A Variety of Non Religious Readings and Poems for Weddings/Partnership Ceremonies


We know from our own experience from planning our wedding some 6 years ago now how difficult it is surfing the net looking for readings. With this is mind we have put together a small selection for you to have a read through and hopefully find one that will fit perfectly with your ceremony. Where at all possible we have given the author’s name and/or stated where it came from – these were not written by me (although there’s an idea for another day). Not every ceremony is typical… you make it special in your own way and can do this by chosing how many readings you would like as you can have as many as 3/4 if the Registrar has no objection.

Lets Begin – happy reading :-)……

An extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Love is 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. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree not two.

A Parent’s Tribute
Today seemed a lifetime away, now suddenly it’s here
How did it happen so quickly, this wedding drawing near?
How can I sound so happy on this very special day,
When in such a very short time I’ll give my daughter away.
I wish I could grasp a moment and make the clock stand still
So I could let my heart catch up, but I know I never will
All the worries of being a parent, most of the battles won
But no-one ever warned me about the day the job is done.
Yet there is another side, where my heart is not so sad
When I look into my daughter’s eyes, I feel joyful and glad
For I know that I was privileged when this child was lent to me
To love and care for and nurture, so she would grow to be
This lovely, bright young woman, today – a beautiful bride
And as always I and there, with love, at my daughter’s side.

Let me Not to the Marriage of True Minds
(Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare)

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 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.

The Wonders of Today
by Larry Chengges

If you can always be as close
and happy as today,
Yet be secure enough to grow
and change along the way…

If you can keep for you alone
your love as man and wife.
yet find the time to share your joy,
with others in your life….

If you can be as one,
and walk through marriage
hand in hand,
yet still support the goals and dreams
that each of you have planned…

If you can dare to always go
your separate ways together
Then all the wonders of today
will stay with you forever..

Ordinary Morning
by Joyce Grenfell

It felt like an ordinary morning
It began an ordinary way
And then, without warning
Ordinary morning Became and extraordinary day.

Hadn’t the slightest sort of inklin_
No-one said love was on its way_
And then within a twinkling
Without the smallest inkling
It became an extraordinary day.

For there you were
And the whole world stood still.
There you were,
I loved you then and I always will

At first, an ordinary morning,
Began in an ordinary way,
And then my heart was beating
At this ordinary meeting
And we both knew
This was not an ordinary day.

To my bride
by Victor Hugo an extract from Les Miserables

To my bride, I give you my heart
Sharing love each day, from the very start.
To my bride, I give you my kiss
Filling each day with joy and bliss.
To my bride I give you my being
To love, to play, to work and to sing
To my bride I give you my mind
Learning each day to be more kind.
To my bride I give you my soul
Growing together to be more whole.
To my bride I give you my life
Rejoicing each day that you are my wife.

Love and Friendship
by Emily Bronte

Love is like the wild rose-briar
Friendship like the holly tree
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then, scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck with thee the holly’s sheen,
Then when December blights thy brow
He still may leave thy garland green.

Yes I’ll Marry You my Dear
by Pam Ayres

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear, and here’s the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed when the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking and it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch you see, and you investigate.

Yes I’ll marry you, my dear, you may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes it’s you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me it’s you that has to whack him.

Yes, I’ll marry you, You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty you can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas, you can cook it every night!

It’s you who has to work the drill and put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you, and so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!

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


Maybe, We are supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that,
when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift
Maybe, it is true that we don’t know what we have got until we lose it,
but it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives
Maybe, the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything that comes along their way
Maybe, the best kind of love is the kind you can sit on a sofa together and never say a word,
and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had
Maybe, you shouldn’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
Maybe, you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy
Maybe, Love is not about finding the perfect person,
it’s about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

How Do I Love Thee
by Elizabeth Barratt Browning

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 everyday’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! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

The Art of a Good Marriage
by Wilfred Arian Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In 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 a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other,
not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
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 establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right person, it is being the right partner.

From an American Indian Ceremony – Apache Blessing
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries
and the breeze blow new strength into your being.
And all the days of your life may you walk
gently through the world and know its beauty.
Now you feel no cold, for each other will warm the other
Now there are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your life together and may your days
be good and long upon the earth.

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.

2 thoughts on “A Variety of Non Religious Readings and Poems for Weddings/Partnership Ceremonies

    • Hi Niki, I’m not really sure if the truth be known, it may have been written and then submitted anonymously.

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