A “Heart-made” Ceremony: Choosing Our Readings

In November we will be meeting with the minister who will be marrying us (my uncle) to finalise the ceremony details, so by then Mr E and I need to have a fairly good idea of how we want everything to go. We have always wanted to write a large portion of the ceremony ourselves, so we have designated an hour every Sunday afternoon from now until November to focus solely on that. That way we can take our time, and really just enjoy the process without stress.

We had our first “date” for it this last Sunday, and we had so much fun talking about our ideas! I think it was the moment when we both realised, “wow, we’re really getting married soon…how awesome is that?!”



Anyway, the first “bits” of the ceremony we have managed to settle on are the readings.

We chose three: one that is very “me” that I will read to Mr E, one that is very “Mr E” for him to read to me, and one that is very “us” that a friend of ours will read at the end of the ceremony.

I chose “i carry your heart with me” by e e cummings. I fell in love with it when I first heard it in an English class years ago and it still makes me all warm and fuzzy:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

*happy sigh* Yup, I still can’t get enough of it, after reading it a million and one times.

Mr E chose a reading that ties in with his love of music: a portion of “Love Song” by The Cure.

Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am home again

Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am whole again

Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am young again

Whenever I’m alone with you

You make me feel like I am fun again

How ever far away, I will always love you

How ever long I stay, I will always love you

Whatever words I say, I will always love you

I will always love you

Our final reading will be a slightly modified (for length and the substitution of plural pronouns where there were originally singular ones) version of “Oh! The Places you will go!” by Dr. Seuss. :) We figure this will end our ceremony on a fun note, and is a bit of a break from all our sappiness. I haven’t included that reading in this post because of its length but if you want to read it you can easily find via our good friend Google.

It seems like we have quite a few readings to include, but we won’t be including much else in the way of traditions (such as the unity candle or handfasting), because we just haven’t “clicked” with any of those traditions and choosing readings we love seems (for us) like a more meaningful way to express ourselves and our feelings.

The last two excerpts I want to share with you are shorter pieces that we will try to slot in somewhere (perhaps as part of the vows):

Song of Solomon 8:6-7a

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy as unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.

Many waters cannot quench love; neither can the floods drown it.


I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.

– Elizabeth Gilbert (from Eat, Pray, Love)

I love the intensity and passion that is captured in these last readings, balancing nicely with the more “lovey” tone of the first two.

What readings have you chosen/ did you choose for your ceremony?


Mrs. Earrings

Fresno, CA/ Nelson, New Zealand
Wedding Date:
January 2011
Jumping the Gun. Like BIG-time.
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  1. sand dollar Member
    sand dollar 1334 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:38 pm

    Very pretty choices

  2. Member
    ktbrady 1054 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:41 pm

    I love that all the readings you have selected, but especially the last two. That passage about “many waters” is one of my favorites, and I also love, love, love that section from Liz Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. Good choosing!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Amy, Guest @ 3:24 pm

    The second last passage would be lovely as part of your ring exchange!
    Love the readings you both chose.

  4. Member
    bridesmomma 476 posts, Helper bee @ 3:44 pm

    Wonderful, meaningful choices!!!

  5. Member
    MissDonnaAnne 289 posts, Helper bee @ 4:30 pm

    I adore the quote from Eat Pray Love!! it’s sooo beautiful!!

  6. Member
    james carothers 2 posts, Wannabee @ 5:55 pm

    fabulous wedding pictures.i have mine in a frame.no big dress.i was in the navy for a while.10 years.i have been everywhere too.i have lots of pictures too.james was in to.he is a MARINE,for 5 years.we have been together for 18 years.i met him in Pa,tidioute.if you email me at furrieshome@wildblue.net i can call you or you can call me.814-730-4676.keep the number safe.i don,t need the wrong people calling me.my name is Shari or Sheree.take care.

  7. Member
    KayMeiBee 156 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:23 pm

    The Eat Pray Love excerpt gave me goosebumps when I read the book and I just got them again.. sitting in my cubicle. I love it!

  8. Member
    james carothers 2 posts, Wannabee @ 6:38 pm

    hi,KayMeiBee.i love bees alot.i have ms and crps.i was in the navy for 10years.i have been to,Spain,Italy,Germany,rock of Gibralter,Holland,Amsterdam,Florida,milton is the name.many more too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! call if your able to.number is on here.i love the military alot!!my name is Shari or Sheree Carothers i will be 46 in December 28 1964.

  9. Member
    IvyClimb 2612 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:38 pm

    I love Song of Solomon. Also, I love that picture of the turtle freaking out. I used that as my door-sign on the first cruise I went on with my family.

  10. Member
    MsBunting 229 posts, Helper bee @ 8:28 pm

    Beautiful readings. We chose a excerpt from Paolo Coehlo’s The Alchemist.

  11. Member
    jordynrose 6351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 8:28 pm

    Love your reading choices, especially The Cure one.

  12. Member
    MariaPaz 490 posts, Helper bee @ 10:53 pm

    I love that you’ll be using “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!”. It has a super special place in my heart :)

  13. glasses Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:01 am

    Love that E. E. Cummings reading! There’s not gonna be a dry eye in the house!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    The Story Of Your Life – Love, Sex & Poetry collection « Linda Long Writes!, Guest @ 9:55 am

    […] A “Heart-made” Ceremony: Choosing Our Readings (weddingbee.com) […]

  15. Member
    SoontobeMrsBland 7 posts, Newbee @ 10:26 am

    I love the e e cummings poem. That is actually our reading as well. I also had my fiance’s ring engraved with “i carry your heart”.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    A Midsummer Dream: We Declare (Ceremony Part I) | Weddingbee, Guest @ 4:28 pm

    […] then moved on to the readings we had picked out. Mr E went first with Love Song by The […]

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