10 Contemporary Wedding Readings
1. Kahlil Gibran - On Marriage
Love one another, but make not a bond of love;
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Gove one another of your bread but eat not form the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1800's
How do I love thee, let me count the ways. I love thee to the height, and depth and breath my soul can reach.
Destiny is a mysterious thing.
No matter what you do or where you go, you cannot avoid it.
And, no matter how hard you try, even putting forth your greatest effort, you can’t force it to happen before it's time.
This occasion we witness today is the destiny of two souls.
There is not a force in the universe that could have kept you apart, and there is nothing they could have done to come together sooner.
Each of you had to live your lives , lives that were stepping stones that have led to this moment in time, this uniting of hearts and minds that shall be forever more.
This occasion we celebrate today is destiny of two souls.
Yes, destiny is a marvelous and mysterious thing.
3. Marriage Joins Two People In A Circle of Love
Marriage is a commitment to life -
to the best that two people can find
and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth
that no other human relationship can equal,
a joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love,
marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships.
A wife and a husband are each other's best friend,
confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.
There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing,
and the love of the other
may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger;
even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences,
and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage
they create a spirit unique to themselves,
which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise, a potential,
made in the hearts of two people who love,
which takes a lifetime to fulfill.
- Edmund O'Neill
4. By The Seaside
As we stand beside the ocean tide,
may our love always be as constant and unchanging
as these never-ending waves that pour beneath our feet,
flowing endlessly from the depths of the sea;
your love came softly upon my heart,
just as the foam comes softly upon the sand,
and just as there will never be a morning
without the ocean's flow,
so there will never be a day
without my love for you.
I pledge myself to you this day.
Our love will be as unchanging
and dependable as the tide;
as these waters nourish the earth
and sustain life, may my constant devotion
nourish and sustain you
until the end of time.
5. The Bridge Across Forever
Excerpt from 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 our soul mate.
6. THE ART OF MARRIAGE BY WILFRED PETERSON
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 EACH DAY.
IT IS NEVER GOING TO SLEEP ANGRY.
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 SPEAKING WORDS OF APPRECIATION AND DEMONSTRATING GRATITUDE IN THOUGHTFUL WAYS.
IT IS HAVING THE CAPACITY TO FORGIVE AND FORGET.
IT IS IN 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 NOT ONLY MARRYING THE RIGHT PARTNER; IT IS BEING THE RIGHT PARTNER.
7. Anne Morrow Lindburgh
"When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. The only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom, in the sense that dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. One must accept the security of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency."
8. From This Day Forward
From this day forward, let us laugh together, and plan together,
let us find our favorite places, and go together...
Let us enjoy the sunshine, and the rain,
being alone together, and in crowds together...
From this day forward, together,
Let us love!
Let Us Walk Together
Let us walk together yet not as one, but such that our shadows are separate and distinct, such that our souls are unbound and free.
Let us share our time, yet do not give all your time, nor take all of mine for in order to develop to the fullest, to be free, we must have solitude and individuality.
Let me wander in solitude, when I need to be alone, yet be near, when I need you.
Let us share our love.
Give freely of your love, but do not smother me, my soul must breathe a free air.
Take my love, but do not demand it, for love given of obligation, is stale and without life.
Let us share our lives.
Share my life, but do not try to shape it.
Let me share your life, but do not let it revolve around me.
Let us share ourselves.
Accept me as I am, do not attempt to change me to fit your dreams.
Respect me for what I am, not for what I was or one day may be.
Share yourself with me, but do not allow me to limit your freedom or bind your soul.
Let us share our minds, thoughts, goals, values and dreams.
Let us develop these within ourselves without restriction or loss of freedom
Thus our two free souls, may wander together as they develop in freedom.
As we share our lives, as we walk thru life together, know my love is yours, but not my soul, for it must be free.
9. On Friendship
On Friendship by Roy Croft (also called 'Love'; also called 'To my Friend')
I love you, not for what you are, but what I am, when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but 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 frivolous and weak things that you cannot help seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant things that no one else has looked quite far enough to find...
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.
10. What I Learned About Love, I Learned From My Dog
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride together. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When loved ones come home always run to greet them.
When you want treats, practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps together and stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Thrive on the attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout...
Run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk together.
Love each other unconditionally.