Wedding readings from literature

Every couple getting married is different, và yet wedding readings so often fall into the same traps. Even Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn can predict that a wedding reading will often be the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. Pretty, yes, but not for everyone.

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Brides looking lớn sidestep religious readings have sầu lots of places from which khổng lồ draw inspiration: tuy nhiên lyrics, poetry, and even novels. Maybe you and your partner have sầu a favorite book you bonded over, or maybe there"s a childhood story you both loved growing up. If you"re drawing a blank, but like the idea of literary wedding readings, this list could be a good place to lớn spark your creativity. It includes classic favorites, such as the Brontë sisters và Henry James, contemporary picks, such as Haruki Murakangươi và Patti Smith, YA authors such as John Green và Sarah Dessen, và even some unexpected stories, such as ones from Neil Gaiman and the king of breakup novels himself, Niông xã Hornby.

1. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

"You will learn a lot from yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love sầu."

2. Every Day by David Levithan

"This is what love does: It makes you want khổng lồ rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want khổng lồ vì chưng everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be."

3. Letter from Wilfrid Owen to Siegfried Sassoon

"You have sầu fixed my Life—however short. You did not light me: I was always a mad comet; but you have fixed me. I spun round you a satellite for a month, but I shall swing out soon, a dark star in the orbit where you will btia laze."

4. "&" by Aracelis Girmay

"và isn’t the heart/ an ampersvà,/ magnet between the seconds of days/ & dusks, the peonies/ và the fig tree và the squirrels?"

5. A Farewell lớn Arms by Ernest Hemingway

"At night, there was the feeling that we had come trang chủ, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night lớn find the other one there, và not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired và if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to lớn be alone and a woman wishes khổng lồ be alone too and if they love sầu each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together."

6. A History of Love by Nicole Krauss


"Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, và everything was possible. A stick could be a sword, a pebble could be a đá quí, a tree, a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field, from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was queen và he was king. In the autumn light her hair shone lượt thích a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls, & when the sky grew dark, & they parted with leaves in their hair.

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Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, & her laughter was a question he wanted lớn spkết thúc his whole life answering."

7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

""I am," he said. He was staring at me, và I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I"m in love sầu with you, & I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love sầu is just a shout inlớn the void, và that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed & that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to lớn dust, & I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love sầu with you.""

8. Letters To Vera by Vladimir Nabokov

"Yes, I need you, my fairy-tale. Because you are the only person I can talk with about the shade of a cloud, about the tuy nhiên of a thought — và about how, when I went out to work today & looked a tall sunflower in the face, it smiled at me with all of its seeds."

9. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

"When you fall in love, the natural thing to do is give yourself to lớn it. That"s what I think. It"s just a khung of sincerity."

10. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

"People are lượt thích cities: We all have sầu alleys và gardens & secret rooftops & places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postthẻ glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love sầu 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 lớn gọi beautiful themselves."

11. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

"No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have sầu to bend, khổng lồ compromise, khổng lồ give something up in order to gain something greater … The love sầu we have sầu for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key. It’s like a big pie chart, and the love sầu in a relationship has khổng lồ be the biggest piece. Love sầu can Cosplay for a lot."

12. Jazz by Toni Morrison


"It’s nice when grown people whisper khổng lồ each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more leaf-sigh than bray và the toàn thân is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival dolls they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there và who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody toàn thân passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavor would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have sầu washed & hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together & kept together nevermind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary, và the mattress, curved like a preacher’s palm asking for witnesses in His name’s sake, enclosed them each và every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love."

13. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

"Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star.It’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago.Maybe the star doesn’t even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to lớn me than anything."

14. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

"Oh, what a love it was, utterly không tính phí, chất lượng, lượt thích nothing else on earth! Their thoughts were like other people’s songs.

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They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the ‘blaze of passion’ often falsely ascribed khổng lồ love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds & the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet. Perhaps their surrounding world, the strangers they met in the street, the wide expanses they saw on their walks, the rooms in which they lived or met, took more delight in their love sầu than they themselves did."

15. "Love sầu Poem Without a Drop of Hyperbole In It" by Traci Brimhall

"I’d train my breath và learn khổng lồ read sonar until/ I retrieved every lost blood vessel of you. I swear/ this love is ungodly, not an ounce of suffering in it./ Like salmon & its upstream itch, I’ll dodge grizzlies/ for you. Like hawks & skyscraper rooftops,/ I’ll keep coming back. Maddened. A little hopeless./ Embarrassingly in love sầu."

16. "Song of the Anti-Sisyphus" by Chen Chen

"I want the journey khổng lồ be long. & strange, like a map/drawn in snow by our shadows shivering. I want lớn shiver/against you, inlớn you. I want the sound/of your teeth. I want the sound of the wind. I want lớn be/like the kids with their plastic sleds, gliding down,/all the way down the hill, then trudging/their sleds và snow-suited bodies all the waybachồng to the top. I want to lớn be how they bởi vì this, for hours,/till sunmix, till some sensible someone has/khổng lồ come drag them away from the snow, the slope,/the 3… 2… 1!/of joy. I want to lớn be the Anti-Sisyphus, in love/with repetition, in love sầu, in love sầu."

17. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

"The future belongs khổng lồ hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite.

Love sầu participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; lượt thích it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, và which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, & we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven."

18. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

"Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of s&, mine would be a universe of beaches… I have sầu stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body toàn thân. I have sầu lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have sầu not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids…

I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love sầu I."

19. The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman

"I will love sầu you forever; whatever happens. Till I die & 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 bởi find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing và no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me & every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers & dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds & in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms khổng lồ make new lives, they won’t just be able lớn take one, they’ll have sầu khổng lồ take two, one of you and one of me."

trăng tròn. Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

"Now, I’m not going khổng lồ deny that I was aware of your beauty. But the point is, this has nothing khổng lồ vì chưng with your beauty. As I got lớn know you, I began to realize that beauty was the least of your qualities. I became fascinated by your goodness. I was drawn in by it. I didn’t underst& what was happening to me. And it was only when I began to lớn feel actual, physical pain every time you left the room that it finally dawned on me: I was in love, for the first time in my life. I knew it was hopeless, but that didn’t matter lớn me. And it’s not that I want to have sầu you. All I want is to deserve sầu you. Tell me what lớn vì chưng. Show me how to behave sầu. I’ll bởi anything you say."

21. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

“Lying under such a myriad of stars. The sea’s black horizon. He rose và walked out & stood barefoot in the svà & watched the pale surf appear all down the shore & roll & crash and darken again. When he went baông chồng to lớn the fire he knelt & smoothed her hair as she slept và he said if he were God he would have made the world just so và no different.”

22. Just Kids by Patti Smith

"Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, & young answers were revealed. It leads khổng lồ each other. We become ourselves … "What will happen lớn us?" I asked. "There will always be us," he answered."

23. The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart và it means that someone can get inside you và mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders inlớn your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love sầu takes hostages. It gets inside you. "

24. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer


“I love sầu you also means I love sầu you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, & also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love sầu you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, & never have loved anyone else, & never will love sầu anyone else.”

25. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

"He dug so deeply inkhổng lồ her sentiments that in tìm kiếm of interest he found love sầu, because by trying to lớn make her love hyên ổn he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved hyên more và more as she felt his love sầu increasing, và that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, và the unbridled fornication as an annoyance & they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile compliđô thị, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, và they grew to lớn be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming lượt thích little children and playing together lượt thích dogs."

26. "This Is Water" by David Foster Wallace

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, & awareness, and discipline, & effort, & being able truly to care about other people & to lớn sacrifice for them, over & over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day."

27. How to lớn be Good by Niông xã Hornby

"The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don’t need khổng lồ be a heroin addict or a performance poet lớn experience extremity. You just have sầu khổng lồ love someone."

28. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

"If all else perished, & he remained, I should still continue to be; & if all else remained, & he were annihilated, the universe would turn khổng lồ a mighty stranger."

29. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

"All my life I thought that the story was over when the anh hùng và heroine were safely engaged — after all, what’s good enough for Jane Austen ought lớn be good enough for anyone. But it’s a lie. The story is about khổng lồ begin, và every day will be a new piece of the plot."

30. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

"I have sầu for the first time found what I can truly love – I have sầu found you. You are my sympathy — my better self — my good angel — I am bound lớn you with a svào attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans khổng lồ you, draws you to lớn my centre & spring of life, wrap my existence about you — và, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you và me in one."

31. "Letters to lớn a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke

"...believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, và have faith that in this love sầu there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having khổng lồ step outside it."

32. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

"What I’m feeling, I think, is joy. And it’s been some time since I’ve felt that blinkered rush of happiness. This might be one of those rare events that lasts, one that’ll be remembered and recalled as months & years wind & ravel. One of those sweet, significant moments that leaves a footprint in your mind. A photograph couldn"t ever tell its story. It’s lượt thích something you have lớn live sầu khổng lồ underst&. One of those freak collisions of fizzing meteors và looming celestial bodies và floating debris và one single beautiful red ball that bursts inlớn your life và through your body toàn thân like an enormous firework. Where things shift into lớn focus for a moment, và everything makes sense. And it becomes one of those things inside you, a pearl among sludge, one of those big exaggerated memories you can invoke at any moment khổng lồ peel away a little layer of how you felt, lượt thích a liông xã of ice cream. The flavor of grace."

33. Letter from Henry Miller to Anaïs Nin

"Anais, I only thought I loved you before; it was nothing like this certainty that"s in me now. Was all this so wonderful only because it was brief & stolen? Were we acting for each other, lớn each other? Was I less I, or more I, and you less or more you? Is it madness khổng lồ believe sầu that this could go on? When và where would the drab moments begin? I study you so much to lớn discover the possible flaws, the weak points, the danger zones. I don"t find them—not any. That means I am in love sầu, blind, blind. To be blind forever! (Now they"re singing "Heaven và Ocean" from La Giocondomain authority.)"

34. How to lớn Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

"It’s more lượt thích every electron in every atom in the universe paused, breathed in deeply, assessed the situation, & then reversed its course, spinning backward, or the other way, which was the right way all along. And afterward, the universe was exactly the same, but infinitely more right."

35. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

"In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood lượt thích a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”

This post was originally published on June 10, 2014. It was updated on June 7, 2019.

Chuyên mục: literature