Poems & Readings for a Celebration of Love
(For religious readings please scroll to the bottom of the page)
Poem: I do
They are about to say 'I do',
Three little letters, two little words.
its the simplest part of the day
but there is nothing simple about the things that will remain unsaid.
I do means, 'I do know I could be hurt but I'm ready to be healed with you'.
It means I do want to try even when the fear of failure holds me back
and I do not know the future but I'm ready to be surprised along the way.
And I do means 'I do want your want your love and I do give you mine,
and nothing we do will ever be the same because you and I will be doing it together.
And while we are together there is nothing we cannot do,
because I'm yours and your mine, forever and always.
“No Road is long with good company”, Turkish Proverb
Eskimo Love Song
You are my husband, you are my wife
My feet shall run because of you, My feet dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you, My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you, And I shall love, because of you.
Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.
“A friend and soul mate is someone who knows all about you and loves you just the same”.
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you; May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tail”
Extract from a Native American Wedding Ceremony
May the sun bring you new happiness 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 the days of your life
May you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty.
“The gold of one's heart is far more precious than the gold of ones purse”, Chinese Proverb
A Chinese Poem
I want to be your friend forever and ever. When the hills are flat and the rivers run dry,
when the trees blossom in winter and the snow falls in summer,
When the heaven and earth mix – Not till then will I part from you.
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.
“To the world you might be one person, But to one person you might be the word”.
A New Beginning – by Gwen Frostic
On this earth there is a oneness
A rhythmic flow through everything that lives
The things with roots and stems and leaves
The things with shells and fins and furs
The things with wings with which to fly
The things that crawl and those that walk
Each thing must eat and breath and rest
Each thing must seek and each is sought for
Each has a birth, a purpose to fulfil
To each an end and then a new beginning.
Dove Poem - Author Unknown
Two doves meeting in the sky, Two loves hand in hand eye to eye
Two parts of a loving whole, Two hearts and a single soul
Two stars shining big and bright, Two fires bringing warmth and light
Two songs played in perfect tune, Two flowers growing into bloom
Two Doves gliding in the air, Two loves free without a care
Two parts of a loving whole, Two hearts and a single soul
Reading - Union by Robert Flughum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this - is my husband, this- is my wife.
Your wedding day is just the start of a lifetime full of love and fun.
It just begins as you take your vows, When the two of you are joined as one;
We wish for you sweet happiness; Through the years, may your love grow,
To warm you both from day to day, In your marriage’s satisfying glow.
True Love - By Author Unknown
True love is a sacred flame that burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones and hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart and true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands It neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands the hearts that it entwines.
What is Love - Author Unknown
Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favourite memories and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all - one known only by those who love.
I love you – Unknown
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 me
I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
I love you for passing over all my foolish and weak traits,
That you can’t help but see
I love you for drawing out into the light my beauty,
That no one else had looked quite far enough to din
I love you.
Maybe by Alex Newbold
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.'
Program/Thank You - By Joanna Fuchs
Today we begin the rest of our life
Together forever as husband and wife.
Our dreams came true, with love and more—
Adventures to have and the world to explore.
We’ll share our joys, we’ll share our sorrows;
We can already see many bright tomorrows.
We’ll share our friends and family, too,
And you are part of that special crew.
Thank you for celebrating our wedding day.
As we share our vows, we just want to say:
These wedding memories will become a treasure,
And seeing you here is part of the pleasure.
“Immature love says 'I love you because I need you' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you”, Confucius
“Love Is Friendship Caught Fire” by Laura Hendricks
"Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad times.
It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past.
It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals.
If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack.
If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough."
“Every heart sings a song, incomplete until another heart whispers back” Plato.
I belong in your arms By Deborah Bridea
I belong in your arms, Finally, I have found a place into which I fit Perfectly,
Safely and securely with no doubts, No fears, No sadness, No tears.
This place is filled with happiness and laughter Yet it is spacious enough, to allow me
The freedom to move around, To live my life and be myself.
This wonderful place, which I never believed really existed,
I have found Finally Inside your arms, Inside your heart, inside your love.
“Love is Composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies”, Aristotle.
With You In My Heart By Mick Jennings
With you in my heart, my life is complete,
You're the air that I breathe and the food that I eat. You are my soul mate, the beat in my heart,
It feels like a year each second we're apart.
With you in my heart I'm walking on air,
I can imagine your perfume and the touch of your hair.
Your beautiful eyes, so kind and so green,
The loveliest sight I ever have seen.
With you in my heart, I am brim full of pride,
It's as though i can achieve anything with you by my side.
You're my rock, you?re my angel, my one true love,
You're my present from heaven, my gift from above.
With you in my heart, I love you so much,
How caring you are, my soul you do touch.
You're a beautiful princess, a pleasure to know,
My love for you just continues to grow.
With you in my heart, I'm the happiest man on earth,
I feel God has planned this since the day of my birth.
I could never love anyone the way I love you,
hope and I pray that you feel the same way too.
With you in my heart, through the good and the bad
I'll be there when you need me, when you're hurting or sad.
In fact I'll be there for you any night, any day,
Whenever you need me, you just have to say.
With you in my heart, I hope it feels good,
And that I am caring for you the way that I should.
I will always be happy, just by the love that you give,
I will protect you and love you for as long as I live.
These I Can Promise
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
When the one whose hand you're holding Is the one 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 love?
It's the feeling I get when I look on fuchsia coloured clouds and feel their joy fill me.
I gaze on daffodils and bathe in their golden splendour.
I watch the dancing butterfly and feel her freedom.
I dance, I dance, I dance upon the happiness of life.
So as unicorns join me in their frolic, as rainbows light our path together
I know that the feelings I share with my true love, shall endure throughout our lives.
Wedding Vows by Tracy Davidson
I promise to love and will gladly honour you
but obey? no way!
This day I married my best friend
This day I married my best friend the one I laugh with as we share life's wonderous zest,
as we find new enjoyments and experience all that's best.
the one I live for because the world seems brighter as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter. The one I love with every fibre of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.
Roll on the Wedding by Catherine Smith
The band has been booked, the cake has been made, the photographer's chosen, all bills have been paid.
The guests are decided, the menu too; Something borrowed? Check! Ditto old and blue.
The stationery's been ordered, along with the flowers, favours are done after fiddling for hours.
The stag do's a blur, same goes for the Hen - won't be drinking that much in one sitting again!
The dress has been picked, accessories bought; there's nothing to schedule, no more to sort.
After endless to-do lists for over a year, it's time to relax; the big day is here!
Sitting here with my girls as our hair gets done, I can't help feeling lucky to have found 'the One' - Just think, by lunchtime I'll be his new wife! Roll on the wedding, and our new married life!
Extract from Les Miserables: Victor Hugo
You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
The greatest acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love.
Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again.
And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.
May this be the start of a happy new life that's full of special moments to share. May this be the first of your dreams to come true and of hope that will always be there.....
May this be the start of a lifetime of trust and of caring that just now begun..... May today be a day that you'll always remember, the day when your hearts became one.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowliness. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds with your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
“Yes I’ll marry you my dear” by 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 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
Love - 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 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 to make me happy.
You have done it Without a touch, without a word, without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself.
My Love - Linda Lee Elrod
When I met you, I had no idea how much my life
was about to be changed...
but then, how could I have known?
A love like ours happens once in a lifetime.
You were a miracle to me, the one who was everything
I had ever dreamed of, the one I thought existed
only in my imagination.
And when you came into my life, I realized that what I
had always thought was happiness
couldn't compare to the joy and loving you brought me.
You are a part of everything I think and do and feel,
and with you by my side, I believe that anything is possible.
(this day) gives me a chance to thank you for the miracle of you...
you are, and always will be, the love of my life.
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear
I. The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"
II Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl! How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
III "Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will." So they took it away, and were married next day by the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon, They danced by the light of the moon.
Wonderful Life by Karl Fuchs
Congratulations on your marriage, Have a wonderful life!
You are two terrific people, Now teamed as man and wife.
A team with blessings like yours Will live a life you'll cherish;
You’ll find happiness everywhere, For your love will never perish.
Religious Readings for a Celebration of Love
Two are better than one;Because they have a good reward for their work. If one falls down, their friend can help them up. But pity the man who falls and has no-one to help them up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat:
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered two can defend themselves.
How do I love Thee – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being an Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grief's, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!-- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Love is patient; love is kind and envies no-one. love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. There is nothing love cannot face, there is no limit to it's faith, it's hope and it's endurance. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love.
Honour one another above yourselves.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
'Jesus Said: “As the father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my father's commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”.
Songs of Songs 2:13-14, 16-18
“My beloved is mine, and I am his...Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arms, for love is strong as death, jealousy is as cruel as the grave. It's flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it”.
The Wedding Prayer
Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.
Hindu Marriage Poem
You have become mine forever. Yes, we have become partners.
I have become yours. I cannot live without you.
Do not live without me. Let us share the joys.
We are word and meaning, unite. You are thought and I am sound.
May the nights be honey-sweet for us. May the mornings be honey-sweet for us.
May the plants be honey-sweet for us. May the earth be honey-sweet for us.
Poems & Readings for a Handfasting Ceremony
Ever Increasing Circles – Helen Marsh:
Joining hands, we become a circle, Complete, connected and timeless,
We are whole, but not exclusive, We are one and we will live as one,
But with endless others encircled around us,
Our marriage is neither beginning or end,But a natural progression of our union,
Which finds us bound but not restricted, All that was separate yields and flows,
Softly, towards the shared path of our future.
On the foundation of past knowledge, We build modern family, a space of love,
An expanding community of new and old,Emitting love, light and sublime acceptance,
We find all things reflected back at us, Everything is provided for,
Together we hand-craft our next life phase,It is all embracing, welcoming and generous,
The sensuous safety of our self made space,Helps us to live bravely and without boundaries,
Here we nurture, thrive and multiply,
All history is ours now, set down by us, made by us, Strong roots continually feed us, everything is possible,
We grow, we build, we share eternally now,And holding hands, we look up, prepare,
For there is still far to go...
"His service just summed up who he was, and was exactly what he would have wanted"
(Celebration of Life).
"A truly unique send off"
(Said about using wine gums at a Burial)
"Thank you for the sensitive way that you dealt with a very devastated family. We have received so many lovely comments from friends and family”.
(Celebration of Life)