reading for a wedding... help!

(25 Posts)
jobnockey Wed 09-Jan-13 16:57:59

I?ve been racking my brains about this and thought I?d throw it out there to you well read people?

I?ve been asked to do a reading at a friend?s wedding which I am really touched about, as i've never been asked to do anything like this before. When I asked what they wanted me to read they said I could choose myself if I wanted so that it was something I was comfortable reading? I do read a lot but I can?t for the life of me think of anything remotely suitable which I have read recently which would be appropriate.
I?m totally not a lovey-dovey mushy person it makes me want to puke? but I accept if I?m doing a reading at a wedding it has to be something vaguely lovey-dovey.
Any ideas anyone?????

PixieHot Wed 09-Jan-13 17:03:03

Teodoro Luna's Two Kisses

Lovely meaning, but not soppy smile.

FringeEvent Wed 09-Jan-13 17:03:55

Are you looking specifically for a quote / short piece from fictional literature? Can't help you there (I read a lot, but have a memory like a sieve). But search online for a ... poem? essay? ... called 'The Art of a Good Marriage' - we had this at our wedding

Crikey, not a lot to go on then.

Poem or prose?

do you know how long it has to be?

DuchessofMalfi Wed 09-Jan-13 17:55:27

Some Shakespeare Sonnets. Sonnet 116 is quite a popular one I believe.

hackmum Wed 09-Jan-13 18:03:26

It's not my cup of tea, but a lot of people seem to like Kalil Gibran:

http://www.katsandogz.com/onmarriage.html

highlandcoo Wed 09-Jan-13 22:13:18

http://www.romantic-lyrics.com/wedding/li153.shtml (not sure if I've done this link properly but hopefully you can find it)

I read this at a friend's wedding - I chose it and felt OK about it - it focuses on love and commitment but it's not too mushy

jobnockey Wed 09-Jan-13 23:10:13

thanks for the replies. I was thinking prose originally but actually poems probably fit the bill better dont they? I only know 'the owl and the pussycat' not sure how well that would go down.

jobnockey Wed 09-Jan-13 23:12:30

I really like the teodoro luna poem... its a bit different... I will ask dp what he thinks and might suggest that . any other suggestions also most welcome.

HelenLynn Wed 09-Jan-13 23:32:00

We had Rainer Maria Rilke on "the point of marriage" and Bill Knott on being astonished by one's partner.

Five other things we considered, some of which would be quite tricky to actually read, were:
www.hitched.co.uk/speeches/poems/poems_2.aspx#fidelity (Lawrence)
www.poetry-archive.com/r/a_birthday.html (Rossetti)
www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179622 (cummings)
hubcap.clemson.edu/~sparks/lit209/ivycrown.html (William Carlos Williams)
www.pa56.org/ross/atwood.htm (Atwood)

The Rossetti is, unsurprisingly, the mushiest. I really like the Atwood, but we liked the two we went for more (obviously).

anonymosity Fri 11-Jan-13 02:44:17

you might also look at e.e.cummings. Read them aloud to yourself (they don't read in your head on the page well) and if you can avoid the more sexual ones, you might find a winner. I did a couple for a friends wedding in 2000 but I don't have them to hand to tell you the titles, sorry.

Nel1975 Fri 11-Jan-13 03:06:17

From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. . . . That is just ‘being in love’ which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

May your roots grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms fall from your branches, you find out that you are one tree, and not two.

jobnockey Fri 11-Jan-13 12:56:35

Thanks for all these - some ace suggestions

I like the atwood too but maybe just because i like her as an author. not sure what the couple will make of the poem..

I was at a wedding last year where the captain correlli quote was read... its nice but i think the couple in question might have been there too.

its hard isn't it of getting the right balance of something meaningful but without feeling like a tit.

jobnockey Fri 11-Jan-13 12:57:17

actually, come to think of it things like this are probably why I will never get married myself!

poshfrock Fri 11-Jan-13 13:00:36

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians Chap13.
Can't beat it for a wedding ( and no you don't have to be religious to have a Biblical reading).

Novia Fri 11-Jan-13 13:02:05

I love The Confirmation by Edwin Muir:

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face,
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.

StellaNova Fri 11-Jan-13 13:04:26

If you are looking for prose, we had this from Jane Eyre:

“I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest - blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward's society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character - perfect concord is the result.”

JambalayaCodfishPie Fri 11-Jan-13 13:13:31

I was at a wedding recently, where this was read?

Text: These Hands

^These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love, that hold yours on your wedding day.

These are the hands that will work along side yours as you build your future together.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and care for you throughout the years.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief torments your mind and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle,
and support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, and help keep your family together as one.

These are the hands that will, countless times, wipe the tears from yours eyes, tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch---- a touch from these hands.^

StellaNova Fri 11-Jan-13 13:16:42

poshfrock you may not have to be religious to have a Bible reading but when I got married six years ago you were absolutely not allowed a Bible reading or indeed any mention of God or anything religious at all at a civil wedding. It may have changed.

OneHolyCow Fri 11-Jan-13 16:52:21

A friend read this for us at our wedding, spontaneously, and I was blown away:

The Truelove

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of the baying seals,

who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,

and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them,

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly,
so Biblically,
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love,

so that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t

because finally
after all the struggle
and all the years,
you don’t want to any more,
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness,
however fluid and however
dangerous, to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

~ David Whyte ~

Another friend, at our request read Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

elkiedee Fri 11-Jan-13 18:23:13

My brother asked our dad to read The Owl and the Pussycat at his wedding - I'd never have thought of it but it was great, though the registrar may need a sense of humour - the one at this wedding said "I guess I'm the pig then".

thewhistler Fri 11-Jan-13 20:03:39

There is a lovely poem called sometimes, which goes through the things that go well against the odds, and ends "may it happen for you".

It is mushy, but I love the description of love in The Velveteen Rabbit, because it explains about being loved even when you get old and shabby.

I like the Owl and the Pussycat.

We had this, by Hugo, from Les Miserables <topical>

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.

Word of warning: friends had "Wherever I go, there's always Pooh/There's always Pooh and Me" from House at Pooh Corner. It meant a lot to them apparently but we were in hysterics.

HotCrossMummy Sun 20-Jan-13 22:25:27

James Dillet Freeman's "Blessing for a marriage" is nice: http://www.weddinghireyorkshire.co.uk/jdfreeman.pdf

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