I need a great, unique wedding reading

I’m going to be presiding over a wedding in January an I would greatly appreciate recommendations for a reading. There are some parameters that limit the scope of my search for the appropriate passage. This is to be a non-religious ceremony (I’m in the midst of getting ordination through Universal Life Church), though there will be the glass breaking at the end of the ceremony.
The wedding ceremony will be fairly short, so I’m looking for something that’s not too long, perhaps a minute or two to recite. I’ve been searching the interweb for suggestions and have not had a great deal of success - Khalil Gibran is too heavy and Dr Seuss is too light.
They’re in their 30’s and both have artistic sensibilities and taste, and though they both have plenty of cynicism, they also have a great deal of love for each other.
If more info is needed, more details about the couple, that could help, please ask away.

Sorry, what’s that glass breaking thing? A google for “glass breaking wedding” says it’s from Jewish weddings, but I can’t access any of the first five links from work.

Is there any specific kind of literature they both like? Would song lyrics read as a poem work? If this was in Spanish I’d be looking at some Bécquer to start with… he’s from the Romantic period. Who would be a good resource for poetic (but not necessarily verse) fragments about love in English, from that same period? The only name I can come up with is Byron, me not study English Lit, sorry.

Our reading was I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke. I’m guessing I’m not allowed to post the words here, so I’ll do a link instead: http://www.cyberspike.com/clarke/yours.html

Yes, it is from Jewish weddings. A wine glass (doesn’t have to be, but it’s most often used) is wrapped in a cloth, and after the bride and groom are pronounced husband and wife and kiss, the stomp on the glass together. As far as the meaning, it is interpreted differently. Here are some meanings:

Thanks, sandra_nz!!

Ogden Nash’s Tin Wedding Whistle

We had one of Feste’s songs from Twelfth Night on our wedding program:

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear; your true love’s coming,
That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man’s son doth know.

I’ve always favored
Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali

On a more modern note, you could check out “Sex Lives of Vegetables” by Lorna Crozier, a Canadian poet. It’s a collection of 17 short poems about vegetables and love. Here’s Onions, a meditation on self-love, and Cucumbers. The top-rated poem in the collection, however, is “Carrots” (can’t find it on-line), which begins:

“Carrots are fucking the earth…”

Curiously, both our maid of honour and our best man independently found that one…

This was read at my wedding. It went over great.

Thank you for the suggestion Drain Bead - I’ve submitted it for approval.
Much appreciated for the ode, Northern Piper and for making me aware of Lorna Crozier - those are brilliant.
I really like that Taylor Mali poem, thanks for the mention, Hello Again.

We had part of an old Erma Bombeck Valentine’s Day column that I really love. It’s one of those “Love Is” lists, about the little everyday expressions of love and caring rather than sentimental or romantic gestures. Stuff like “Love is never going on a diet when you’re fat,” or “Love is being mad at the kids at the same time you’re mad at them.” “Love is moving the car seat all the way up when I get out so you won’t have to move it when you get in.”

I’m also looking for non-religious wedding readings, and I’ve always loved Ogden Nash. I think that poem will probably make it into the ceremony. Thanks!

Here’s another one, about the hopes (and risks!) that go into marriage, from Yeats: He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven. Since it may still be in copyright, I’ll only quote the last few lines:

I have always loved the EE Cummings’ poem, “I Carry Your Heart”. I don’t know about unique as I think it’s been used often for weddings, but I think it’s beautiful. Here’s a link:


That’s one of my favorite poems. Another of my favorites is the brilliant Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Love Is Not All.”


You could try the introduction to “Generation of Swine” by Hunter S. Thompson. It’s one of the most amazing pieces of writing I’ve ever seen, and would certainly cover the uniqueness requirement. Whether it is great for a wedding remains to be seen.

A.E. Housman’s probably a little too much, isn’t he? :smiley:

Yeats “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

psst - see post 14. :cool: