“Come sit here for a while I can see it in your smile, come sit here let’s hope for a while”

-ian ball 1998

13 readings for your ceremony

A wedding reading can be a big moment. It’s a piece of literature, poetry or prose that you’ve chosen as a representation of your love for each other, and that means you want to get it right. The reassuring thing though, is that because it’s personal to both of you, you can choose absolutely anything you want.

Kent wedding photographer photography bride groom Tenterden Ashford

I’ve heard my fair share of readings in my time; some that have made me laugh, some that have made me cry (it’s not easy to take photos with a tear in your eye!); and I wanted to share those that are my particular favourites for you here. Some are poems, quotes, excerpts from songs, novels and film. They may just get those juices of love flowing and give you some inspiration…

Yes I’ll marry you my dear by pam Ayers

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear.
And here’s the reason why.
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry.
And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch you see,
And you investigate.

Yes I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it.
You have to face the neighbour
Should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!!!

It’s you who has to work the drill
And put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I DO, I DO, I DO!!

I wanna be yours by John cooper Clarke

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

Quote from Albert Einstein

“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.”

A word to husbands by Ogden Nash

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong admit it;
Whenever you’re right shut up.

Some things go together by Charlotte zolotow

Pairs of things that go together.
Pigeons with park
Stars with dark
Sand with sea
and you with me.
… Hats with heads
Pillows with beds
Sky with blue
and me with you.

Oh the places you’ll go by dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

Excerpt from ‘still life with woodpecker’ by Tom robbins

‘Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words ‘make’ and ‘stay’ become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.’

Excerpt from ‘when Harry met Sally’

“I love that you get cold when it’s seventy-one degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour-and-a-half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

In my life by John Lennon

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life, I love you more

Recipe for love by anon

Put the love, good looks and sweet temper into a well furnished house. Beat the butter of youth to a cream, and mix well together with the blindness of faults.

Stir the pounded wit and good humour into the sweet argument, then add the rippling laughter and common sense. Work the whole together until everything is well mixed and bake gently for ever.

Your personal penguin by Sandra boynton

I like you a lot
You’re funny and kind
So let me explain
What I have in mind.

I want to be Your Personal Penguin
I want to walk right by your side
I want to be Your Personal Penguin
I want to travel with you far and wide

All I know about love by Neil gaiman

This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.
This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing.

Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.

It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean.
Somebody’s got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.

It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together.

So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing,
like a book without pages or a forest without trees.

Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours,
and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.

And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.

And that’s all I know about love.

Smell the love by Caitlin Moran

A great deal of mad balls is written about love – and, more specifically, how to recognise it when it arrives. Depending on what we’re reading, we are told things about astrological compatibility, birth order and physical types, shared values and cultural sympathies. Love is often presented as something that can be recognised if you remorselessly grill your prospective partners with some kind of gigantic tick-list on which you need to hit 70 per cent like-for-likes (“I loved the second series of Saved by the Bell, too”) before you can safely say whether you love someone or not.

Well, it’s all balls. At the age of 42, I can tell you the only thing that will tell you’ve found “The One”.

The primary location for foolproof love detection is in your nose. Forget about the heart or the crotch, both of which are, sadly, idiot organs, easily fooled by a bunch of flowers or a vibrating egg. No, it’s your nose you want to listen to. You can’t fool a nose. Your nose knows what’s going on. I can tell you right now, you will know you’ve finally found the love of your life because they just … smell great.

If, when you get near them, you find yourself huffing up great lungfuls of them – really snorting them down as if it’s Friday and they’re a nitrous oxide balloon and you intend to do this all night long – then this will be the person you marry, whether they’re an Aries with brown eyes or not. Do you find yourself sniffing the top of your partner’s head so hard their hair actually moves? Do you frequently wedge your nose in their armpit and inhale them while going, “ARRR, SO GOOD”? Have you sampled their body so thoroughly you could actually tell, in a blind smelling test, the difference between their arm sweat (oddly fresh) and their back sweat (more complex and earthy), but eventually concluded that, “It’s all good, man”? Do they smell like a super-awesome combination of life, puppies, rain, hot cross buns and “the good times”? Then congratulations – you’ve just found your true love. Pat your partner-selecting nose as if it’s a clever, faithful old horse, and enjoy the following decades of joy.

For The Good Smell, when you find it, has a very specific purpose: to make you relaxed. That’s what love is, ultimately – being very, very relaxed. Look, you’re going to spend the majority of your time with this person sleeping, so you deffo want to be looking for someone about whom your subconscious is saying, “It will be good to be totally unconscious next to this person. Defences are happy to be down. Brain is safely off.”

And as for your waking time together, a good half of that will be spent sitting next to each other on the sofa, in silence, or in a car in a tailback on the road to Birmingham, in the rain, eating M&S garlic and chilli prawns from a tray and listening to Now That’s What I Call Music! 42. Although you will want some sparky bants and intellectual to-ing and fro-ing, the baseline for a long-term relationship should be “making silly sounds at each other, for hours, in a meaningless fashion