Wedding Readings – Non-Religious Content

Scroll down the page to find exactly the Reading or Poem you think fits the ethos of your Wedding Ceremony. Look carefully the words to find the expression of your love with which you are both comfortable.

Adapted from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

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…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…roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from your branches you find that you are one tree and not two.

Louis De Bernières

Celtic Blessing

May the raindrops fall gently on your brow,
May the soft winds freshen your spring,
May the sunshine brighten your hearts,
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you
And may you each enfold the other in the mantle of your love

Author unknown

From The Prophet

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.

Khalil Gibran

Hindu Love Poem

Let the earth of my body be mixed with the earth my beloved walks on.
Let the fire of my body be the brightness in the mirror that reflects his face
Let the water of my body join the waters of the lotus pool he bathes in
Let the breath of my body be air lapping his tired limbs
Let me be sky and moving through me the cloud dark shyama, my beloved.

Author Unknown

I will Be Here

I will be here.
I will be here, and you can cry on my shoulder, when the mirror tells us we’re older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty, and tell you all the things you are to me.
We’ll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I’ve made, to you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake, If the sun does not appear,I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love, hold my hand and have no fear.
I will be here.
I will be here, when you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we’ll be together, and I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake, if the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,

Steven Curtis Chapman

Put Your Hand On My Heart

Put your hand on my heart, say that you love me as
The woods upon the hills cleave to the hills’ contours.
I will uphold you, trunk and shoot and flowering sheaf,
And I will hold you, roots and fruit and fallen leaf.

E.J. Scovell

These I Can Promise

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.

Mark Twain

Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love

Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is full, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfil.

Edmund O’Neill

From Where We Belong

Then you rose into my life
Like a promised sunrise.
Brightening my days with the light in your eyes.
I’ve never been so strong,
Now I’m where I belong.

Maya Angelou

Wedding Day

Now comes the knitting, the tying, entwining into one,
Mysterious involvement of two, whole, separate people
Into something altogether strange and changing, new and lovely.
Nothing can be, we will never be, the same again:
Not merged into each other irrevocably, but rather
From now on we go the same way, in the same direction,
Agreeing not to leave each other lonely, or discouraged, or behind.
I will do my best to keep my promises to treasure you and keep you warm;
And we will make our wide bed beneath the bright
And ragged quilt of all the yesterdays that make us who we are,
The strengths and frailties we each bring to this marriage,
And we will be rich indeed.

Rowena Edlin-White

It is not enough to love passionately: you must also love well.
A passionate love is good doubtless, but a beautiful love is better.
If compassion does not enter into the feelings you have for one another,
these feelings will not always befit all the circumstances of your life together;
they will be like festive robes that will not shield you from wind and rain.
We love truly only those we love even in their weakness and their poverty.
To forbear, to forgive, to console – that is the science of love.

Anatole France

A Walled Garden

Your marriage should have within it, a secret and protected place, open to you alone.
Imagine it to be a walled garden, entered by a door to which only you hold the key.
Within this garden you will cease to be a mother, father, employee, homemaker or any other of the role which you fulfil in daily life.
Here you are yourselves – two people who love each other.
Here you can concentrate on one another’s needs.
So take each other’s hand and go back to your garden.
The time you spend together is not wasted but invested.
Invested in your future and the nurture of your love.

Author Unknown

The Art Of A Good Marriage

A good marriage must be created.
In the marriage, the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person, it is being the right partner.

Wilfred Arlan Peterson

Traditional Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May your days be good and long upon the earth.
May you live to see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

Author Unknown

The Keys To Love

The key to love is understanding…
The ability to comprehend
Not only the spoken word
But those unspoken gestures,
The little things that say
So much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness…
To accept each other’s faults
and pardon mistakes, without forgetting,
but remembering
what you learn from them.
The key to love is trust…
Though dark doubts
Lay in hollowed thoughts,
It must shine brightly on
With reassuring radiance
That suppresses fear with faith.
The key to love is sharing…
Facing your good fortunes
As well as the bad, together;
Both conquering problems –
Forever searching for ways
To intensify your happiness.
The key to love is giving…
Without thought of return,
But with the hope of just
A simple smile,
And by giving in, but never up.
The key to love is respect…
Realising that you are
Two separate people
With different ideas;
That you don’t belong to each other,
But that you belong with each other
And share a mutual bond.
The key to love is inside us all…
It takes time and patience
To unlock all the ingredients
That will take you to its threshold;
It is a continual learning process
That demands a lot of work…
But the rewards are more than
Worth the effort…
And you
Are the key
To me.

Robert M. Millay

I Love You…

I love you
For the kindness in your eyes
And the warmth in your voice,
For the honesty of your words
And the silence of your smile;
For the ways in which we’re similar,
And those in which we’re worlds apart.
For the openness of your understanding
And the acceptance of your heart;
For the tenderness of your touch
And the strength of your commitment,
For your sense of humour
And your seriousness of purpose;
For a thousand small reasons,
And one most important of all:
Simply because you are you.
In all of creation you are the one whom I cherish most,
The one with whom I hope to share my life:
Its joys, its sorrows, its accomplishments, its challenges,
While building our dreams together and growing everyday
In the love that makes us one.

Author Unknown

On Your Wedding Day

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 its way to your hearts
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
But today is the day it all starts

Author unknown

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I’m So Lucky To Have Found You

Once in a lifetime, you find someone who touches not only your heart,
but also your soul.
Once in a lifetime, you discover someone who stands beside you,
not over you.
Once in a lifetime, you find someone who loves you for who you are
and not who you could be.
Once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky,
you find someone as I have found you.

Author unknown


There is no better way
To live on this earth
Than to be friends,
Friends who will always
Love and
Stand by each other
‘til life’s end.
Who will share
Their lives together
Through good times
And bad, and
Who will bring joy
And comfort
To each other when times are sad.
Who will always stand together,
And stand strong.
To help share life’s burdens,
To help each other carry on,
Through the tears, through the pain,
Through the sun, through the rain,
No matter what happens to them
As friends, they will always remain.
So it is
That your friendship
Now has grown into love
And into marriage
Into a love
That is so beautiful to see.
So may your love
And your friendship
As you begin life together
Last you for an eternity
And as friends
May you both
Forever be.

Author Unknown

A good relationship has a pattern like a dance built on the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but swift and free, like a country-dance of Mozart’s. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endless beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back – it does not matter which, because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sonnet 116

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-fixèd mark,
That looks on tempests and is not shaken;
It is the star to every wandering 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 proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet,
But I, being poor, have only my dreams,
I have spread my dreams under your feet:
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats

I Promise

To let you see through the window of my world
Into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.
I promise to grow along with you,
To be willing to face changes in order to keep
Our relationship alive and exciting.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
With all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how – completely and forever
I promise to give you the best of myself
And to ask of you no more than you can give.
I promise to respect you as your own person
And to realise that your interests, desires and needs
Are no less important than my own.
I promise to share with you my time and my attention
And to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.
I promise to keep myself open to you,.

Dorothy R. Colgan

Today I marry my friend,
The one I have laughed and cried with,
The one I have learned from and shared with,
The one I have chosen to support, encourage,
And give myself to,
through all the days Given us to share.
Today I marry the one I love.

Bertrand Russell

Marriage Is Love

If two are caring as they’re sharing life’s hopes and fears,
If the music of laughter outweighs sadness or tears,
Marriage is togetherness.
If both derive pleasure from mere presence of each other,
Yet when parted no jealousies restrict, worry or smother,
Marriage is freedom.
If achievements mean more when they benefit two,
And consideration is shown with each point of view,
Marriage is respect.
And if togetherness, freedom and respect are combined,
With a joy that words can never fully define,
Then marriage is love.

Gloria Matthews

The Thoughts Of Nanushka

May your friendship and trust
Endure and strengthen
Through the winter of your lives-
And may your love
Be renewed
As surely as the blossoms
Adorn the trees each spring-
May your understanding of each other
Grow with your love
Until the wonder
Of each night and day
Become a lifetime
Of happiness together.

Nan Witcomb

From this day forward
You shall not walk alone

My heart will be your shelter
And my arms will be your home.

Author unknown

A Red Red Rose

O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O, my luve is like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns

O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast

O wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the angry airt,
I’d shelter thee, I’d shelter thee;
Or did Misfortune’s bitter storms
Around the blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,
To share it a’, to share it a’
Or were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a Paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there;
Or were I Monarch o’ the globe,
Wi’ thee to reign, wi’ thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my Crown
Wad be my Queen, wad be my Queen.

Robert Burns


If you treat each other kindly with compassion and with trust
And always let your feelings show,
If you laugh together often and enjoy the time you share,
But give each other space to learn and grow,
If you understand your differences, respecting who you are,
And put each other first in all you do-
Your marriage will be wonderful, a reason to feel proud,
And a special source of love, your whole lives through.

Author unknown

Apache Blessing

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years,
May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.
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, difficulties 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.

Author unknown

From Marriage Vow

Let our feelings for each other
Continue without diminishing
Only when mountains are levelled
To basins, when ocean waters run
Dry, when winter is ripped
With thunders, when the summer sky
Rains snow, and the heavens and earth
Are smashed together, shall we
Ever dare to be parted.

Ancient Chinese poem

From A North American Indian Marriage Ceremony

May the sun bring you new energies by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away any worries you may have
And the breeze blow new strength into your being.
And then, all the days of your life,
May you walk gently through the world
And know its beauty.
Now you will feel not the rain, for each will shelter the other.
Now you will feel not cold, for each will warm the other.
Now you will feel not solitude, for each will company the other.
Now you are two persons, but both will lead one life.
Go now to your dwelling to enter into the days of your life,
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Author unknown

Eskimo Love Song

You are my wife (husband)
My feet shall run because of you
My feet, dance because of you.
My heart shall beat because of you.
My eyes, see because of you.
My mind, think because of you.
And I shall love because of you.

Author unknown

Love Is The Reason

Love is the reason why this day
Was chosen by you both
To begin your lives together –
And love is the reason why you both
Will give with all your hearts
For the good of each other.
Love is the reason
That together you will become one –
One in hope,
One in believing in life and
One in sharing the coming years.

Brian Zouch

Blessing For A Marriage

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

James Dillet Freeman

Love puts the music in laughter, the beauty in song,
the warmth in a shoulder, the gentle in strong.
Love puts the magic in memories, the sunshine in skies,
the gladness in giving, the starlight in eyes
Love puts the fun in together, the sad in apart,
the hope in tomorrow, the joy in the heart.

T.E. Blackstone

Love Is

Love is
being happy for the other person
when they are happy
being sad for the other person when they are sad
being together in good times
and being together in bad times
Love is the source of strength.

Love is
being honest with yourself at all times
being honest with the other person at all times
telling, listening, respecting the truth
and never pretending
Love is the source of reality.

Love is
an understanding that is so complete that
you feel as if you are part of the other person
accepting the other person just the way they are
and not trying to change them to be something else
Love is the source of unity.

Love is
the freedom to pursue your own desires
while sharing your experience with the other person
the growth of one individual along side of
and together with the growth of another individual
Love is the source of success.

Love is
the excitement of planning things together
the excitement of doing things together
Love is the source of the future.

Love is
the fury of the storm
the calm of the rainbow
Love is the source of passion.

Love is
giving and taking in a daily situation
being patient with each others needs and desires
Love is the source of sharing.

Love is
knowing that other person
will always be with you regardless of what happens
missing the other person when they are away
but remaining near in heart at all times
Love is the source of security.

Love is
the source of life.

Susan Polis Schultz

A Dedication To My Wife

To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens our senses in our waking time
And the rhythm that governs the response of our sleeping time,
The breathing in unison
Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without the need of speech
And babble the same speech without need of meaning.
No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose garden which is ours and ours only
But this dedication is for others to read:
These are private words addressed to you in public.

T.S. Elliot

The Colour Of My Love

I’ll paint a sun to warm your heart
Knowing that we’ll never part
I’ll draw the years all passing by
So much to learn, so much to try.
I’ll paint my mood in shadow blue,
Paint my soul to be with you.
I’ll sketch your lips in shaded tones,
Draw your mouth to my own.
I’ll trace a hand to wipe your tears
And trace a look to calm your fears,
A silhouette of dark and light
To hold each other oh so tight.
I’ll paint the stars in the evening sky,
Draw the light into your eyes,
A touch of love, a touch of grace,
To softly fall on your moonlit face.
And with this ring our lives will start,
Let nothing keep our love apart.
I’ll take your hand to hold in mine,
And be together through all time.

David Foster and Arthur Janov


Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints,
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done,
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Seamus Heaney