• Phoebe@ElisabethShell

10 Non-Religious Wedding Readings For Your Ceremony

The ceremony is one of the most important aspects of any wedding day, and I love nothing more than seeing my couples personalise every element to suit their love story. Over the years, I’ve heard numerous meaningful non-religious wedding readings and I thought I’d share a few of my favourite with you. The wedding readings are a chance to share some truly special, heartfelt words with your friends and family, so you want to make sure they’re the perfect reflection of you both as a couple. From children’s books to infamous lyrics, keep scrolling to see 10 non-religious wedding readings that will make you smile (and possibly well up)…


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. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. Love is important, and you should love each other the most.


Carrie’s Poem – A Wedding Reading (Sex & The City)


His hello was the end of her endings Her laugh was their first step down the aisle His hand would be hers to hold forever His forever was as simple as her smile He said she was what was missing She said instantly she knew She was a question to be answered And his answer was “I do”.


Love Is Friendship Set On 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.



The Art of Marriage by William A. Peterson


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 a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.


Bob Marley on Love


She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together – but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold on to her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.


Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum


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.


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

When Harry Met Sally

“I love that after I spend a day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, You want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

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


The Life That I Have by Leo Marks


The life that I have Is all that I have And the life that I have Is yours

The love that I have Of the life that I have Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have A rest I shall have Yet death will be but a pause For the peace of my years In the long green grass Will be yours and yours and yours.


Which is your favourite? We can’t choose! Don’t forget you’ll find even more wedding inspiration over on the blog or on our IG page. And if you’re looking for a Devon Wedding Coordinator, please drop us a note, we’d love to chat.


Image by Emma Barrow Photography





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