Non-Religious Wedding Readings

8 Inspiring + Truly Romantic Non-Religious Wedding Readings

Amongst all the wedding hype, from Prosecco vans to light-up letters, it can be easy to get carried away and let your ceremony fall down the list of priorities. Symbolizing your union as a couple and making a lifelong commitment in front of your family and friends is a pretty big deal. Reflecting your beliefs and personalities will be of the utmost importance, and what better way to do this than through your chosen readings. Here is a selection of our favourite non-religious readings from books to poetry, which you can easily incorporate into your humanist or civil ceremony. Somebody grab some tissues!

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become 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 of us can convince ourselves we are. 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 blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. Love is important and you should love each other the most.”

Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

“A soul mate 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 soul mate 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 soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.”

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.”

[i carry your heart with me (i carry it in] by E.E Cummings

“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 it’s 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 the 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)”

Love Is Friendship Set On Fire by Laura Hendricks

“Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.”

Good Morning, on July 7 by Beethoven

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us – I can live only wholly with you or not at all – Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits – Yes, unhappily it must be so – You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart – never – never – Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life – Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men – At my age I need a steady, quiet life – can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day – therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once – Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – Be calm – love me – today – yesterday – what tearful longings for you – you – you – my life – my all – farewell. Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I… I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear
‘Cause I… I will be here

I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to crying
Through the winning, losing and trying
We’ll be together
‘Cause I will be here

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I… I will be here
As sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
So I… 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
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here, hmmm

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me

And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
So I… I will be here
We’ll be together
I will be here

Ciara Moore

Ciara Moore is the Blog Editor & Social Media Manager at WeddingDates HQ. Anything you want to know about weddings and what is on trend - she's your woman!

The Wedding Dates Team
Bert & Ernie Kinda Love: Andrew + Barry At Clayton Hotel Limerick

After bonding over their nerdy love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day, these two formed a firm friendship that ..