I Was in the Middle Before I Knew That I Had Begun

When choosing what would be read at our wedding ceremony, there was only one REAL qualification: nothing religious. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Mr. B and I are having (much to FMIL’s dismay) a completely non-denominational wedding. To me, if I include even slightly religious wedding readings, it defeats the purpose. Yes, I know that our wedding can be whatever we want it to be. But it is important to me to keep religion completely out of it. So when it came to choosing our readings, I knew I wanted to stay away from anything overtly religious. But there have got to be tons of awesome non-religious wedding readings, right? WRONG. At least I kept running into the same.darn.ones. EVERYWHERE! And the ones I found definitely offered some slim pickings”¦

As I was looking online through these readings, I was hoping to find a beautiful passage from one of my two favorite books: Gone with the Wind or Pride and Prejudice, you know, without having to re-read them (because I’m a busy bride and I definitely don’t have time for my favorite things, you know, like reading). Sadly, however, my searches were fruitless. I couldn’t find any passages suitable from GWTW, and could only find one from P&P, and it was (in my opinion) too short to fit the bill for what I consider a “reading”:

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

Because Colin Firth will always be my favorite Mr. Darcy!

Image via Virgin Media

So now that my search for passages from my two favorite books were out, I was back at square one.

How did you pick your ceremony readings? Were you able to pick out readings from your favorite books? Or were you forced to start over after a fruitless first search?


Mrs. Buffalo

San Diego, CA
Wedding Date:
September 2012
Burnin' Love: Early Morning Hair Appointment
Mr. Beanstalk Is Ready to Go
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  1. Member
    alleycat 661 posts, Busy bee @ 1:59 pm

    Colin Firth will ALWAYS be the best Mr. Darcy.

    We didn’t have any readings. Keepin’ it simple, haha.

  2. Member
    Schneewittli 56 posts, Worker bee @ 2:18 pm

    I love you! GWTW and Pride and Prejudice are also my two favorite books! And Colin Firth is the ONLY Mr. Darcy :-)

  3. Member
    clumsylawyer 1351 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:19 pm

    There’s a passage I love from The Amber Spyglass, but it’s far too long for a reading. Finding appropriate material is far too hard!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    mrs_money, Guest @ 2:26 pm

    We had the lyrics to “Smiling Underneath” by Ani DiFranco as our reading, although we slightly modified them. I re-read them the other day, and they really were perfect – not too full of flowery language and very much “us.” I think the realness of the language was very powerful…”We could be stuck in traffic for over a week, with a car full of quintuplets who are all cutting teeth, and around my neck could be a flaming Christmas wreath, but I would still be smiling, smiling underneath.” I mean, RIGHT?

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Paige, Guest @ 2:45 pm

    Here’s a site with some ideas!


  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Christine, Guest @ 2:58 pm

    Oh, how about an ee cummings poem?? “I carry your heart with me” is beautiful, but very common. If you want something a bit more unique, my favorite is “the great advantage of being alive”. It’s especially beautiful read aloud:

    the great advantage of being alive
    (instead of undying)is not so much
    that mind no more can disprove than prove
    what heart may feel and soul may touch
    —the great(my darling)happens to be
    that love are in we,that love are in we

    and here is a secret they never will share
    for whom create is less than have
    or one times one than when times where—
    that we are in love,that we are in love:
    with us they’ve nothing times nothing to do
    (for love are in we am in i are in you)

    this world (as timorous itsters all
    to call their cowardice quite agree)
    shall never discover our touch and feel
    —for love are in we are in love are in we;
    for you are and i am and we are(above
    and under all possible worlds)in love

    a billion brains may coax undeath
    from fancied fact and spaceful time—
    no heart can leap,no soul can breathe
    but by the sizeless truth of a dream
    whose sleep is the sky and the earth and the sea.
    For love are in you am in i are in we

  7. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 4:13 pm

    I heart Colin Firth. :)

  8. Member
    Highness 82 posts, Worker bee @ 6:19 pm

    My FH’s bff got married last year. His God-Mother read “the day zombies came”. It’s from Day of the Triphids. 9 pages read by an emotional sobbing woman was painful. Whatever you end up choosing to read please choose someone who can get the words out with out sobbing, your guest will thank you.

    The end line from the reading was that this day when all these bad things came to attack the earth, didn’t matter because he was waiting for her to call.

  9. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:20 am

    We found readings from poems/books that resonated with us. It was something that took a little time and research, but was worth the investment. (P&P is one of my favorite books.)

  10. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:56 am

    Yeah check out Mrs Bacon. They had a reading that I believe from memory wasn’t religious and it was really nice. Good luck, readings are really difficult to knuckle down!

  11. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 4:50 am

    the idea about song lyrics is good – you can google “first dance songs” and find some really great options that you can take from. poetry is also good – we’re using a pablo neruda poem, and then a kids book! google “love poems” instead of “wedding readings” and that way you’ll get something different.

    also, i love that quote – maybe you can use that somewhere on your program or something?

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