10 Non Religious Wedding Ceremony Readings For Your Hall Barns Wedding
Non religious wedding ceremony readings are becoming more popular, particularly for a more relaxed, informal style of wedding. Your ceremony at the Hall Barns is your opportunity to begin your happily ever after together in whatever way you choose, and if that means turning away from tradition then we say ‘we do!’. We have a range of options for indoor and outdoor ceremonies at the Hall Barns, surrounded by the rustic beauty of our lovingly renovated barn venue and country estate.
Whether you want to share a reading that has your partner and guests welling up with emotion, choose an excerpt from your favourite book or poem or keep it lighthearted with a touch of humour, we’ve picked out some of the loveliest non religious wedding ceremony readings we think you’ll love!
Romantic & Poetic Non Religious Wedding Ceremony Readings:
If you’re looking for non religious wedding ceremony readings that are indulgently romantic and lyrical, look no further than these extracts from literature and poetry.
Extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become 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 promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Love is important, and you should love each other the most.”
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.”
“How Do I Love Thee,” by 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 and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, 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.”
Lighthearted Non Religious Wedding Ceremony Readings:
Long declarations of romance aren’t for everyone, so if you want to show your partner how much you care without the ‘slush’, try these lovely options.
A Lovely Love Story by 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.
Yes, I’ll Marry You – 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, my dear,
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!!”
Modern Wedding Readings
Modern and romantic, these non religious wedding ceremony readings are just the right amount of ‘gushy’ – we think you’ll love them!
Union by Robert Fulghum
“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 commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks — all those conversations that began with, ‘When we’re married’, and continued with ‘I will’ and ‘you will’ and ‘we will’ — all 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 that 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, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today, you shall say to the world — This is my husband. This is my wife.”
“A Vow” by Wendy Cope
“I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you’re taking on, my darling
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You’re my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on, I hope to pass that test.
I love you, and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.”
Shorter Wedding Ceremony Readings
Finally, we’ve selected some short but sweet readings that could be added to your wedding ceremony. Perfect if you want to say a lot without speaking too many words…
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”
“There Will Be Time,” by Baaba Maal featuring Mumford and Sons
“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”
A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh
“If you live to be a hundred, I hope I live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live a day without you.”
Choosing your wedding readings feels like a big task, so here are our top tips to find the perfect one;
- 1. Before you choose your non religious wedding ceremony readings, consider who you want to be saying them. Are they for your vows, or for someone to read out? This will help you envisage that person reading the piece!
- 2. Make sure your chosen readings are personal and reflective of your relationship. It needs to resonate with you and feel significant enough to be a part of your ceremony. If you’re reading it with a knowing smile on your face, or nodding along saying ‘that’s us!’, you’ve probably found a good one
- 3. Opt for readings that aren’t too long – especially if you’re having more than one!
- 4. Enjoy the process. You will be spoilt for choice so make sure you don’t pick the first reading you find.
For more information about your ceremony at the Hall Barns, head over to our Ceremonies page to see all the options that simply ooze rustic charm!
Thanks to Essie Lou Triffitt for images in this post.