and how I love you

(T)here is no need for you to be afraid(.)

with hearts like ours nothing will ever tire them and nothing will break them

our love will keep us forever young

(A) love like the one I have for you will never die

even on the threshold of old age for me you will still be the young girl who charmed me

who made my heart beat hard

and who brought me such feelings of happiness

you will always be the one I love and that I will love forever with all my heart'

*Edits were mine for clarity and pacing."

prophetissima

4. This Carl Sagan quote that'll give you chills:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Getty Images

"We had a non religious ceremony and had a few Carl Sagan quotes that we had read. My favorite was 'For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.' From his novel 'Contact'. It still gives me chills."

katelynf

6. This inspiring passage from Les Miserables:

Den-belitsky / Getty Images

"The future belongs far more to the heart than to the mind. Love is the one thing that can fill and fulfill eternity. The infinite calls for the inexhaustible.

Love partakes of the soul, being of the same nature. Like the soul, it is the divine spark, incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is the fiery particle that dwells in us, immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine and nothing extinguish. We feel its glow in the marrow of our bones and see its brightness reaching to the depths of heaven.

Oh, love, adoration, the rapture of two spirits which know each other, two hearts which are exchanged, two looks which interpenetrate! You will come to me, will you not, this happiness! To walk together in solitude! Blessed and radiant days! I have sometimes thought that now and then moments my be detached from the lives of angels to enrich the lives of men.

God can add nothing to the happiness of those who love except to make it unending. After a lifetime of love an eternity of love is indeed an increase."

msuspartan

7. This beautiful excerpt from Paradise Lost:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Zachary Yong

"Paradise Lost, Book 4, Lines 639-655 — John Milton

'With thee conversing I forget all time,

All seasons and their change, all please alike.

Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,

With charm of earliest birds'"

ledavidson

8. This Mary Lambert song that'll make you cry:

Tattywelshie / Getty Images

"'Dear One' by Mary Lambert

'Where did you come from, bright star

What heaven did you leap from, dear love

How can I spell your name without the sound of

Autumn underneath my tongue

Without acknowledging the lovers who bent me in half

Bless them for bringing me to you

How can I say your name without

Also breathing the words, my God, I found you

How can I ever speak again with this mouth

When it has found where it belongs

When you touch me

I am a bed of calla lilies

I will make a house for you and fill it with evergreens

I will paint sunsets on every wall

So you can only see beautiful things

How can I say 'love' without wanting to fold myself into you

Like a thousand paper cranes

Dear one

I was halved the moment I was born

The other piece of me is inside of your mouth

And I was found whole the moment you spoke'"

andyz4bf8c0b06

9. This passage on love being a fortunate accident:

Nataliamills / Getty Images

“'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 promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. 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.'

―Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

jenniferlegerm

10. This classic passage from The Velveteen Rabbit:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Getty Images

"We had one of our best friends read from The Velveteen Rabbit (my favorite childhood book):

'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 often happen 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.'"

kralc1982

11. This lovely short story by Dave Eggers:

Mykolasenyuk / Getty Images

"I landed on Dave Eggers' 'About The Man Who Began Flying After Meeting Her'. Nobody understood why I chose it, and that doesn't really matter. All that matters is it was perfect for the day."

drea7is7fancy

12. This adorable story about dinosaurs:

Dottedhippo / Getty Images

"'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.'"

theatercab

13. This passage on love being the ultimate outlaw:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Getty Images

"For a friend's wedding they didn't want anything religious, and I wanted to do something unique. I settled on a passage from Tom Robbins' Still Life With Woodpecker. I almost regretted it, because I wanted to use it for my own wedding two years later!

'Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words 'make' and 'stay' become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.'"

—Natalie Geist Iscoe, Facebook

14. This poem, which is perfect for dog lovers:

Creatista / Getty Images

"We used 'How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog' by Taylor Mali. It's popular in certain circles (crazy pet people) but pretty much unheard of otherwise. I was on the fence about doing a reading at all, because we were planning a very simple secular ceremony and most of them were too froofy for us, but we loved this one."

mrskchicago

15. This bible passage on two being better than one:

Dariazu / Getty Images

"I'm religious and my fiancé is not, so we compromised with Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 which talks about how two people who work together are stronger than one person alone. It's very sweet and not as well known of a passage, which complements us both because he doesn't want an obviously religious ceremony while I still want parts to still be traditional and religious."

alyssaw47613c1f9

16. This sweet reading about hands:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Getty Images

"My sister didn't like the idea of a unity candle or sand ceremony, so I found the idea of a handfasting, and this is what they read while their hands were wrapped:

'Love each other from this day forward, and these will be the hands that you hold tomorrow, and the next day, and into the next decade. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build your life together, the hands that will touch you with love and tenderness through the years, and the hands that will comfort you like no others’ can. These are the hands that will hold you through grief, fear, and hardship. These are the hands that will wipe tears of joy and sorrow from your eyes, and the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will hold your family together, and that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands, that when wrinkled and spotted with age, will still be reaching for yours.'"

greenrose88

17. This timeless Shakespeare sonnet:

Bigemrg / Getty Images

"My friend had Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 read at her wedding:

'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 wand'ring 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 prov'd,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.'"

—Morgan Pulitzer, Facebook

18. This swoon-worthy Celtic poem:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Getty Images

"I'm pagan and my husband is catholic, so we thought Celtic was the way to go:

'You cannot possess me for I belong to myself

But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give

You cannot command me for I am a free person

But I shall serve you in those ways you require

And the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand

I vow you the first cut of my meat, the first sip of my wine

From this day it will be only your name I cry out in the night

And into your eyes that I smile in the morning

I shall be a shield for your back as you are for mine

Nor shall a grievous word be spoken about us

For our marriage is sacred and no stranger will hear my grievance

Above and beyond this I will cherish and honor you

Through this life and into the next'"

—Michele McNally, Facebook

19. These surprisingly appropriate Alkaline Trio lyrics:

Aldomurillo / Getty Images

"Our officiant surprised us by reading the first verse of Alkaline Trio's 'Every Thug Needs a Lady':

'I know it's dark here, you know that I'm scared too

For some reason right now, of everything but you

Right now you're all that I recognize

You know I came here when I needed your soft voice

I needed to hear something that sounded like an answer

Now I wait here, and sometimes I get one'

My husband and I love Alkaline Trio so this was an awesome surprise and surprisingly sweet."

—Myranda Whitesides, Facebook

20. These rules that still apply from kindergarten:

Joshuaraineyphotography / Getty Images

"We had a reading from Robert Fulghum's 'All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten':

'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…

Share everything.

Play fair.

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.

Flush.

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.'"

—Danielle Smith, Facebook

21. And finally, these eternally wonderful words from Mr. Rogers:

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Getty Images

"We had our officiant read the lyrics from a Mr. Rogers song:

'It's you I like.

Not the things you wear,

Not the way you do your hair,

But it's you I like.

The way you are right now.

The way down deep inside you.

Not the things that hide you.

Not your toys,

They're just beside you.

It's you I like.

Every part of you.

Your skin, your eyes, your feelings,

Whether old or new.

I hope that you remember

Even when you're feeling blue,

That it's you I like.

It's you yourself.

It's you.

It's you I like.'"

—Justine Fitting, Facebook

Submissions have been lightly edited for length/clarity.

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