At Capesthorne Hall, we have seen all types of wedding celebrations, each having their own uniqueness and quirks. Besides exchanging vows, readings for your Wedding Day are the perfect way to personalise your day and share your love story. Each couple is unique and will want to express their feelings about each other in ways that reflect their relationship.
Love, marriage and relationships are three key themes usually depicted in a reading. Some may want to take a traditional approach and use readings taken from the Bible to cement their relationship. Other couples may be very comfortable displaying their emotions with sweet poems and prose. Or you may like to take a more humoured approach, choosing quirky anecdotes and tales of married life.
However you choose to celebrate your Love, Marriage and Relationship, you’re sure to find the following a great starting point towards making your wedding a truly memorable day.
The Bible contains numerous references to the sanctity and beauty of marriage and its poetic love scriptures eloquently sum up what it means to be in love and to commit yourself to your partner for the rest of your life.
Genesis 1:27-28: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ ”
Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”
Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
It can be difficult to put feelings for each other into words. The bible gives verses about the bonds of love and devotion, speaking of a perfect love, and also looking at the strength and hope that romantic love can provide.
Romans 13:8: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Psalm 143:8: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
Proverbs 3:3-4: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”
If you are getting married in a church your minister will be able to offer you a selection of readings, they’ll also help you choose a suitable reading if you’d rather research your own.
If you’re having a civil ceremony you may prefer a less religious approach, reflecting on your relationship and the way you feel about each other and your partnership.
The Bridge Across Forever – 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.
The Art of Marriage – Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of 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 humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.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 partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
A walled garden by Anon
“Your marriage”, he said, “Should have within it
A secret and protected place, open to you alone.
Imagine it to be a walled garden,
Entered by a door to which only you have the key.
Within this garden you will cease to be a mother, father, employee,
Homemaker or any other roles which you fulfil in daily life.
Here you are yourselves, two people who love each other.
Here you can concentrate on one another’s needs.
So take my hand and let us go back to our garden.
The time we spend together is not wasted but invested.
Invested in our future and the nurture of our love”.
LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP
If you have been together for a while then the lovey dovey, new life together quotes might not be as relevant to you and your betrothed. Concentrating on words which portray your relationship and the way you feel about each other will be much more meaningful and have your guests teary eyed just the same!
From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis De Bernieres
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 be apart. 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 an 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 and 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 and not two.
Have You Got a Biro I Can Borrow? by Clive James
Have you got a biro I can borrow?
I’d like to write your name
On the palm of my hand, on the walls of the hall
The roof of the house, right across the land
So when the sun comes up tomorrow
It’ll look to this side of the hard-bitten planet
Like a big yellow button with your name written on it
Have you got a biro I can borrow?
I’d like to write some lines
In praise of your knee, and the back of your neck
And the double-decker bus that brings you to me
So when the sun comes up tomorrow
It’ll shine on a world made richer by a sonnet
And a half-dozen epics as long as the Aeneid
Oh give me a pen and some paper
Give me a chisel or a camera
A piano and a box of rubber bands
I need room for choreography
And a darkroom for photography
Tie the brush into my hands
Have you got a biro I can borrow?
I’d like to write your name
From the belt of Orion to the share of the Plough
The snout of the Bear to the belly of the Lion
So when the sun goes down tomorrow
There’ll never be a minute
Not a moment of the night that hasn’t got you in it
Bridled Vows by Ian Duhig
I will be faithful to you, I do vow
but not until the seas have all run dry
etcetera: although I mean it now,
I’m not a prophet and I will not lie.
To be your perfect wife, I could not swear;
I’ll love, yes; honour (maybe); won’t obey,
but will co-operate if you will care
as much as you are seeming to today.
I’ll do my best to be your better half,
but I don’t have the patience of a saint;
not with you, at you I may sometimes laugh,
and snap too, though I’ll try to learn restraint.
We might work out: no blame if we do not.
With all my heart, I think it’s worth a shot.
He’s not perfect, by Bob Marley
Hes not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, cause to you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break.
Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there’s love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there always in a guy that is perfect for you.
You may already have children or want to include friends and family references in your readings. Here’s a few to get you started, a couple would be perfect for younger members of the wedding party to read.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Little Nutbrown Hare, who was going to bed, held on tight to Big Nutbrown Hare’s very long ears. He wanted to be sure that Big Nutbrown Hare was listening.
“Guess how much I love you,” he said.
“Oh, I don’t think I could guess that,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.
“This much,” said Little Nutbrown Hare, stretching out his arms as wide as they could go.
Big Nutbrown Hare had even longer arms. “But I love YOU this much,” he said.
Hmm, that is a lot, thought Little Nutbrown Hare.
“I love you as high as I can reach.” said Little Nutbrown Hare.
“I love you as high as I can reach,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.
That is quite high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I had arms like that.
Then Little Nutbrown Hare had a good idea. He tumbled upside down and reached up the tree trunk with his feet.
“I love you all the way up to my toes!” he said.
“And I love you all the way up to your toes,” said Big Nutbrown Hare, swinging him up over his head.
“I love you as high as I can HOP!” laughed Little Nutbrown Hare, bouncing up and down.
“But I love you as high as I can hop,” smiled Big Nutbrown Hare – and he hopped so high that his ears touched the branches above.
That’s good hopping, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I could hop like that.
“I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river,” cried Little Nutbrown Hare.
“I love you across the river and over the hills,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.
That’s very far, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. He was almost too sleepy to think any more. Then he looked beyond the thorn bushes, out into the big dark night. Nothing could be further than the sky.
“I love you right up to the MOON,” he said, and closed his eyes.
“Oh, that’s far,” said Big Nutbrown Hare. “That is very, very far.”
Big Nutbrown Hare settled Little Nutbrown Hare into his bed of leaves. He leaned over and kissed him good night.
Then he lay down close by and whispered with a smile, “I love you right up to the moon – AND BACK.”
The view of a wedding day from a child’s perspective by Sandra Cook
Today you’re getting married; some say you’re getting wed
There’s crowds of people in our house, and strangers in my bed!
We had to get up early, take breakfast all together
Allowed to have the TV on to listen to the weather
Shower time was hectic, should have seen the queue
Girls were taking twice as long and air was turning blue
Hair was being straightened, perfume being sprayed
Nails were being painted, the boys of course delayed
Lots of make-up lots of shoes, sparkles in the hair
Pretty cards and parcels, flowers everywhere
Everyone had new clothes, Dad even wore a suit
Mum is looking stunning, and I look kinda cute
Posh car turned up at the door, took my Mum away
Left me with the other kids but told I couldn’t play
Lots of photos lots of fuss, what’s it all about?
Parties are for having fun, there’s no need to shout!
Mummy looks real pretty, Daddy’s not too bad
Someone here is crying but doesn’t look real sad
Lots of people laughing, sometimes very loud
Then it goes all quiet, lady talking to the crowd
Daddy holds Mum closely, putting on a ring
Says some words and makes a speech and makes them cry again
Mummy takes another ring and puts it on his finger
Says some words and makes a speech and then we hear a singer
Someone says a poem, lots of people clap
Waking up the funny man who’s taking a quick nap
Now we are all standing, watching them both kiss
They look so very happy, think they call it bliss!
Time to do some writing in a great big book
And with all those cameras, which way shall we look?
Is it nearly over, can I go and play?
Lets come back tomorrow, we can do it all again
Orson Scott Card, Hidden Empire
“That’s what so many people didn’t understand about life. The real world is the one within the walls of homes; the outside world, of careers and politics and money and fame, that was the fake world, where nothing lasted, and things were real only to the extent they harmed or helped people inside their homes.”
Whether a civil or religious ceremony, it’s always good to include some humour during the ceremony. Here’s some options to start you off:
Marriage by Anon
Marriage is about giving and taking
And forging and forsaking
Kissing and loving and pushing and shoving
Caring and Sharing and screaming and swearing
About being together whatever the weather
About being driven to the end of your tether
About Sweetness and kindness
And wisdom and blindness
It’s about being strong when you’re feeling quite weak
It’s about saying nothing when you’re dying to speak
It’s about being wrong when you know you are right
It’s about giving in, before there’s a fight
It’s about you two living as cheaply as one
(you can give us a call if you know how that’s done!)
Never heeding advice that was always well meant
Never counting the cost until it’s all spent
And for you two today it’s about to begin
And for all that the two of you had to put in
Some days filled with joy, and some days with sadness
Too late you’ll discover that marriage is madness.
I wanna be yours by John Cooper-Clarke
‘I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that’s how deep is my devotion.’
Vow by Roger McGough
I vow to honour the commitment made this day
Which, unlike the flowers and the cake,
Will not wither or decay. A promise, not to obey
But to respond joyfully, to forgive and to console,
For once incomplete, we now are whole.
I vow to bear in mind that if, at times
Things seem to go from bad to worse,
They also go from bad to better.
The lost purse is handed in, the letter
Contains wonderful news. Trains run on time,
Hurricanes run out of breath, floods subside,
And toast lands jam-side up.
And with this ring, my final vow:
To recall, whatever the future may bring,
The love I feel for you now.
WRITING YOUR OWN READING
There’s always the opportunity to write your own reading too, you could take excerpts from a favourite song, use your pet names for each other and keep guests entertained as they work out why you’re talking about ‘penguins’ or ‘big bears’! Perhaps you could ask a few similar questions to each other and base the reading on your answers.
We’d be pleased to discuss your wedding day at Capesthorne Hall and give heartfelt advice on how you can get the right balance of tradition and modern to create a day perfectly matched to you.