Wedding Wednesday Discussions: Wedding Readings – What will you Choose?

I was asked a couple of weeks ago if I could write a post on wedding readings by one of my readers, they had been having trouble choosing something suitable for their wedding. So as promised here it is!

Some people choose readings for their weddings and some choose to leave this part out. Personally I think it’s always a nice touch to add a reading or two to a wedding ceremony especially if you are not in a church, as all too often the ceremony can fly by and be over before it’s has even began! A reading can really personalise a wedding ceremony and you can really add your own stamp to the proceedings. It is also a lovely way to involve your guests, anyone would be privileged to be asked to read at your wedding.

Now as a wedding planner I have been to a lot of weddings and I have to admit I do hear a lot of the same readings which can become a bit predictable, so today I wanted to share a few that have been suggested to me that are a little less traditional.
I’d then like to open up the discussion to you. I’d love to know what you have chosen, or if you are already married what you actually chose for your wedding day.

Claire Penn (photo credit Claire Penn)


So a few things to think about when choosing a reading

  1. Is it appropriate? remember where you are! A Church reading may need to be different to an outdoor ceremony reading
  2. Is it personal to you? there is no point choosing something if it doesnt mean anything to you, it has to have some sort of sentiment
  3. Is the person giving the reading a confident public speaker? You may want your best friend to give the reading but if he or she is quite and shy this could be their worst nightmare!
  4. Length, don’t choose something to long!………..or to short!
  5. Presentation, always try to write the reading out on a nice piece of paper or card, a scrappy bit of notepaper doesn’t look good!


OK So to start the ball rolling I thought I would share with your first the readings I had at my wedding.

The First one is a poem I actually wrote for Nik when we first met. It was in our first 6 months of seeing each other and he was about to move from Sheffield to London, I never thought a long distance relationship would work but we did it and after that he moved in with me!

The second is a poem by Tracey Emin that Nik chose, I think it worked perfectly for us!


This Man – By me (For Nik)

There’s a man I’ve met recently,
That although younger in years,
Is as wise and true as our fathers.
He brings with him a genuine nature
And a respect for those around him.
He brings with him warmth and affection,
And humor that brings a twinkle to my eye.
He came without me knowing,
When I was least expecting it,
But when I close my eyes he’s still there,
In ever day dream and thought throughout the night,
And when I wake up next to him
I feel like I’m in heaven,
His touch is magical, His kiss like nectar.
The worlds a blur when I’m with him,
While no-one and nothing else matters,
With him there’s no pretenses, no games,
No heartache, no confusion,
Just a new breath of life, which has restored my faith.
There’s distance between us, many miles to travel,
But this man I’ve fund is always close to my heart,
And with every heartbeat a bond that grows stronger.
When he leaves me I grow sad,
But still happy in the knowledge,
That although the road is long,
The adventure in front of us is even longer.

Boho Wedding (photo from my wedding  –  Photography: www.anniepeelphotography.com )


For Now by Tracey Emin

But do not hurry me,
But do not push me,
But do not crush me’
But do not change me
Let us stay the way we are

But do not consume me,
But do not frighten me,
But do not scare me.
But do not change me
Let us learn from the way we are

But do not smother me,
But do not break me,
But do not suffocate me,
Let me love you
Just the way you are………..


Boho Wedding (photo from my wedding  –  Photography: www.anniepeelphotography.com )



So those are mine, here are 6 that have been suggested to me, the first one is my favouiote and I had me in tears when I read it!


Edward Monkton’s Lovely Dinosaur story

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.

Lee Allen Photography (photo credit Lee Allen )


Chaka Khan Ain’t Nobody

Captured effortlessly
That’s the way it was
It happened so naturally
I did not know it was love
The next thing I felt was you
Holdin’ me close
What was I gonna do?
I let myself go

And now we’re flyin’ through the stars
I hope this night will last forever

I’ve been waitin’ for you
It’s been so long
I knew just what I would do
When I heard your song
It filled my heart with your bliss
Gave me freedom
You knew I could not resist
I needed someone

And now we’re flyin’ through the stars
I hope this night will last forever

Ain’t nobody
Loves me better
Makes me happy
Makes me feel this way
Ain’t nobody
Loves me better, than you

I wait for night time to come
And bring you to me
Can’t believe I’m the one
I was so lonely
I feel like no one could feel
I must be dreamin’
I want this dream to be real
I need this feelin’

I make my wish upon a star
And hope this night will last forever

Ain’t nobody
Loves me better
Makes me happy
Makes me feel this way
Ain’t nobody
Loves me better
Ain’t nobody
Loves me better, than you

And first you put your arms around me
Then you put your charms around me
I can’t resist this sweet surrender
Oh! My nights are warm and tender
We stare into each other’s eyes
And what we see is no surprise
Got a feelin’ most with treasure
And a love so deep we cannot measure

Ain’t nobody
Loves me better
Makes me happy

Christine Meintjes (photo credit Christine Meintjes )


The owl and the pussy Cat – Edward Lear

In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married nest day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

eye capture photography (Photo credit Eye Capture)


Baz Luhrmann Lyrics – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering
experience…I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you
imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people
think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever
own.. Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out. Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will
look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen…

S6 Photography (photo credit S6 Photography)


On Marriage Kahlil Gibran

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

jay moutford photography (Photo credit Jay Mountford )


Us Two by A A 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 myself,” 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, those 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 dragons!”- 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.

photos by Zoe (photo credit Photos by Zoe)


If you don’t like any of these suggestions then why not try a few of these websites, they all offer a host of suggestions.


So now it’s your turn, I’d love to hear your suggestions! Join in the discussion below and either add the title and the author into the comment box of if you have access to the whole reading  copy and past it in so we can all read it.

Big Boho Love

Kelly xxx

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    Charlotte Sissons

    I’m getting married a month today in a church ceremony and we’re having two readings. The first, a poem my friend found and sent to me along with a few others but it was this one that made me cry so I knew it was the one!

    The One (unsure on who the author is)

    When the one whose hand you’re holding
    Is the one who holds your heart
    When the one whose eyes you gaze into
    Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
    When the one you think of first and last
    Is the one who holds you tight,
    And the things you plan together
    Make the whole world seem just right,
    When the one whom you believe in
    puts their faith and trust in you,
    You’ve found the one and only love
    You’ll share your whole life through.

    And for the second we’re having a modern take on the biblical tale of Ruth and Boaz, who’s coming together wasn’t a coincidence but was their destiny!

    I love the dinosaur story though, and Ain’t Nobody will be on our playlist! x

    Bespoke Verse - Jo

    I adore the poem you wrote for your husband! I’m constantly being asked to write funny & meaningful poems for wedding readings (and speeches). It’s refreshing for guests to hear something so unique and personal to the couple. Thx for a great blog x


    We are having the Edward Monkton story (so glad you like it!) and also “real” from The Velveteen Rabbit. Although we have slightly changed one bit to avoid laughter…see if you can guess which bit :)

    Rachel Patti

    I love my readings – A Lovely Love Story and Us Two – because we’re neither of us into too much soppiness. The boy was hard to convince to have a poem at all because he didn’t see why you would have a poem at a wedding, but one about how nice it is to do things together was an easy enough win for me :-)

    And we ARE the dinosaurs in that story.

    Katie Swift

    I love your blog and this article has just helped us find our ideal, and also relevant, wedding reading :) Thank you


    Hi Katie, so glad i can be of help!, what have you pciked? and yes Helen the Edward Monkton story is amazing!

    Rachel Patti

    Also – I read The Owl and the Pussycat at my sister’s wedding and it had my uncle in tears of laughter. Definitely a good one!


    @ Charlotte – I’d love a copy or a link or whatever to the Ruth and Boaz reading you’ve schosen. it’s always a story that I have loved!

    We haven’t even begun to think readings yet, but these were all food for thought – especially the one poem. I adore the Dinosaurs!!


    The Future by Emma Salmon

    In my future I see you and me,
    And a house and garden filled with trees.
    I see dinner parties surrounded by friends,
    And a vegetable patch we love to tend.
    I see cosy nights in front of the fire,
    And a four-poster bed for when we tire.
    I see our kitchen which will be the heart of the home,
    And a Victorian bath brimming with foam.
    I see muddy wellies by the front door,
    And the kids eating cookies and asking for more.
    I see nights in the garden camping under the stars,
    And shelves full of mismatching local jam jars.
    I see family picnics outside with the dog,
    And a little blue shed containing the logs.
    I see us sat by the window watching the snow,
    And reading the papers and learning to grow.
    I see pictures of family in quirky frames,
    And letters on the kids’ doors spelling out their names.
    I see laughter, pain, kisses and tears,
    And helping each other to confront our fears.
    I see you as my friend and also my lover,
    Your confidant and your children’s mother.
    I see a wonderful future for you and I,
    And it’s cloaked in love until we die.

    Literary Kitty

    Thanks soooo much for these. I’ve been really struggling and this has so many awesome options! I think I’m going for On Marriage as my wedding is gonna be in a church and it suits, but I would love the owl and the pussycat!!


    I Love the story of the dinosaurs. Espeacially since you can alter the details of each dinosaurs personality to reflect the bride and groom. I am using at on my wedding day since we met when we were young and are now old dinosaurs (14 years later) and getting married.


    Me and my other half have been together nearly seven years, so a lot of this ‘His kiss is like nectar’ stuff is way, way too sappy. We weren’t a fan of the kiddy Winnie The Pooh stuff, and we’re quite geeky together. Initially I was going to go with Spike’s speech from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (‘you’re a hell of a woman, Buffy. You’re the one.’) until we actually watched the clip and realised she said afterwards ‘But I don’t want to be the one.’

    We went with ‘These I Can Promise’ – a lot of places attribute this to Mark Twain but I can’t actually find a real source for that. I think it’s by Anonymous.

    “I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
    I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
    I cannot promise you an easy pathway
    That leads away from change or growing old.
    But I can promise all my heart’s devotion;
    A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
    A love that’s ever true and ever growing;
    A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.”

    I’m not a Disney Princess. He’s not a frog Prince. We’re not stars or owls and pussycats or trees. We’re just us, and we’re making this short, confusing, awesome life work through judicious application of wine, video games and cats. And each other. Of course.


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