Weddings are the time to celebrate love to the fullest! There are many decisions you will have to consider when planning your wedding day. One of those decisions is choosing which readings will be in your ceremony. You may ask, ”Do you have to have readings at a wedding?” Well, no, but they do add a special touch to your vows, especially if you have decided not to write your own. Have no fear, though, because I have attended more weddings than I can number at this point in my career as a wedding photographer, and I can help you. That and I am also an avid reader and book nerd who loves poetry. Below are a selection of some of my favorite readings and poems to get you started.
Variation on the Word Sleep
Margaret Atwood (1939)
I would like to watch
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head
walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear
would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in
would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
Every choice is always the wrong choice,
Every vote cast is always cast away-
How can truth hover between alternatives?
Then love me more than dearly, love me wholly,
Love me with no weighing of circumstance,
As I am pledged in honour to love you:
With no weakness, with no speculation
On what might happen should and I prove less
Than bringers-to-be of our own certainty.
Neither was born by hazard: each foreknew
The extreme possession we are grown into.
Untitled (Ancient Egyptian Reading)
Translated by Michael V. Fox. This reading was found as hieroglyphics on a vase dating back to between 1300-1100 B.C.E.
This love is as good
As oil and honey to the throat,
As linen to the body,
As fine garments to the gods,
As incense to worshippers,
When they enter in,
As the little seal-ring
To my finger.
It is like a ripe pear
In a man’s hand,
It is like the dates
We mix with wine,
It is like the seeds
The baker adds to bread.
We will be together
Even when old age comes.
And the days in between will be food set before us,
Dates and honey, bread and wine.
D. H. Lawrence
Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers.
In summer, and love but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminifera,
Older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
Slowly a gem forms, in ancient, once-more-molten rocks
Of two human hearts, two ancient rocks, a man’s heart and a woman’s,
That is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
The sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
My Hope for You
I hope these poems give you an appetite to search for the perfect passage for your wedding ceremony! If you enjoyed reading these, let me know because I love to hear back from those who read what I post.
I have also written ceremonies for my clients, and helping others tell their story is the best part of being a creative entrepreneur. If you need help finding the perfect reading for your wedding, contact me, and I will do my best to assist you. Nonetheless, my hope for you is that you enjoy the entire path to your wedding day and that you are forever blessed in your union!