Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Non-mushy readings

FI and I are having a non-religious ceremony. Our officiant has given us the text for the ceremony that currently includes a prayer, but said we can swap that out for a reading of our choice. She also included a list of readings previous couples of hers have used. 

Here is the problem. Neither FI nor I are terribly romantic or sentimental or anything. I really do want to have some sort of reading because I love them in other people's ceremonies. Can anyone suggest a good, not mushy reading? We have plenty of time to find something, I'd like to just toss around a few ideas first since the ceremony is kind of the reason for the whole thing.

Also I fully acknowledge that when the times comes I may be a huge bundle of mush. 

Re: Non-mushy readings

  • If you don't find a reading you really like, skip it. Just tell the officiant you don't want a prayer or a reading so to just skip to the next part. None of the guests will know the difference.

    That said, google "non religious wedding readings" or something and see if you like anything. We used Sonnet 116, but that may be "too mushy" for you, I don't know? Also, think about song lyrics or excerpts of songs you like. 
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    InLoveInQueens
  • A friend of ours used this reading in their ceremony:

    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 promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with "When we're married" and continued with "I will and you will and we will"- 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 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.

    I thought it was sweet but not super mushy. 


    In general I like when a ceremony is customized to fit the couple, but am not a fan of overly long and drawn out ceremonies filled with seemingly "random" or "trendy" things either.  I think you should do some googling around and pick something speaks to BOTH you and your FI.  Then keep in mind how long the reading is and how long your ceremony is.  Generally I personally think 15 to 20 mins is ideal (barring religious requirements that make it longer of course) and under 30 minutes is good.  I think you should make it your own, but don't include things because you feel like you have to, or because they are popular on pinterest or whatever. 

    If you need any more help feel free to ask, and happy planning!!!!!!!!! 

    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueensgeebee908
  • Aww @cowgirl8238 yes I do like that one! Very sweet but not over the top gushy. Thank you!
  • Well if there were readings st other weddings that you liked (as per your OP) start from there. See what they were and maybe use the same one. 
  • OOH! Same with me and my FH. We're atheists and we're doing two short readings. One of them will be a adaptation of Carl Sagan, Mark Twain, and Neil Degrasse Tyson quotes, I feel like it fits perfectly with our belief system, we love thinking about space, astrophysics (hell I watched interstellar five times and it made me cry), so it's something that works for us, it's still in a draft stage but includes:

    "Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is a tiny blue dot that we humans call home. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries. We are constantly reminded that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is a prerequisite to survival. Our little planet floats like a mote of dust in the morning sky. All that you see, all that we can see, exploded out of a star billions of years ago, and the particles slowly arranged themselves into living things, including all of us. We are made of star stuff. We are the mechanism by which the universe can comprehend itself.

    The sum of all of our evolution, our thinking and our accomplishments is love."

    "Love is not a product of reasonings and statistics. It just comes–none knows whence–and cannot explain itself."


    The other is "Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Berniers", I like that it's nonreligious and talks about the reality of old love, something anyone getting married would look towards:

    "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 blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two."


    These may or may not relate to you two or may too too mushy. I think with nonreligious peeps it helps to look up quotes from literature, or philosophy. Even Da Vinci's description of the arch is absolutely beautiful and not mushy at all.

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    OurWildKingdomJen4948
  • Thank you @MCmeow! Our wedding will be at a science museum, so I like the idea of looking at quotes from other areas. It kind of didn't occur to me that the reading didn't have to focus on LOVE specifically (duh).
    MCmeow
  • My husband and I had a mostly secular ceremony as well. We included Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 and the poem Here I Love You by Pablo Neruda. I would not consider either to be especially mushy, though the Neruda poem is on the intense side.
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    OurWildKingdom
  • A friend of ours used this reading in their ceremony:

    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 promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with "When we're married" and continued with "I will and you will and we will"- 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 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.



    MCmeow said:
    The other is "Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Berniers", I like that it's nonreligious and talks about the reality of old love, something anyone getting married would look towards:

    "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 blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two."


    We used both of these in our ceremony!

    My SIL read the first passage, and the second was part of what our officiant said.
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