THE FOLLOWING IS A COLLECTION OF HEARTFELT READINGS AND POEMS. (NONE ARE RELIGIOUS.) THE MOST POPULAR WEDDING SELECTIONS ARE NOS. 4,7, 17,26/40/41,28,36,45 AND 46.
Wedding Reading #1: From "Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Berniéres It would take a stern heart indeed not to be moved by Louis de Berniéres' incredibly perceptive description of true love, as laid out in his best-selling novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin. He uses imagery that conjures up the strong, stolid and non-starry foundation of a partnership while neatly sidestepping any of the usual clichés about budding flowers and blossoming trees.
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
Wedding Reading #2: From "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
Wedding Reading #3: From "Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh "When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides."
Wedding Reading #4: From "the Prophet" by Khalil Gibran Love one another But make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea Between the shores of your souls Fill each others cup But drink not from the same cup Sing and dance together and be joyous, But let each one of you be alone Even as the strings of the lute are alone Though they quiver with the same music Give your hearts But not into each others keeping For only the hand of life Can contain your hearts And stand together Yet not too near together For the pillars of the temple stand apart And the oak tree and the cypress Grow not in each others shadow