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  • Once Upon A Vow

10 Unique Ceremony Readings That Will Make You Laugh, Melt, & Ugly Cry

When most people think of readings for their wedding ceremony, first thoughts are usually along the lines of something biblical. The “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Corinthians passage probably popped into your head. [Nope, not a psychic...yet.]

While it’s a completely solid passage, I wanted to share some of my faves. So, here are ten ceremony readings that are fun, real, and (most importantly) hit close to home.

1) Valentine’s Love Bomb by In-Q

"Falling in love is like finding a home

In the heart of a person that you have never known

It’s the waiting for the ring of the phone when you’re alone

It’s the dating and the “Oh My God, baby, this is our song!”

Remember how it felt when their touch made you melt,

When their presence made you a better version of yourself,

When your bed was like an island in the middle of the sea

And their eyes were the only sunset you could see,

When their smile was enough to inspire a forever in this lifetime of learning to love each other better.

It’s beyond words.

It’s knowing how they take their coffee or take their tea,

It is knowing when to challenge them and when to let them be.

It is knowing when to hold them and when to set them free,

It is chemistry, and honesty, empathy, integrity, and modesty,

It is calling when I’m gonna be late or giving her the last bite of cake from my plate.

It is going on vacations or walking on the beach

It’s the sound that she makes when she laughs in her sleep

It is real, especially when it’s hard, ‘cause you’ve chosen to reveal who you really are.

Beautiful with all your scars.

You’re like a sky of stars.

I’ve never felt as infinite as when you’re in my arms.

I’ve never felt as intimate as when you’re in my charms.

I’ve never met someone and knew I instantly belonged.

So now the songs on the radio are making more sense

And every Meg Ryan movie seems more intense.

I have a dream that I’m painting you a picket fence.

Our kids are playing on the lawn, still in innocence.

Picturesque in every sense.

It’s like a Norman Rockwell because it feels so real.

A modern fairy tale with a pool and a barbeque grill.

We’ll have a two car garage and every week we’ll give each other gift certificates for one free foot massage.

And when you’ve had a hard day, we’ll go and walk it off.

And when you’ve had a hard week, we’ll get some Haagen Daz.

We’ll put our goals on a list and then we’ll cross ‘em off

I’ll take some pics of our kids, then load them into our macintosh and make you a mother’s day collage.

I wish I could take a time machine back to ‘98, show up at the prom as your date and hand you a corsage.

I think your skin is the closest that I’ve been to God.

You see love is like a long ladder up to heaven

It is like a dance where you move apart and then back together

It is sunshines, stormy weather, ‘cause you would never know the one unless you knew the other.

And in the end you’ll be old and gray with a pair of rocking chairs and some gran mollie

Grandkids and a grand piano in the foyer,

Photographs of your families filling the hallway and everyone in the neighborhood will ask you for advice…

So you’ll slowly lean in and look around twice.

And then you’ll whisper real light like it was the secret to your life.

When you know, you know

‘cause when it’s right, it’s right."

I saw In-Q perform this magic spoken word piece LIVE at a Valentine's DayBreaker and

this piece has quickly become one of my favorite readings for fun AF couples!

2) An Origin Story by Sarah Kay and Philip Kaye

When you are old and can no longer remember my face,

I will meet you for the first time again and again.

When they make fun of your accent, I will take you swimming,

‘cause we all sound the same under water.

It didn’t start with us.

It started with Lennon and McCartney.

It started with Thelma and Louise.

It started with Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin.

Bert and Ernie!

Abbott and Costello!

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!

Mario and Luigi!

Watson and Sherlock!

Pikachu and Charizard!

And they can tell you what a miracle this is.

They can tell you how rare this is.

But they can tell you how rare friendship always is.

The chances are slim.

The cards are always stacked against you.

The odds are always low, BUT

I’ve seen the best of you and the worst of you

And I choose both.

I want to share every single one of your sunshines

and save some for later.

I will tuck them into my pockets so I can give them back to you

when the rains fall hard.


I want to be the mirror that reminds you to love yourself.

I want to be the air in your lungs that reminds you to breathe easy.

When the walls come down...when the thunder rumbles,

When nobody else is home,

hold my hand and I promise, I won’t let go.

When you strip away all the romantic stuff, marriage is built on a strong foundation of friendship. Right?! I pulled this section out from their longer spoken word poem, but feel free to pick the pieces that resonate with you.

3) Interview with Hawksley Workman via NPR’s All Things Considered

"I think that we’re led to believe that love is fleeting, but I reckon, when you get a little older and your boat gets battered around a bit, you realize that love is really more a decision. It’s an opportunity to exist with somebody at their best and at their worst, and in doing so the reflections that you get in one another become the scars that you covet because those are those simple secrets that are yours alone. And those things are not celebrated in movie love. That’s the real stuff that we all fear is very easy to walk away from. I guess I’m lucky. My folks aren’t together, but I know people that are together and that are old together and their journeys come with their bumps and bruises. I think that if you are of a mind that you ultimately celebrate those bumps and bruises, even though they might be years in the making, they will be the things that you celebrate and that you cherish and that will be the character of your relationship."

I love readings that talk about the not-so-pretty stuff that builds a marriage. Darryl, we get you!

4) Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

"People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves."

Isn't it the best when your favorite person loves you, even at your absolute worst? That's why they're your fave!

5) The Amber Spyglass by Phillip 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."

I love the idea that the end of this life doesn't have to be 'THE END' end.

6) I’ll Be There For You 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."

I don't typically lean towards readings that are too rhyme-y, but the honesty here is so damn sweet.

7) I Can't Promise You by Bhal

"I can't promise you that dark clouds

will never hover over our lives

or that the future will bring us many rainbows.

I can't promise you that tomorrow will be perfect

or that life will be easy.

I can promise you

my everlasting devotion,

my loyalty, my respect,

and my unconditional love for a lifetime.

I can promise that

I'll always be there for you,

to listen

and to hold your hand,

and I'll always do my best to make you happy,

and make you feel loved.

I can promise that I'll see you through any crisis,

and hope with you,

dream with you, build with you,

and always cheer you on

and encourage you.

I can promise that I'll share my dreams

my world, and every aspect

of my life with you.

I'll willingly be your protector,

your advisor, your counsellor, your friend, your family,

your everything.

And I believe that's what love is truly all about."

Chances are life won't be easy, but those seemingly little everyday promises are the meaningful moments that, when strung together, make up a marriage. This scene though.

8) The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we'd choose anyway. And I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you

Accepting each other, as you are, and choosing each other day in and day out...yeahhh, that's what marriage is all about. *happy sigh*

9) Marriage Is Not Beautiful by Steve and Jemma

Marriage is ugly, I’m sure those who are married here will agree.

You see the absolute worst in someone.

You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn and when they are so unlovable they make you scream.

But that is all so worth it.

Because you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face,

when they can’t help but make those weird snorting noises they make only in front of you.

It’s also the getting stressed out about silly little things that are not important.

Or eating the culinary delights they cook every evening for your tea.

You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty.

It’s the strange faces they pull only at you, it’s the tears when it feels like it’s all crashing down.

It’s the bad breath and the farting.

It’s the sniffing of the top lip, the silly walks and the random dances.

It’s the anger that’s not directed at you, but feels SO like it is.

It’s the joy in the happy memory making.

Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing.

It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you no matter how nasty you are to them.

It’s having someone have your back, no matter what.

It’s fights over stupid things, like almost everything!!!

But it’s also those nights when you fall asleep in each other’s arms,

feeling like you’d never want to be anywhere else.

It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is.

Because at the end of the day, you get to climb into bed, not only with your best friend, but with the weirdest, most annoying, loyal, moodiest, loving, silliest but perfect person you know.

Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one mad and exciting rollercoaster of a ride, that we want to stay on forever.

It's funny 'coz it's trueeee!!!

This poem was written by a real-life couple and shared here with permission from fellow celebrant,

Natasha Johnson.

10) Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

“I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together."

We're imperfectly frickin' perfect TOGETHER!

What'd you think of these 10 ceremony readings? Which will you use in your ceremony?

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