Modern Readings

Quite often couples like to have a couple of readings in their ceremony.  These can be read by other guests, or by the celebrant. The best readings are ones that reflect the personalities of the couple getting married.    A reading can be a poem, song lyrics, a scene from a favourite movie, pretty much anything that is a passage of text.

A good celebrant can usually select one or two readings that do this once they have met and spent some time with them, but nobody knows the couple as well as the couple themselves.  Here's a selection of modern contemporary readings that could be featured in a marriage ceremony.

Fair Dinkum Love by Kim Cockerell

Fair dinkum love isn’t about bringing in a dozen red roses
It’s about bringing in the washing.
It’s not about standing next to your partner 
because they look good on your arm
It’s about standing by them even when they look foolish.
Fair dinkum love isn’t about stiff posture and smart clothes
It’s about wrestling on the couch in your tracksuit.
It’s not about oysters and candle-lit dinners
It’s about bringing home Chinese when your partner’s had a busy day.
Fair dinkum love isn’t about exciting getaways and fancy resorts
It’s about being totally content sleeping-in together at home.
It’s not about gym memberships and facelifts
It’s about growing old and fat together.
Fair dinkum love is not about romance or image or success.
Fair dinkum love is about two average people adoring and accepting each other for who they are.

Soul Mate (an extract from The Bridge Across Forever) by Richard Bach


A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, 

and keys to fit our locks. 

When we feel safe enough to open the locks, 

our truest selves step out 

and we can be completely and honestly who we are; 

we can be loved for who we are 

and not for who we’re pretending to be. 

Each unveils the best part of the other. 

No matter what else goes wrong around us, 

with that one person 

we’re safe in our own paradise. 

Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, 

our sense of direction. 

When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, 

chances are we’ve found the right person. 

Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

The Promise by Heather Berry


Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise. 

Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, 

it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside. 

Where all things are made possible 

by the astounding love shared by two spirits. 

As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, 

and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, 

may your unconditional love and devotion 

take you to places where you’ve both only dreamed. 

Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, 

sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms. 

To Love Is... by Annon

To love is to remember and keep alive forever all those unique qualities that drew you to one another in the beginning.... Those first halting phrases...the thrill of discovery... That wonderful feeling of oneness when your eyes met.

To love is to constantly search for new ways to bring each other to happiness, to make make the most of every moment you share together, and marvel at how your feelings for one another keep rising to new dimensions.

To love is to create an oasis of tranquility for one another and a quiet place, apart from others, where you need not pretend... where you can be yourselves... And know within your heart, you will be accepted by one another.

To love is to greet each day with anticipation... always eager for another opportunity to share new adventures... And gather up new memories together.

To love is to follow the rainbow through the rain, to be able to laugh at yourself and be willing to say... "I was wrong, I'm sorry"... To forgive, and more importantly, to forget, and always believe and trust in one another.

To love is to watch with wonder all the miracles of creation, to find beauty in all the simple things of life, and to find, within ourselves, a deeper appreciation and a new awareness of how wonderful it is to be alive...To be happy... To be together.

To love is to come together from the pathways of our past and then move forward... Hand in hand, along the uncharted roads of our future, ready to risk, to dream, and to always believe that all things are possible with faith and love.

I Love My Family by Filoi Hemopo

(a beautiful passage when family is important to the couple) 

To be apart of a family like mine

is so divine

where love is shown

hurt is shared

our love for each other is never impaired

we talk

we laugh

we cry

but we are a family

and we do it all together

for as a family we do it all as one

for we are family

a family full of strength

a family full of love

a family no one can touch

that's why I love my family so much

my family is my life and always will be forever.

Why Marriage by Dena Acoloste


(really appropriate for love that has already lasted a long time)


Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
who won’t hold them against me,
who loves me when I’m unlikable,
who sees the small child in me, and
who looks for the divine potential of me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
with someone who thanks god for me,
with someone i feel blessed to hold…

Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love, in friendship…

Because marriage is a discipline
to be added to a list of achievements…

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
when they enter into marriage
expecting another to make them whole…

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
together we create our marriage…

Because with this understanding
the possibilities are limitless.

He's Not Perfect by Bob Dylan

(not many people know that Bob Dylan is a great poet as well as song writer)

He’s not perfect. 

You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. 

But if he can make you laugh at least once, 

causes you to think twice, 

and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, 

hold onto him and give him the most you can. 

He isn’t going to quote poetry, 

he’s not thinking about you every moment, 

but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. 

Don’t hurt him, 

don’t change him, 

and don’t expect for more than he can give. 

Don’t analyze. 

Smile when he makes you happy, 

yell when he makes you mad, 

and miss him when he’s not there. 

Love hard when there is love to be had. 

Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.

The Art Of A Good Marriage - by Wilferd 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 humour.

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.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

An extract from Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres 


Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is set in the early days of the second world war, before Benito Mussolini invaded Greece. Dr Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art. Even when the Italians do invade, life isn’t so bad—at first anyway. The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, who responds to a Nazi greeting of “Heil Hitler” with his own “Heil Puccini”, and whose most precious possession is his mandolin.

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 root was 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 promises 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.

Love Actually by Richard Curtis

(ready by Hugh Grant in the opening scene set in an airport)

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. The general opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that.


It seems to me that love is everywhere.


Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there — fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.


When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge — they were all messages of love.


If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around. 

True Friendship by Annon


It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round.
However, without doubt, it is friendship, which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel.

True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life –
it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship,
it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony,
and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic.

True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness.
True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential.

This couple came together as friends, they pledge to each other not only their love but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.

If I Should Fall Behind, by Bruce Springsteen


We said we'd walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we're walking a hand should slip free
I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind
Wait for me


We swore we'd travel darlin' side by side
We'd help each other stay in stride
But each lover's steps fall so differently
But I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me


Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let's make our steps clear that the other may see
And I'll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me


Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead
There 'neath the oak's bough soon we will be wed 
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees 
I'll wait for you 
And should I fall behind 
Wait for me 


Darlin' I'll wait for you 
Should I fall behind, wait for me.

I Promise by Dorothy R. Colgan

I promise to give you the best of myself and to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person and to realise that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time and my attention and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you, to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you, to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how. Completely and forever.

Loving You by Larry S. Chengges


Your love is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
It has given my life new priorities and meaning and filled it with joy.

Thank you for giving so much of yourself,
And for helping me to discover so much about myself too.

Sometimes I think you know me better than I know myself.

When we are together,
Love feels so right with you,
And I miss you so much when we are apart

I'll always be there for you,
And together I know,
We can make our dreams come true

I Love You (author unknown)

I love you not only for what you are,
but for what i am when i am with you
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself
but for what you are making me
I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
I love you for passing over all my foolish and weak traits,
that you can’t help but see.
I love you for drawing out into the light my beauty,
that no one else had looked quite far enough to see
I love you.

Forever by Ben Harper

Not talkin' 'bout a year
No not three or four
I don't want that kind of forever
In my life anymore.

Forever always seems 
to be around when it begins
but forever never seems 
to be around when it ends.

So give me your forever
Please your forever
Not a day less will do from you.

People spend so much time
Every single day
Runnin' 'round all over town
Givin' their forever away
But no not me
I won't let my forever roam

and now I hope I can find
my forever a home.

So give me your forever
Please your forever
Not a day less will do
From you.

Like a handless clock with numbers

An infinite of time
No not the forever found
Only in the mind.

Forever always seems
to be around when things begin
but forever never seems
to be around when things end.
So give me your forever
Please your forever
Not a day less will do
From you.

I Will Be Here by Stephen Curtis Chapman

If in the morning when you wake,
if the sun does not appear,
I will be here.

If in the dark we lose sight of love,
hold my hand and have no fear,
I will be here.

I will be here,
when you feel like being quiet,
when you need to speak your mind I will listen.

Through the winning, losing, and trying we’ll be together,
and I will be here.

If in the morning when you wake,
if the future is unclear,
I will be here.

As sure as seasons were made for change,
our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.

I will be here,
and you can cry on my shoulder,
when the mirror tells us we’re older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
and tell you all the things you are to me.
We’ll be together and I will be here.

I will be true to the promises I’ve made,
to you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.

Love Is Friendship Set On Fire – Laura Hendricks

Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.

It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection,

and makes allowances for human weaknesses.

Love is content with the present, hopes for the future,

and does not brood over the past.

It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations,

problems, compromises, small disappointments,

big victories, and working toward common goals.

If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack.

If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.

Lovesong - 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

However far away
I will always love you
However long I stay
I will always love you
Whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you