Choosing the perfect wedding readings can be as tricky as sticking to the wedding budget. With many couples opting for romantic or religious classics, it’s tempting to stray from tradition and track down something a little more unusual. If that sounds like you, you’ll love these 10 alternative wedding readings, hand-picked by us. From poems to song lyrics, book extracts and movie quotes, there’s something for every couple on this list of quirky and romantic readings.
Check out our favourite alternative wedding readings.
“A Chinese wedding poem” – Unknown
I want to be your friend
For ever and ever without break or decay.
When the hills are all flat
And the rivers are all dry,
When it lightens and thunders in winter,
When it rains and snows in summer,
When heaven and earth mingle
Not ’til then will I part from you.
Why we love it: It’s such a great choice for couples who are best friends at heart!
Extract from Admonitions to a Special Person by Anne Sexton
Love? Be it man. Be it woman.
It must be a wave you want to glide in on,
give your body to it, give your laugh to it,
give, when the gravelly sand takes you,
your tears to the land. To love another is something
like prayer and can’t be planned, you just fall
into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.
Why we love it: It’s hopelessly romantic and perfect for all kinds of relationships.
“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.
Why we love it: The romantic, rural imagery makes it one of the most perfect alternative wedding readings for enchanting barn weddings.
Extract from The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
“My dearest friend, if you don’t mind, I’d like to join you by your side. Where we could gaze into the stars, and sit together, now and forever. For it is plain as anyone can see, we’re simply meant to be.”
Why we love it: Sometimes children’s movies know how to say the most complex things in the simplest ways.
“Love” by Roy Croft
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.
Why we love it: It perfectly describes unconditional love between two people despite their faults and how they can bring out the best in each other.
“Painter Song” by Norah Jones
If I were a painter
I would paint my reverie
If that's the only way for you to be with me
We'd be there together
Just like we used to be
Underneath the swirling skies for all to see.
Why we love it: It’s a great choice for creative and imaginative couples hosting a bohemian wedding day.
“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
Why we love it: If you’re opting for funny wedding vows, this light-hearted wedding reading is a great choice sure to raise a laugh from your guests!
Albert Einstein on relativity
“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”
Why we love it: One of our favourite alternative wedding readings, this is perfect for scientist couples and enthusiasts.
Extract from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… we’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… and when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…”
Why we love it: This reading wonderfully and cleverly describes how inseparable couples become.
Extract from Us by David Nicholls
‘I had always been led to believe that ageing was a slow and gradual process, the creep of a glacier. Now I realise that it happens in a rush, like snow falling off a roof. By contrast, my wife at fifty-two years old seems to me just as attractive as the day I first met her. If I were to say this out loud, she would say, “Douglas, that’s just a line. No one prefers wrinkles, no one prefers grey” To which I’d reply, “But none of this is a surprise. I’ve been expecting to watch you grow older ever since we met. Why should it trouble me? It’s the face itself that I love, not that face at twenty-eight or thirty-four or fourty-three. It’s THAT face.”’
Why we love it: This romantic yet realistic moment from Us is the perfect alternative wedding reading for bookworms.
Looking for alternative wedding dresses too? We’ve got you covered!