A selection of readings suitable for civil ceremonies

We love ceremonies! and we’ve been to lots of them.

When you are inviting 80 of your nearest and dearest, it’s important that the ceremony be as meaningful, enjoyable and interesting to listen to. An important part of your ceremony is your choice of readings.

Readings help set the mood for your big day, so its wise to choose something that reflects your own feelings or has a special significance to the two of you.

It’s also worth thinking carefully about who you want to read at your wedding. Ask someone who is able to speak clearly and confidently in public (there’s no point you spending hours choosing a favourite poem if it’s inaudible on the day!). If they’re planning to learn the piece off by heart, it’s still worth them having a printed copy in front of them – just in case.

Ask your venue in advance whether the reader will have a microphone to speak into – if not, they’ll want to practice projecting their voice so that the guests at the back can still hear. (if you are having your ceremony with spacebar, just request this)

SPACEBAR has put together a selection of readings that we’ve provided over the years that have gone down well with guests at many ceremonies and we’re sticking them all here for you to take a look and use. All have no religious references so registrars from all boroughs will accept them.


1. An Excerpt from An American Indian Wedding Ceremony
May the sun bring you new strength by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your fears,
And the breeze invigorate your being,
May you, all the days of your life together,
Walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty.
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter for the other,
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other,
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be company for the other,
Now you are two persons,
But there is only one life before you.
Go to your dwelling,
Enter into the days of your life together
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.


2. Celtic Blessing
May peace guard
The door of your house
The door of your heart
May the road rise to meet you,
And the sun stand at your shoulder
May the wind be always at your back
And the rains fall softly upon your fields
May life itself befriend you
Each day, each night
Each step of your journey.
May peace be with you
And with your children,
From the day that we have here today
To the day of the end of our lives,
Until the day of the end of your lives.


3. I love you because
I love you because you’re my future,
My present and part of my past
My world has been turning so quickly
And time just keeps moving so fast.

I love you because you have something
no ordinary person can give
A warmth that I’ll cling to forever –
hold on to so long as I live

I love you because your devotion
is tender and wonderfully rare
Could anyone ever imagine
The magic moments we share?

I love you because you are truthful,
Your eyes hold the key to my heart
Tell me you share my commitment,
And say we shall not be apart.

I love you because you are wonderful,
You give me all that I need
A hug when I seek reassurance,
A smile if we have disagreed.

I love you because….. I just love you,
For too many reasons to say
And I’ll always be right here beside you,
A breath and a heartbeat away.


4. Where there is Love (Helen Steiner Rice)
Where there is love the heart is light.
Where there is love the day is bright.
Where there is love there is a song
To help when things are going wrong.
Where there is love there is a smile
To make all things seem more worthwhile.
Where there is love there’s quiet peace,
A tranquil place where turmoils cease –
Love changes darkness into light
And makes the heart take “wingless flight”.


5. A Wedding Message (Amanda Bradley)
To love is to share life together.
To build special plans just for two.
To work side by side,
And then smile with pride
As, one by one, dreams all come true.

To love is to help and encourage
With smiles and sincere words of praise.
To take time to share.
To listen and care
In tender, affectionate ways.

To love is to have someone special
On whom you can always depend
To be there through the years,
Sharing laughter and tears
As a partner, a lover, a friend.

To love is to make special memories
Of moments you love to recall.
Of all the good things
That married life brings,
Love is the greatest of all.


6. Love
Love puts the music in laughter
The beauty in song
The warmth in a shoulder
The gentle in strong

Love puts the magic in memories
The sunshine in skies
The goodness in giving
The starlight in eyes

Love puts the fun in together
The sad in apart
The hope in tomorrow
The joy in the heart.


7. Ancient Sanskrit Poem
Look well to this day, for it is life
The very best of life
In its brief course lie all the realities and truths of existence
The joy of growth,
The splendour of action,
The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision
But today if well-lived,
Makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope
Look well therefore to this day.


8. Yes, I’ll Marry You (Pam Ayres)
Yes, I’ll marry, 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 to 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 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 !


9. A Marriage (Mark Twain)
A marriage makes of two fractional lives a whole
It gives to two purposeless lives a work
And doubles the strength of each to perform it.
It gives to two questioning natures
A reason for living, and something to live for.
It will give new gladness to the sunshine
A new fragrance to the flowers
A new beauty to the earth
And a new mystery to life.


10. What is Love? (Author Unknown)
Sooner or later we begin to understand that is 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 think in
our lives.
For love is the creator of our favourite memories and the foundation of our fondest
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.


11. I belong in your arms (Deborah Brideau)
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


12. The Bargain (Sir Philip Sidney)
My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given,
I hold him dear, and mine he cannot miss.
There never was a better bargain driven,

My true love hath my heart, and I have his.
His heart in me keeps him and me in one.
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides,
He loves my heart, for once it was his own.
I will cherish his because it in me bides,
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.


13. The Art of Marriage
A good marriage must be created.
In the marriage, the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person,
It is being the right partner.


14. He Never Leaves The Seat Up by Pam Ayres

He never leaves the seat up
Or wet towels upon the floor
The toothpaste has the lid on
And he always shuts the door!

She’s very clean and tidy
Though she may sometimes delude
Leave your things out at your peril
In a second they’ll have moved!

He’s a very active person
As are all his next of kin
Where as she likes lazy days
He’ll still drag her to the gym!

He romances her and dines her
Home cooked dinners and the like
He even knows her favourite food
And spoils her day and night!

She’s thoughtful when he looks at her
A smile upon his face
Will he look that good in 50 years
When his dentures aren’t in place?!

He says he loves her figure
And her mental prowess too
But when gravity takes her over
Will she charm with her IQ?

She says she loves his kindness
And his patience is a must
And of course she thinks he’s handsome
Which in her eyes is a plus!

They’re both not wholly perfect
But who are we to judge
He can be pig headed
Where as she won’t even budge!

All that said and done
They love the time they spent together
And I hope as I’m sure you do
That this fine day will last forever.

He’ll be more than just her husband
He’ll also be her friend
And she’ll be more than just his wife
She’s be his soul mate ‘till the end"


15. If you can always be as close

If you can always be as close
And as happy as today,
Yet be secure enough to grow
And change along the way.

If you can keep for you alone
Your love as man and wife,
Yet find the time to share your joy
With others in your life.

If you can be as one
And walk through marriage hand in hand,
Yet still support the goals and dreams
That each of you have planned.

If you can dare to always go
Your separate ways together,
Then all the wonder of today
Will stay with you forever


~ by spacebar on October 11, 2013.

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