It's difficult to choose the perfect wedding reading, wether you're the person who has been asked to read at your friend or family's special day or you're the couple trying to find something that resonates with you. So we've put together a list of 12 of our favourite here.
Bob Marley on love…
‘She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together – but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.’
Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne
"'If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.'
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. 'Pooh?' he whispered. 'Yes, Piglet?'
'Nothing,' said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. 'I just wanted to be sure of you.'
'We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
'Even longer,' Pooh answered. 'If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together...there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.'"
The Hot Priest’s speech from Fleabag - Phoebe Waller-Bridge
"Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. It makes you selfish. It makes you creepy, makes you obsessed with your hair, makes you cruel, makes you say & do things you never thought you would do.
It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there, so no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own.
I was taught if we’re born with love then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot, feeling right, when it feels right it’s easy.
But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do.
Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is, when you find somebody that you love, it feels like hope.”
Life lessons from an 80 year old man:
- Have a firm handshake.
- Look people in the eye.
- Sing in the shower.
- If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
- Never give up in anybody. Miracles happen everyday.
- Always accept an outstretched hand.
- Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
- Avoid sarcastic remarks.
- Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery.
- Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
- Lend only those books you never care to see again.
- Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
- When playing games with children, let them win.
- Give people a second chance, but not a third
- Be romantic.
- Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
- Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as it first seems.
- Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s.
- Be a good loser.
- Be a good winner.
- Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
- When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
- Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
- Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
- Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
- Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets.
- Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
- Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
- Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
- Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
- Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
- Begin each day with some of your favourite music.
- Once in a while, take the scenic route.
- Send a lot of valentine cards. Sign them. ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
- Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
- Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
- Make someone’s day by paying the toll/coffee for the person in the car behind you.
- Become someone’s hero.
- Count your blessings.
- Marry only for love.
Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton
I know that love can be loud and jubilant. It can be dancing in the swampy mud and the pouring rain at a festival and shouting ‘YOU ARE AMAZING’ over the band. It’s introducing them to your colleagues at a work event and basking in pride as they make people laugh and make you look loveable just by dint of being loved by them. It’s laughing until you wheeze. It’s walking along a street together on a Saturday night and feeling an entire city is just yours. It’s big, beautiful, ebullient force of nature. I know what it is to feel like you’ve always got a lighthouse to guide you back to dry land; to feel the warmth of its beam as it squeezes your hand standing next to you at a funeral of someone you loved.
I also know that love is a pretty quiet thing. It’s lying on the sofa together, drinking coffee, talking about where you’re going to go that morning to drink more coffee. It’s folding down pages of books you think they’d find interesting. It’s hanging up their laundry when they leave the house having moronically forgotten to take it out of the washing machine. It’s the texts, ‘Hope today goes well’, ‘How did today go’, ‘Thinking of you today’, and ‘Picked up loo roll’. I know that love happens under the splendour of moon and stars and fireworks and sunsets but it also happens when you’re lying on blow up air beds in a childhood bedroom, sitting in A&E, or in the queue for a passport, or in a traffic jam. Love is a quiet, reassuring, relaxing, pottering, pedantic, harmonious hum of a thing; something you can easily forget is there, even though its palms are outstretched beneath you in case you fall.
Poetry of James Kavanagh
To love is not to possess, To own or imprison, Nor to lose one’s self in another. Love is to join and separate, To walk alone and together, To find a laughing freedom That lonely isolation does not permit. It is finally to be able To be who we really are No longer clinging in childish dependency Nor docilely living separate lives in silence, It is to be perfectly one’s self And perfectly joined in permanent commitment To another–and to one’s inner self. Love only endures when it moves like waves, Receding and returning gently or passionately, Or moving lovingly like the tide In the moon’s own predictable harmony, Because finally, despite a child’s scars Or an adult’s deepest wounds, They are openly free to be Who they really are–and always secretly were, In the very core of their being Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo:
“When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”
All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned…
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don’t hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
- Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
- Live a balanced life.
- Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
- Take a nap every afternoon.
- Be aware of wonder.
- Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
- And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali:
On cold winter nights, love is warm. It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises. Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs. It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long. But come home and love is always happy to see you. It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No! Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes. Love leaves you little surprises here and there. Love needs lots of cleaning up after. Sometimes you just want to get love fixed. Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper and swat love on the nose, not so much to cause pain, just to let love know, “Don’t you ever do that again!”
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk. Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions at once, or wind itself around and around you until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go. People who have nothing in common but love stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again. But most of all, love needs love, lots of it. And in return, love loves you and never stops.
An Extract from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
‘Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.’
Thomas A Kempis
Love is a great thing, a great good in every way; it alone lightens what is heavy, and leads smoothly over all roughness. For it carries a burden without being burdened, and makes every bitter thing sweet and tasty. Love wants to be lifted up, not held back by anything low. Love wants to be free, and far from all worldly desires, so that its inner vision may not be dimmed and good fortune bind it or misfortune cast it down. Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider; nothing happier nothing fuller, nothing better in heaven and earth; for love is born of God…
Love keeps watch and is never unaware, even when it sleeps; tired, it is never exhausted; hindered, it is never defeated; alarmed, it is never afraid; but like a living flame and a burning torch it bursts upward and blazes forth…
Love is quick, sincere, dutiful, joyous, and pleasant; brave, patient, faithful, prudent, serene, and vigorous; and it never seeks itself. For whenever we seek ourselves, we fall away from love. Love is watchful, humble, and upright; not weak, or frivolous, or directed toward vain things; temperate, pure, steady, calm, and alert in all the senses. Love is devoted and thankful to God, always trusting and hoping in him, even when it doesn’t taste his sweetness, for without pain no one can live in love.
The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In 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 a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years. 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 the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.