Gone are the days when weddings exclusively centred around religious beliefs and faith-based ceremonies.
Nowadays, many happy couples are opting for humanist celebrations to make their special day more unique to them and less creed-focused.
If you and your special someone are planning on tying the knot and want to incorporate non-religious wedding readings, this article shows you how to find the perfect one for your big day.
What Are Non-Religious Wedding Readings?
Non-religious wedding readings do exactly what they say on the tin: they are wedding blessings that aren’t Christian (or any other faith)-based.
When it comes to what your blessings will be instead – it’s entirely up to you. And the sky’s the limit! Your own wedding blessings can be whatever you want them to be: a handwritten tribute, a poem, song lyrics, a passage from your favourite novel, non-religious wedding blessings you’ve spotted elsewhere and like the look of, sonnets, or even movie quotes!
They can be romantic, tear-jerking, comical, serious, silly, or even controversial. There are no rules around what you choose for your wedding reading and the ideas and options are limitless.
Ideally, it’s best that you and your partner agree on a theme and don’t settle on anything unless you’re both happy. Also, keep in mind your audience: if you want to go for something a little smutty, e.g.: some cheeky prose that will upset granny Mildred, you might want to make sure her hearing aids aren’t turned up! Just be mindful of your audience is what we mean!
In short, the type, length, and content of your wedding blessing is totally up to you, and going down the non-religious road allows you to be creative and to put your own spin on your blessings – without bringing the Lord into it!
Non-Religious Wedding Blessings: Ideas & Inspo!
Creating your own wedding blessing from scratch can be a daunting and challenging task, so many couples opt to work with something pre-written (such as their favourite poem, or the lyrics to ‘their’ song).
If you’re at a loss as to where to begin – or even what the theme should be – we have put together a list of fabulous non-religious wedding blessings for you to use or incorporate into your own.
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“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë
‘I have for the first time found what I can truly love—I have found you. You are my sympathy—my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely; a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.’
“A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway
‘At night, there was the feeling that we had to come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love 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.’
“Untitled” by R.M. Drake
‘You will be the clouds
and I will be the sky.
you will be the ocean
and I will be the shore.
you will be the trees
and I will be the wind.
whatever we are, you and I
will always collide.’
“Sonnet 116” by William 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 wand’ring 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 prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.’
‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by John Cooper Clarke
I 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 metre
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 .’
‘Love Me’ by Bee Rawlinson
Love me when I’m old and shocking
Peel off my elastic stockings
Swing me from the chandeliers
Let’s be randy bad old dears.
Push around my chromed bath chair
Let me tease your white chest hair
Scaring children, swapping dentures
Let us have some great adventures
Take me to the dogs and bingo
Teach me how to speak the lingo
Bone my eels and bring me tea
Show me how it’s meant to be
Take me to your special places
Watching all the puzzled faces
You in shorts and socks and sandals
Me with warts and huge love-handles
As the need for love enthrals
Wrestle with my damp proof smalls
Make me laugh without constraint
Buy me chocolate body paint
Hold me safe throughout the night
When my hair has turned to white
Believe me when I say it’s true
I’ve waited all my life for you
Movie/TV Wedding Blessings
For so long I wondered if I would ever find my prince, my soulmate. Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I’d ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soulmate, my friend.
We’re not saying you can change them, ‘cuz people don’t really change / We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange / People make bad choices if they’re mad, or scared, or stressed / Throw a little love their way (throw a little love their way) and you’ll bring out their best / True love brings out their best!
“There Will Be Time” by Mumford and Sons, featuring Baaba Maal
But in the cold light I live to love and adore you
It’s all that I am, it’s all that I have
In the cold light I live, I only live for you
It’s all that I am, it’s all that I have.
“I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles
My whole heart. Will be yours forever. This is a beautiful start, To a lifelong love letter
Tell the world that we finally got it all right. I choose you. I will become yours and you will become mine…
We are not perfect, we’ll learn from our mistakes, And as long as it takes I will prove my love to you. I am not scared of the elements I am underprepared, But I am willing. And even better I get to be the other half of you.
“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I’ll make you so sure about it
God only knows what I’d be without you
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me?
God only knows what I’d be without you.
Non-Religious Wedding Readings: FAQs
Many weddings feature speeches from the best man, maid of honour, in-laws, and so on, so in fairness to them, it’s best to elect someone who isn’t already going to speak to perform a blessing. It’s generally best to choose people who are confident with public speaking. Conversely, if there are little’uns within the wedding, having them read a blessing can be a nice way to make them feel involved.
Yes, many weddings including readings, as blessings don’t need to be rooted in religion or spiritualism to be heartfelt and special.
As you can see above, there is no shortage of ideas and inspiration for non-religious wedding readings.