7 Romantic Passages to Read During Your Wedding Ceremony

An old book with the pages forming a heart.

Choosing a reading for your wedding can be one of the most challenging tasks on your to-do list. How do you find a passage that totally encompasses your love? (And how do you make sure that it’s not something 1,000 other couples have used?) To help with this monumentally romantic task, we’ve pulled together seven of our favorite passages about love. Some of these are from writers you’d expect to see on the list, such as Shakespeare, but some might surprise you or your guests. All of them are supremely romantic, so maybe grab a tissue or two before you read through.

1. Maya Angelou, Touched By an Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage

exiles from delight

live coiled in shells of loneliness

until love leaves its high holy temple

and comes into our sight

to liberate us into life.

Love arrives

and in its train come ecstasies

old memories of pleasure

ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,

love strikes away the chains of fear

from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity

In the flush of love’s light

we dare be brave

And suddenly we see

that love costs all we are

and will ever be.

Yet it is only love

which sets us free.

A bride with a large romantic bouquet speaking to her groom during a wedding ceremony.

2. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“Whatever our souls are made out of, his and mine are the same. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”

3. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,

My love as deep; the more I give to thee,

The more I have, for both are infinite.”

4. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.”

5. A.A Milne, Winnie the Pooh

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.”

A groom holding the hand of his bride while reading something during the ceremony.

6. Otis Redding, “That’s How Strong My Love Is”

If I was the sun way up there

I’d go with love most everywhere

I’ll be the moon when the sun goes down

Just to let you know that I’m still around

That’s how strong my love is

I’ll be the weeping willow drowning in my tears

And you can go swimming when you’re here

And I’ll be the rainbow after the tears are gone

Wrap you in my colors and keep you warm

That’s how strong my love is

I’ll be the ocean so deep and wide

And catch the tears whenever you cry

I’ll be the breeze after the storm is gone

To dry your eyes and love you warm

That’s how strong my love is

7. Mark Twain, A Marriage

“A Marriage….

Makes of two fractional lives a whole;

It gives to two purposeless lives a work

And doubles the strength of each to perform it

It gives to two questioning natures a reason for living,

And something to live for;

It will give a new gladness to the sunshine,

A new fragrance to the flowers,

A new beauty to the earth,

And a new mystery to life.”

8. Justice Anthony Kennedy, Majority Opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

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