9 Traditional Wedding Readings That Are Too Good to Ignore

If you're all about keeping with tradition, then take note, nearlyweds! From classic religious readings to non-denominational readings that have been used for centuries, here's a list of the verses and quotes you should consider reciting on your big day:

RELIGIOUS READINGS 

Corinthians: 13 
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Genesis 2:24-28 
The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” 
Photo by James Bold on Unsplash
Photo by James Bold on Unsplash
Matthew 19:4-6 
Jesus says: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female," and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 1
John 4:7-12 
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 

NON-RELIGIOUS READINGS 

Photo by Andrew Itaga on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Itaga on Unsplash
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43), by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday’s Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. 
I Carry Your Heart With Me, by E.E. Cummings 
I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart. I am never without it. Anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling. I fear no fate, for you are my fate, my sweet. I want no world, for beautiful you are my world, my true. And you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you. Here is the deepest secret nobody knows, here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of a tree called life which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide. And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart. I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart. 
Irish Wedding Blessing 
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace. May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase. May the saddest day of your future, be no worse than the happiest day of your past. May your hands be forever clasped in friendship and your hearts joined forever in love. 
Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash
Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash
Touched by an Angel, by Maya Angelou 
We, unaccustomed to courage; exiles from delight. Live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies, old memories of pleasure, ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity. In the flush of love’s light we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free. 
Sonnet 18, by William Shakespeare 
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, and often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, by chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.