23 Beautiful Civil wedding readings

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If you’re looking to do something a little different at your civil ceremony. You want your ceremony to reflect your relationship and how you view love, which means that the readings should also be specific and special. Here are some beautiful wedding readings that might be perfect for your civil wedding.

23 Beautiful Civil wedding readings


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  • Hi , I’m looking for a wedding reading called “The beauty of love” I can’t find on your site. Please can you please indicate where is? Many thanks Ellie xx

    • Hi Ellie,

      I was happy when I found this reading, which we’re going to use at our.

      The Beauty of Love

      The question is asked: -Is there anything more
      beautiful in life than a young couple clasping
      hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage?
      Can there be anything more beautiful than
      young love?’ And the answer is given: -Yes,
      there is a more beautiful thing. It is the
      spectacle of an old man and an old woman
      finishing their journey together on that path.
      Their hands are gnarled but still clasped;
      their faces are seamed but still radiant;
      their hearts are physically bowed and tired
      but still strong with love and devotion.
      Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.

  • Hi I take you Editor!

    I’m looking for some inspiration!

    We are having a civil ceremony this November and my best friend is going to do a reading for us during the ceremony! i’m looking for something sweet but not too soppy and just haven’t found anything that suited yet!

    Please can you help.

    Kind regards

    • We’re having 3 readings:

      1st reading.

      On Your Wedding Day Author Unknown

      Today is a day you will always remember
      The greatest in anyone’s life
      You’ll start off the day just two people in love
      And end it as Husband and Wife

      It’s a brand new beginning the start of a journey
      With moments to cherish and treasure
      And although there’ll be times when you both disagree
      These will surely be outweighed by pleasure

      You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
      When the secrets of marriage were spoken
      But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
      Where the bond of true love lies unbroken

      So live happy forever as lovers and friends
      It’s the dawn of a new life for you
      As you stand there together with love in your eyes
      From the moment you whisper ‘I do’

      And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real
      May success find its way to your hearts
      Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
      But today is the day it all starts

      2nd rading

      Gayan, Vadan, Nirtan – Hazrat Inayat Khan

      Is love pleasure, is love merriment?
      love is longing constantly;
      love is persevering unweariedly;
      love is hoping patiently;
      love is willing surrender;
      love is regarding constantly the pleasure and displeasure of the beloved,
      for love is resignation to the will of the possessor of one’s heart;
      it is love that teaches us: Thou, not I.

      Yes, I’ll Marry You – Pam Ayres
      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, you’re virile and you’re lean, my house is like a pigsty you can help to keep it clean. That tasty 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 am in a mood 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

  • We’re having I’ll marry you too and also having “to Keep Your Marriage Brimming – 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.

  • Hi,

    I like this one
    “Oh the Places You’ll Go – 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 couple who’ll decide where to go.
    You’ll look up and down streets. Look -em over with care.
    About some you will say, ???????We don’t choose to go there.???????
    With your heads 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 when things start to happen,
    don’t worry. Don’t stew.
    Just go right along.
    You’ll start happening too.
    You’ll be on your way up!
    You’ll be seeing great sights!
    You’ll join the high fliers
    who soar to great heights!
    You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have all the speed.
    You’ll pass the whole gang, and you’ll soon take the lead.
    Wherever you fly you’ll be best of the best.
    Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
    Except when you don’t.
    Because sometimes, you won’t.
    You’ll get mixed up of course,
    as you already know.
    You’ll get mixed up
    with so many strange birds as you go.
    So be sure when you step.
    Step with great care and great tact
    and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
    Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
    And never mix up your right foot with your left.
    And will you succeed?
    Yes! You will indeed!
    (98 and ???? percent guaranteed.)
    So, be your name Buxbaum or Dowrie or Bass
    or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
    you’re off to great places!
    Today is your day!
    Your mountain is waiting.
    So … get on your way!

    Who else having this?

    • Yes me too 🙂

      and also ‘Us Two’ from When we are six I think it’s very sweet and reflect a childhood kind of thing.

  • We’re having the velveteen rabbit and I like you by Sandol stoddard Warburg

    I like you because you are a good person to like.
    I like you because when I tell you something special,
    you know it???s special.
    And you remember it a long, long time.
    You say, Remember when you told me something special
    And both of us remember?
    When I think something is important
    you think it???s important too.
    We have good ideas.
    When I say something funny,
    you laugh. I think I???m funny
    and you think I???m funny too. Hah-hah!
    I like you because you know where I???m ticklish.
    And you don???t tickle me there,
    except just a little tiny bit sometimes.
    But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too.
    You know how to be silly
    That???s why I like you.
    Boy are you ever silly.
    I never met anybody sillier than me
    till I met you. I like you because
    you know when it???s time to stop being silly.
    Maybe day after tomorrow.
    Maybe never.
    Too late, it???s a quarter past silly.
    Sometimes we don???t say a word.
    We snurkle under fences.
    We spy secret places.
    If I am a goofus on the roofus hollering my head off,
    You are one too.
    If I pretend I am drowning,
    you pretend you are saving me.
    If I am getting ready to pop a paper bag,
    then you are getting ready to jump.
    That???s because you really like me.
    You really like me, don???t you?
    And I really like you back.
    And you like me back and I like you back.
    And that???s the way we keep on going every day.
    If you go away, then I go away too;
    or if I stay home, you send me a postcard.
    You don???t just say,
    Well see you around sometime, bye!
    I like you a lot because of that.
    If I go away, I send you a postcard too.
    And I like you because
    if we go away together,
    And if we are in Grand Central Station,
    And if I get lost
    Then you are the one that is yelling for me.
    And I like you because
    when I am feeling sad
    You don???t always cheer me up right away.
    Sometimes it is better to be sad.
    You can???t stand the others
    being so googly and gaggly every single minute.
    You want to think about things.
    It takes time.
    I like you because if I am mad at you,
    Then you are mad at me too.
    It???s awful when the other person isn???t.
    They are so nice and hoo-hoo
    you could just about punch them in the nose.
    I like you because if I think I
    am going to throw up,
    then you are really sorry.
    You don???t just pretend you are busy
    looking at the birdies and all that.
    You say, maybe it was something you ate.
    You say, the same thing happened to me one time.
    And the same thing did.
    If you find two four-leaf clovers,you give me one.
    If I find four, I give you two.
    If we only find three, we keep on looking.
    Sometimes we have good luck,
    and sometimes we don???t. If I break my arm,
    and if you break your arm too,
    Then it???s fun to have a broken arm.
    I tell you about mine, you tell me about yours.
    We are both sorry.
    We write our names and draw pictures.
    We show everybody
    and they wish they had a broken arm too.
    I like you because
    I don???t know why
    but Everything that happens is nicer with you.
    I can???t remember when I didn???t like you.
    It must have been lonesome then.
    I like you because because because
    I forget why I like you, but I do.
    So many reasons.
    On the 4th of July
    I like you because it???s the 4th of July. On the fifth of July,
    I like you too. If you and I had some drums
    and some horns and some horses,
    If we had some hats and some flags
    and some fire engines,
    We could be a HOLIDAY.
    We could be a CELEBRATION.
    We could be a WHOLE PARADE.

  • We are having ‘Maybe’

    Maybe…We are supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift Maybe…it is true that we don’t know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives Maybe…the happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way Maybe…the best kind of love is the kind you can sit on a sofa together and never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had Maybe…you shouldn’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Maybe…you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy Maybe… Love is not about finding the perfect person, it’s about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.’

  • Hi girls,

    We are planning on having ‘What is Love’ as one of our readings.

    ‘What is love? To solve that riddle with just one answer is beyond me, for love is many different and contradictory things. In the early stages love is excitement and breathlessness, it is the ache of separation and the comfort of togetherness, and it builds inexorably to that moment when ‘I’ becomes ‘we’. Later, if blessed, love becomes a stronger, less transitory thing, a foundation for two lives lived as one. It is all around us, there for the taking, yet to seek it out is futile. It cannot be bought or stolen or given. It cannot be avoided or denied. Love is the beautiful, wonderful, mysterious mortar that binds two souls together and I first heard its voice on the day I met you. It has been with me every moment since. This is what love is’

  • How about reading from poetry. I love this one

    A House of Stone – by Carmen Bugan

    In the village where I was born, we wish
    A house of stone to shelter the heart of the marriage
    So here too, I wish you
    Obstinate, strong love, unyielding and unending.
    May you be in reach of each other when all seems lost,
    May your tears and your smiles happen always face to face.
    When you imagine that you have shared everything
    May you know that you still have the rest of your lives
    To do all of it again and again.
    But now listen to the hurry of bells and
    Look how petals of roses about the vineyard
    Bring you the words husband and wife:
    First words in your house of stone.

  • Hi everyone,

    Could anyone help with ideas for a reading at my wedding. Not in a church though, or any inspiration.

    Thanks xx

    • These are the two we’re having!

      Yes, I’ll Marry You – Pam Ayres
      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, you’re virile and you’re lean, my house is like a pigsty you can help to keep it clean. That tasty 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 am in a mood 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

      A Lovely Love Story, Edward Monkton
      The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.
      Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
      The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.
      I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
      Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
      He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.
      I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
      She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.
      But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
      He is also overly fond of things.
      Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?
      But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
      Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?
      I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.
      I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.
      Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
      Look at them.
      Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
      And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
      Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
      For the sun is warm.
      And the world is a beautiful place.

    • We’re having the Apache Blessing and this one

      I love You by Roy Croft

      I love you
      Not only for what you are,
      But for what I am
      When I am with you.

      I love you,
      Not only for what
      You have made of yourself,
      But for what
      You are making of me.

      I love you
      For the part of me
      That you bring out;

      I love you
      For putting your hand
      Into my heaped-up heart
      And passing over
      All the foolish, weak things
      That you can’t help
      Dimly seeing there,

      And for drawing out
      Into the light
      All the beautiful belongings
      That no one else had looked
      Quite far enough to find

      I love you because you
      Are helping me to make
      Of the lumber of my life
      Not a tavern
      But a temple.

      Out of the works
      Of my every day life
      Not a reproach
      But a song.

      I love you
      Because you have done
      More than any creed
      Could have done
      To make me good.
      And more than any fate
      Could have done
      To make me happy.

      You have done it
      Without a touch,
      Without a word,
      Without a sign.

      You have done it
      By being yourself.

      Perhaps that is what
      Being a friend means,
      After all.

      Good luck.
      Liz xx

    • We are having 3 readings

      1. Blessing for a Marriage – James Dillet Freeman
      May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.

      May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.

      May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
      May you want one another, but not out of lack.
      May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
      May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
      May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.
      May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults.

      If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.

      May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.
      May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.
      May you have love, and may you find it loving one another!

      2. Apache Blessing

      Now you will feel no rain,
      For each of you will be shelter to the other.
      Now you will feel no cold,
      For each of you will be warmth to the other.
      Now there is no more loneliness for you,
      For each of you will be companion to the other.
      Now you are two bodies,
      But there is only one life before you.
      Go now to your dwelling place,
      To enter into the days of your togetherness.
      And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

      May the sun bring you new energy by day,
      May the moon softly restore you by night,
      May the rain wash away your worries
      And the breeze blow new strength into your being,
      And all of the days of your life may you walk
      Gently through the world and know its beauty.

      And 3rd still not sure but we are thinking of having shakespeare

      SONNET 116 – Shakespeare
      Let me not to the marriage of true minds
      Admit impediments. Love is not love
      Which alters when it alteration finds,
      Or bends with the remover to remove:
      O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
      That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
      It is the star to every wandering bark,
      Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
      Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
      Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
      Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
      But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
      If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

      A Dedication To My Wife – T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

  • I am thinking of doing the Dinosaur one myself!

    Is it ok for a bride to do that?
    My fiance would like me to do a speech but I really can’t face that so he said if I did a reading that would count. I don’t think I will get through it without crying though!

  • we’re having this one..i love it!!

    The Invitation

    It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
    I want to know what you ache for
    and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

    It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
    I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
    for love
    for your dream
    for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
    I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
    if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
    or have become shrivelled and closed
    from fear of further pain.

    I want to know if you can sit with pain
    mine or your own
    without moving to hide it
    or fade it
    or fix it.

    I want to know if you can be with joy
    mine or your own
    if you can dance with wildness
    and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
    without cautioning us
    to be careful
    to be realistic
    to remember the limitations of being human.

    It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
    is true.
    I want to know if you can
    disappoint another
    to be true to yourself.
    If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
    and not betray your own soul.
    If you can be faithless
    and therefore trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see Beauty
    even when it is not pretty
    every day.
    And if you can source your own life
    from its presence.

    I want to know if you can live with failure
    yours and mine
    and still stand at the edge of the lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon,

    It doesn’t interest me
    to know where you live or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up
    after the night of grief and despair
    weary and bruised to the bone
    and do what needs to be done
    to feed the children.

    It doesn’t interest me who you know
    or how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand
    in the centre of the fire
    with me
    and not shrink back.

    It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
    you have studied.
    I want to know what sustains you
    from the inside
    when all else falls away.

    I want to know if you can be alone
    with yourself
    and if you truly like the company you keep
    in the empty moments.

  • We are also having ‘On your wedding day’ and here are a couple of others that I really like.

    The One
    When the one whose hand you’re holding
    Is the one who holds your heart
    When the one whose eyes you gaze into
    Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
    When the one you think of first and last
    Is the one who holds you tight,
    And the things you plan together
    Make the whole world seem just right,
    When the one whom you believe in
    puts their faith and trust in you,
    You’ve found the one and only love
    You’ll share your whole life through.

    What is a soul mate?
    If you have found a smile
    That is the sweetest one you’ve known;
    If you have heard, within a voice,
    The echoes of your own.
    If you have felt a touch
    That stirs the longings of your heart,
    And still can feel that closeness
    In the moments you’re apart.
    If you have filled with wonder
    At the way two lives can blend
    To weave a perfect pattern
    That is seamless, end to end.
    If you believe some things in life
    Are simply meant to be,
    Then you have found your soul mate,
    And that is plain to see.

  • I’ve tons of wedding readings and these two I particular love

    Consider Love” It’s Moods and Many Ways ~ Sandra Boynton

    Consider love.
    Look here and there.
    Consider love.
    It’s everywhere.
    Consider love.
    Observe a while.
    it comes in every shape, and style.
    There’s simple love and love mysterious.
    Frivolous love and love too serious.
    There’s hopeful love and love despairing.
    Cautious love and love that’s daring.
    There’s tiny love and love unbounded.
    Logical love and love unfounded.
    Love that’s shallow.
    Love that’s deep.
    Love extravagant.
    Love….well, cheap.
    Love that is clever.
    Love perhaps foolish.
    Love oh so hot.
    Love rather coolish.
    Young love.
    Old love.
    Meek love.
    Bold love.
    Eloquent love and never-told love.
    Love that’s inspiring.
    Love that is tiring.
    Love overzealous.
    Love over-jealous.
    Comfortable love and love problematic.
    Love wistful and weary.
    Love gently ecstatic.
    Theatrical love that can suffer or smile, make grand declarations, and exit with style.
    Now consider one love in the midst of the crowd –
    an affectionate love, neither timid nor loud.
    a love that appreciates fire, and grace.
    A love that adores one remarkable face.
    A love that is steady devoted, and true –
    Consider my love for incredible you.

    Love Me by Walter Rinder

    Love me because I try to touch life within the framework of uncertainty.
    Love in me the shadows of my indecision as I strive to gain knowledge.
    Love in me the silence of my hurts and the noise of my confusions.
    Love me for the feeling of my heart not the fears of my mind.
    Love me in my search for the truth though I may stumble upon fallacy.
    Love me as I pursue my dreams sometimes hampered by illusions.
    Love me as I grow to know myself even during times of stagnation.
    Love me because I seek God’s harmony not man’s discord.
    Love me for my body that I wish to share with affection, wrapping you in warmth.
    Love me because we are different, as we are the same.
    Love me that our time together will be spent in growing, kindling the world with understanding.
    Love me not with expectations but with hope.
    I will love you the same.

    There are two of us, Tell Her So
    Amid the cares of married strife
    In spite of toil and business life
    If you value your sweet wife
    Tell her so!
    When days are dark and deeply blue
    She has her troubles same as you
    Show her that your love is true
    Tell her so!
    There was a time you thought it bliss
    To get the favor of one kiss;
    A dozen now won’t come amiss –
    Tell her so!
    Don’t act if she has passed her prime,
    As though to please her were a crime;
    If ever you loved her, now’s the time –
    Tell her so!
    She’ll return, for each caress,
    A hundred fold of tenderness;
    Hearts like hers were made to bless
    Tell her so!
    You are hers and hers alone;
    Well you know she’s all your own:
    Don’t wait to carve it on a stone –
    Tell her so!
    Never let her heart grow cold –
    Richer beauties will unfold;
    She is worth her weight in gold
    Tell her so!

  • Thanks for all the ideas, They’re all so lovely. I’ve no idea how I’m going to pick only a couple of them. xx

  • Hi Emily,

    So far we are having

    A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

    O, my lurve’s like a red, red rose,
    That’s newly sprung in June;
    O, my lurve’s like the melodie
    That’s sweetly play’d in the tune.

    As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
    So deep in lurve am I;
    And I will lurve thee still my dear,
    Till a’ the seas gang dry –

    Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
    And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
    I will lurve thee still, my dear,
    While the sands of life shall run.

    And fare thee weel, my only lurve!
    And fare thee weel a while!
    And I will come again, my lurve,
    Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

    All the best
    Charlie xx

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