23 Mostly Not Cheesy, Pretty Good, Mostly Not Too Long Ceremony Readings

23 Mostly Not Cheesy, Pretty Good, Mostly Not Too Long Ceremony Readings

Finding the perfect reading from your ceremony can be ridiculously hard work- I remember! I find they are either too long, too cheesy or just too deep. Here’s a list that contains mostly not cheesy, pretty good and mostly not too long readings for your wedding ceremony. Happy reading!

May your love be firm
and may your dream of life together
be a river between two shores

By day bathed in sunlight
and by night illuminated from within

May the heron 
carry news of you to the heavens
and the salmon bring the sea’s blue grace

May your twin thoughts
spiral upward
 like leafy vines
like fiddle strings in the wind
and be as noble as the Douglas fir

May you never find yourselves
back to back
 without love
pulling you around
 into each other’s arms

James Bertolino


It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk
looking like a fool for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive

It doesn’t interest me what planets
are squaring with your moon
I want to know if you have
touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it or fix it

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human

It doesn’t interest me if the story
you are telling me is true
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul
if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy

I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it’s not pretty
every day
and if you can source your own life from its presence

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes!’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live
or how much money you have
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done to feed the children

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here
I want to know if you will stand alone
in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back



Why Marriage?

Because of the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night,
With someone who is thankful for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold…

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship…

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements…

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole…

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage…

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless
and our love will last forever…

Dena Acolatse


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 compel one another
May you embrace 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


A soulmate is someone who has
locks that fit our keys
and keys to fit our locks

When we feel safe enough to open the locks
our truest selves step out
and we can be completely
and honestly who we are
we can be loved for who we are
and not for who we’re pretending to be

Each unveils the best part of the other
No matter what else goes wrong around us
with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise
Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings
our sense of direction

When we’re two balloons
and together our direction is up
chances are we’ve found the right person

Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life

Richard Bach


If you do not believe that
hearts can bloom suddenly bigger
and that love can open like a flower
out of even the hardest places
then I am afraid that for you
the road will be long and brown and barren
and you will have trouble finding the light

But if you do believe
then you already know all about magic

Lauren Oliver


May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow
May the soft winds freshen your spirit
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again my friend
May God hold you in the palm of his hand
May God be with you and bless you
May you see your children’s children
May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in Blessings
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward
May green be the grass you walk on
May blue be the skies above you
And from this day forward
May the joys of today
Be those of tomorrow.

Traditional Irish Blessing


Sooner or later we begin to understand
that love is more than verses on valentines
and romance in the movies

We begin to know that love is here and now
real and true
the most important thing in our lives

For love is the creator of our favorite memories
and the foundation of our fondest dreams

Love is a promise that is always kept
a fortune that can never be spent
a seed that can flourish in
even the most unlikely of places

And this radiance that never fades
this mysterious and magical joy
is the greatest treasure of all
– one known only by those who love.



These are the hands of your partner
young and strong and full of love
holding your hands as you promise to love each other
today, tomorrow, and forever

These are the hands that will work alongside yours
as together you build your future

These are the hands that will hold you
and comfort you in grief and uncertainty

These are the hands that will countless times
wipe the tears from your eyes
tears of sorrow and joy

These are the hands that will hold your family as one

These are the hands that will give you strength

And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged
will still be reaching for yours
still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch



I carry your heart with me
I carry it in my heart
I am never without it
Anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling

I fear no fate
For you are my fate, my sweet
I want no world
For beautiful you are my world, my true

And you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart
I carry it in my heart

E.E. Cummings


I love you, not only for what you are
But for what I am

When I am with you, I love you
Not only for what you have made of yourself
But for what you are making of me

I love you for the part of me
That you bring out

I love you for putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help

Dimly seeing there and for drawing out
Into the light all the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked quite far enough to find

I love you because you are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern, but a temple

Out of the works of my every day
Not a reproach, but a song

I love you because you have done
More than any creed could have done
To make me good and more than any fate
Could have done to make me happy

You have done it without a touch
Without a word, without a sign

You have done it by being yourself

Perhaps that is what being a friend means
After all

Roy Croft


On cold winter nights
love is warm
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises

Love can wake you up
all hours of the night with its needs

Love can give you a sense of security
When you’re walking down the street late at night
and when you have a leash on love
ain’t no one gonna mess with you

Love needs to be fed
so it will grow and stay healthy
Love does not like being left alone for long

But come home and love is always happy to see you

Love may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life
but you can never be mad at love for long

Love leaves you little surprises here and there
Love makes messes

Sometimes you just want to get love fixed
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose

But then love gives you big kisses
And you laugh at the little things

Sometimes love just wants to play
Running you around the block
leaving you panting
It pulls you in several different directions at once
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move
And love brings you together

People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk and greet each other on the street
Most importantly
love needs love
and lots of it.

And in return
love loves you and loves you and never stops
Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog

Taylor Mali


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 a 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 experiences with the other person
the growth of one individual alongside 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 other’s needs and desires
Love is the source of sharing

Love is
knowing that the 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 Schutz


What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful
It has altered the flow of history
calmed monsters
kindled works of art
cheered the forlorn
turned tough guys to mush
consoled the enslaved
driven strong women mad
glorified the humble
fueled national scandals
bankrupted robber barons
and made mincemeat of kings

How can love’s spaciousness
be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable?
Love is an ancient delirium
a desire older than civilization
with taproots spreading into deep and mysterious days

The heart is a living museum
In each of its galleries
no matter how narrow or dimly lit
preserved forever like wondrous diatoms
are our moments of loving
and being loved

Diane Ackerman


Love is a mighty power
a great and complete good

Love alone lightens every burden
and makes rough places smooth

It bears every hardship as though it were nothing
and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable

Nothing is sweeter than love
nothing stronger
nothing higher
nothing wider
nothing more pleasant
nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth
for love is born of God

Love flies, runs and leaps for joy
It is free and unrestrained
Love knows no limits
but ardently transcends all bounds

Love feels no burden
takes no account of toil
attempts things beyond its strength
Love sees nothing as impossible
for it feels able to achieve all things

It is strange and effective
while those who lack love faint and fail
Love is not fickle and sentimental
nor is it intent on vanities

Like a living flame and a burning torch
it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle

Thomas a Kempis


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 having a mutual sense of values, and common objectives
It is standing together and facing the world
It is forming a circle 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

Wilferd Arlan Peterson


If I could save time in a bottle
the first thing that I’d like to do
is to save every day ‘till eternity passes away
just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
if words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then, again,
I would spend them with you

If I had a box just for wishes
and dreams that had never come true
the box would be empty
except for the memory of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
to do the things you want to do
once you find them

I’ve looked around enough to know
that you’re the one I want to go through time with

Jim Croce


Some say I can fly on the wind
yet I haven’t any wings

Some have found me floating on the open sea
yet I cannot swim

Some have felt my warmth on cold nights
yet I have no flame

And though you cannot see me
I lay between two lovers at the hearth of fireplaces
I am the twinkle in your child’s eyes
I am hidden in the lines of your mother’s face
I am your father’s shield as he guards your home

And yet… Some say I am stronger than steel
yet I am as fragile as a tear
Some have never searched for me
yet I am around them always

Some say I die with loss
yet I am endless

And though you cannot hear me
I dance on the laughter of children
I am woven into the whispers of passion
I am in the blessings of Grandmothers
I embrace the cries of newborn babies

And yet… Some say I am a flower
yet I am also the seed
Some have little faith in me
yet I will always believe in them

Some say I cannot cure the ill
yet I nourish the soul
And though you cannot touch me
I am the gentle hand of the kind
I am the fingertips that caress your cheek at night
I am the hug of a child
I am love



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! — and, if God choose
I shall but love thee better after death

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Love is like magic
and it always will be
For love still remains life’s sweet mystery

Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange
And there’s nothing in life that love cannot change
Love can transform the most commonplace
Into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace

Love is unselfish
understanding and kind
For it sees with its heart
and not with its mind

Love is the answer that everyone seeks
Love is the language that every heart speaks
Love can’t be bought
it is priceless and free
Love, like pure magic, is life’s sweet mystery

Helen Steiner Rice


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

Pam Ayres


The trees in the storm don’t try to
stand up straight and tall and erect
They allow themselves to bend
and be blown with the wind

They understand the power of letting go

Those trees and those branches that try too hard to
stand up strong and straight are the ones that break

Now is not the time for you to be strong
or you, too, will break

Learn the power of the trees
Let it flow
Let it go
That is the way you are going to make it through this storm
And that is the way to make it through the storms of life

Julia Butterfly Hill


Love is enough
though the World be a-waning
And the woods have no voice
but the voice of complaining
Though the sky be too dark
for dim eyes to discover
The gold-cups and daisies
fair blooming thereunder
Though the hills be held shadows
and the sea a dark wonder
And this day draw a veil
over all deeds pass’d over
Yet their hands shall not tremble
their feet shall not falter
The void shall not weary
the fear shall not alter
These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover

William Morris

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