Planning

NON RELIGIOUS WEDDING READINGS

When it comes to finding non-religious wedding readings, it can be really hard to plough through the cheese or find something that resonates to both you and your partner. Today we're sharing some of our favourite, more unusual wedding reading ideas. More and more of you seem to be doing the legal bit in a small and intimate way, then going hell for leather on a humanist ceremony where you can have whatever readings and songs you fancy. As always, we LOVE to find readings we've not come across before, so if you're having something really different please get in touch and let us know what you have planned for yours. We absolutely love this wedding where they used the lyrics from ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Chaka Khan ;)

You can pin the readings below to your wedding readings Pinterest board!


From first poems

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Understand, I’ll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.

The Dream Keeper, by Langston Hughes
Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

Better Together

by Jack Johnson

There’s no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart
Our dreams,
And they are made out of real things
Like a shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving

Love is the answer.
At least for most of the questions in my heart.
Like: “Why are we here?”, “And where do we go?”,
“And how come it’s so hard?”.
It’s not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing:
It’s always better when we’re together

Mmm, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, we’ll look at them stars when we’re together
Well, it’s always better when we’re together
Yeah, it’s always better when we’re together

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

 

A Vow

by Wendy Cope

I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure. 
You are my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.

God only knows

by The Beach Boys

I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I’ll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I’d be without you

If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me?

God only knows what I’d be without you

Sonnet 116

by William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. Love is not love 
Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove. 
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 
It is the star to every wand’ring bark, 
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. 
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle’s compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 
If this be error and upon me proved, 
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

The life that I have

by Leo Marks

The life that I have 
Is all that I have 
And the life that I have 
Is yours 

The love that I have
Of the life that I have 
Is yours and yours and yours. 

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have 
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years 
In the long green grass 
Will be yours and yours and yours. 

I'll be there

by Louise Cuddon

I’ll be there, my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said, “Fine,” but you’re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue
’cause I’m telling you, I’ll be there.

The book of love

by Magnetic Fields

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts and figures
And instructions for dancing

But I, I love it when you read to me
And you, you can read me anything

The book of love has music in it
In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb

But I, I love it when you sing to me
And you, you can sing me anything

The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we’re all too young to know

But I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings
I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings

Everybody's free (to wear sunscreen)

by Baz Luhrmann

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ‘97
Wear sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future
Sunscreen would be it

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice
Has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience
I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
Oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
And recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you
And how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry
But know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long
And in the end, it’s only with yourself

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters
Throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t

Get plenty of calcium

Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40
Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance,
so are everybody else’s
Enjoy your body
Use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own

Dance

Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents
You never know when they’ll be gone for good

Be nice to your siblings
They are the best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
Because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young

Live in New York City once
But leave before it makes you hard
Live in Northern California once
But leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise
Politicians will philander
You too will get old
And when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable
Politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund
Maybe you have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out
Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy
But be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
Painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Check out these related articles for even more wedding reading inspiration: Funny Wedding Readings | Wedding Reading Poems | Songs That Make Great Wedding Readings

Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

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