The magic of readings and poems for weddings and more

Book, cup of tea and flower petals

Weddings, civil partnerships, vow renewal and naming ceremonies are some of the most profound and joyous occasions that allow us to express our deepest emotions and aspirations. One way to add depth and sentiment to these ceremonies is through readings and poems. These literary gems have the power to capture the essence of these life-changing events and make them even more memorable. Here I explore the significance of readings and poems and provide some heartfelt examples.

Readings and poems have the power to express emotions and sentiments that words alone sometimes cannot. Whether you are declaring your love for the first time, reaffirming your commitment, or welcoming a new life into your family, consider incorporating a literary gem to make your special day even more memorable.

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies
Such a special day marks the beginning of a beautiful journey of love and commitment. Readings and poems at these ceremonies can touch the hearts of both the couple and the guests, making the occasion even more special. They can evoke feelings of love, unity, and hope for the future. Here is an example. You’ll find more by following this link.

Doves
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
Two dreams found before too late
Two lives together bound by fate
Two people cling to one another
Two people in love with each other
Two doves, can you see them soar?
Two loves – who could ask for more?
Anon

Vow renewals
Reaffirming your love through a vow renewal ceremony is a chance to celebrate the enduring love between a couple. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the journey and the love that has grown over time. Readings and poems for vow renewals can be a way to express the depth of your emotions. Here are two examples. The first beautifully expresses the key to a lasting and loving marriage, emphasising forgiveness, gratitude, and a sense of humour.

The keys to love
The key to love is understanding…
the ability to comprehend
not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say
so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness…
to accept each other’s faults
and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting –
but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is trust…
though dark doubts lay
in hollowed thoughts,
it must shine brightly on
with reassuring radiance
that suppresses fear with faith.

The key to love is sharing…
facing your good fortunes
as well as the bad, together,
both conquering problems
forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving…
without thought of return,
but with hope of just a simple smile
and giving-in, but never up.

The key to love is respect…
realising that you are two separate people

with different ideas;
that you don’t belong to each other,
but you belong with each other
and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all…
it takes time and patience
to unlock all the ingredients
that will take you to its threshold;
it is a continual learning process
that demands lots of work…

but the rewards are more than worth the effort…
And you are the key to me.

Anon

The Beauty of Love
The question is asked: “Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?”
And the answer is given: “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled but still clasped; their faces are seamed but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired but still strong with love and devotion. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.”
Author unknown

Naming and welcoming ceremonies
Baby and child naming and/or welcoming ceremonies are a joyous occasion for celebrating the arrival of a new life into the world. They can be filled with promises, good wishes and readings or poems that convey hope and love. Here are some ideas:

The little people
A dreary place would this earth be
Were there no little people in it;
The song of life would lose its mirth,
Were there no children to begin it:
No forms, like buds to grow,
And make the admiring heart surrender;
No little hands on breast and brow,
To keep the thrilling love chords tender.
The sterner soul would grow more stern,
Unfeeling nature more inhuman,
And man to stoic coldness turn
And woman would be less than woman.
Life’s song indeed would lose its charm,
Were there no babies to begin it;
A doleful place this world would be
Were there no little people in it.
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

For a welcoming ceremony for an adopted child –
We’ve adopted you
We didn’t give you the gift of life, but in our hearts we know
The love we feel is as deep and real as if it had been so.
For us to have each other is like a dream come true.
No – we didn’t give you the gift of life, life gave us the gift of you
Anon

You’ll find more ideas for baby and child ceremonies here.

There is no doubt that readings and poems add a touch of magic to ceremonies. They can not only resonate with the couple or the parents but also touch the hearts of all those in attendance, helping to create a lasting memory of a love-filled celebration.