Readings Of The Ceremony Kind

When it came to planning for our actual ceremony, there were three main things to consider: the vows, the readings, and the music.  I’ll be talking about the music later, so let’s discuss the vows and readings today, shall we?

The vows were the easiest part to nail down. We will not be writing our own vows, but instead using the traditional vows that have been used for many, many years before us. Both Mr. E and I are extremely lucky to have parents who have been married for over 30 years, and we wanted to use the same vows that they used on their wedding days and still ring true years later.

With the vows taken care of, we moved on to the readings. Although Mr. E is more spiritual than into organized religion, we decided to have one reading from the Bible and one from another source. I have always loved hearing 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 at weddings, so that will be our scripture reading.

The other reading took a little more research. Enter Google. I Googled “popular wedding readings” and read…and read…and read some more, until I found a couple that could be contenders. Some of my favorites included an excerpt from Nicholas Sparks’s book The Notebook as well as the poem “True Love” by an unknown author.

But nothing touched me like “The Art of a Good Marriage” by Wilfred Arlan Peterson.

“Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created.

In 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 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 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 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 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 old.

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.

I read several to Mr. E and his favorite was my favorite too! I can’t wait to hear it read by BM Philly’s mom, Mrs. M. (Mrs. M and Mama Elephant met in Lamaze class when they were pregnant with our older brothers, and our families have been friends forever.) She has been a second mom to me, and I am so honored to have her stand up and read this on our wedding day.


Mama Elephant, Mrs. M, BM Philly, and me in North Carolina

Do you have a special person to read at your wedding? What readings did you select?


Mrs. Elephant

Dallas, TX
Wedding Date:
April 2011
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  1. knitting Member
    knitting 1072 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:36 pm

    What a great reading! I really like it.

  2. hippo Member
    hippo 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:43 pm

    We’re using this reading too! Dang it, now I need to figure out another topic to blog about!

  3. Member
    TLH21 289 posts, Helper bee @ 4:50 pm

    I love the choices you have. I haven’t found my non- religious reading yet, we may use poems that we’ve written to each other, but biblically I’m set on Song of Songs….long distance, love, the intimacy of it all, and a great somewhat anonymous love story. I love 1 Corinthians too though.

  4. Member
    Tralala 113 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:01 pm

    I love this! We’re also using traditional vows (I don’t want him to get out of the whole “till death do us part thing” :-).

    I’d like to use Ruth 1:16-17 for a biblical reading (where you go, I will go, etc). I just might steal the “Art of a Good Marriage” reading- that’s absolutely beautiful!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    mama E, Guest @ 6:42 pm

    Ah yes little Ms E you have chosen wisely. I can tell you my favorite part of this peace will bring a tear to my eye on your special day. ”
    It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
    but in the spirit of joy. “

  6. lioness Member
    lioness 819 posts, Busy bee @ 7:47 pm

    Aww such a good reading!

  7. Member
    SuperShopper 866 posts, Busy bee @ 8:05 pm

    I love the poem! :)

  8. Member
    Mrs Franks 208 posts, Helper bee @ 11:18 pm

    I love this reading! I used it at my dad’s wedding last spring. Wow, I cried, er, blubbered my way through the entire thing! I think only the first sentence was non-cried, and there was not a dry eye in the house!

  9. glasses Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:43 am

    That is a beautiful reading! We have 5 special people doing our readings!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    shayna, Guest @ 6:16 am

    We used that reading for our wedding (my husband’s grandparents and my grandma, because they both have been married for over 58 years!) and it was really special. One of the best parts of the ceremony! I’m sure yours will be really special, too!

  11. brooch Member
    brooch 1760 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:27 am

    Awwww!! Wow!! I love this!! It’s really perfect!! It hits on everything and reads so well too!! Great find!!

  12. Member
    pamphilia 92 posts, Worker bee @ 11:17 am

    We have this reading as well – I love it.

  13. Member
    OctPumpkin 593 posts, Busy bee @ 3:02 pm

    What a great reading! I love it. We’re doing The Prophet: On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran. It’s also what I would classify as a “keepin’ it real” type of reading, which is totally us.

  14. Member
    jordynrose 6351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 9:57 pm

    We are using this reading too. Love it!

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