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16 Unique & Alternative Wedding Readings

Posted on Monday 14th August 2017
16 Unique & Alternative Wedding Readings

Want a reading with a difference for your wedding ceremony? Whilst some love traditional poems, they don't suit every couple. And what are we all about here at The Celebrant Directory, you got it - personalising that big day!

So where do you start when searching for that fabulous reading that's going to grab everyone's attention? Here are a great selection of brilliant wedding readings and some top tips to get your search off to the right start!

Think Personality First

You've been together for a while, you know each other well, so what makes you both tick? Are you going traditional for your big day, or seeking something more alternative? Once you've found your wedding niche, you can start to plan the best direction to go in to find your ideal poems. You've got lots of options!

Put your feet up

Pop on your favourite films and listen for the key parts of the script that may resonate with you both. Now there's a reading with a difference! Here's one that all Game of Thrones fans will love:

"As you are the Moon of his life, he shall be your Sun and Stars. Your love shall be as ever present as those two celestial bodies...even though they are sometimes hidden from one another's sight. Your love will be the guiding force that charts the course of your tomorrows, holds your world together in difficult times, and will make life itself shine bolder and brighter than we human beings have a right to dream of." (Khaleesi and Khal Drogo's Wedding Vows)

Get dancing

Song lyrics are becoming a very popular addition to a wedding. Sit back and relax to your favourite tunes, and try to find songs that resonate with you both. Think 'Make you feel my love' by Bob Dylan, or 'He's not perfect' by Bob Marley.

Here is a list of the top alternative wedding readings to consider in 2017, compiled by our expert Celebrants!

  • “Somebody” by Depeche Mode

    I want somebody to share

    Share the rest of my life
    Share my innermost thoughts
    Know my intimate details
    Someone who'll stand by my side
    And give me support
    And in return,
    She'll get my support
    She will listen to me
    When I want to speak
    About the world we live in
    And life in general
    Though my views may be wrong
    They may even be perverted
    She will hear me out
    And won't easily be converted
    To my way of thinking
    In fact, she'll often disagree
    But at the end of it all
    She will understand me

    I want somebody who cares
    For me passionately
    With every thought and with every breath
    Someone who'll help me see things
    In a different light
    All the things I detest
    I will almost like
    I don't want to be tied
    To anyone's strings
    I'm carefully trying to steer clear
    Of those things
    But when I'm asleep
    I want somebody
    Who will put their arms around me
    And kiss me tenderly
    Though things like this
    Make me sick
    In a case like this
    I'll get away with it


  • ‘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

  • ‘The Keeper’ by Chris Cornell

    I come from far away

    My boots don’t know this ground

    But they know it’s real

    It doesn’t take too long

    For this road to become

    A battlefield


    And before I let one more fire go out

    Understand that I won’t give one inch of ground

    From beneath yours and my feet

    Whatever the price happens to be

    I may not be the keeper of the flame

    But I am the keeper


    Beauty and truth collide

    Where love meets genocide

    Where laughter meets fear

    Confusion all around

    And as I try to feed these mouths

    That have never known singing


    And before I let one more tear hit the ground

    I will be the one standing between you and the sound

    Of the rounds echoing out

    Out of the dark

    The smoke and the spark

    Aimed at the heart of the flame

    I am the keeper ooooh


    I cannot see the light

    At the end of the tunnel tonight

    My eyes are weary

    And before I let one more life get erased

    From the ashes I will rise for you and the ghosts

    Of the names the faces and frames

    The love and the pain for you I remain

    Though I’m not worthy of being

    The keeper of the flame

    I am the keeper yeahhhhh

    I am the keeper.

  • The Wedding Singer - Robbie

    I want to make you smile whenever you're sad

    Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
    All I want to do is grow old with you
    I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches
    Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
    Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you
    I'll miss you
    Kiss you
    Give you my coat when you are cold
    Need you
    Feed you
    Even let you hold the remote control
    So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
    Put you to bed if you've had too much to drink
    I could be the man who grows old with you
    I want to grow old with you."

  • ‘The Magic of Love’ by Helen Steiner Rice

    Love is like magic, and it always will be, 
For love still remains life's sweet mystery. 
Love works in ways that are wondrous and strange, 
And there's nothing in life that love cannot change! 

    Love can transform the most commonplace 
Into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace. 
Love is unselfish, understanding and kind, 
For it sees with its heart, and not with its mind. 
Love is the answer that everyone seeks; 
Love is the language that every heart speaks. 
Love can't be bought, it is priceless and free. 
Love, like pure magic, is life's sweet mystery!!”

  • “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan

    When the rain is blowing in your face,
    And the whole world is on your case,
    I could offer you a warm embrace
    To make you feel my love.

    When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
    And there is no one there to dry your tears,
    I could hold you for a million years
    To make you feel my love.

    I know you haven’t made your mind up yet,
    But I will never do you wrong.
    I’ve known it from the moment that we met,
    No doubt in my mind where you belong.

    I’d go hungry; I’d go black and blue,
    And I’d go crawling down the avenue.
    No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
    To make you feel my love.

    The storms are raging on the rolling sea
    And on the highway of regret.
    The winds of change are blowing wild and free,
    You ain’t seen nothing like me yet.

    I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.
    Nothing that I wouldn’t do.
    Go to the ends of the Earth for you,
    To make you feel my love
    To make you feel my love

  • ‘He’s not perfect’ by Bob Marley

    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 One' by Unknown

    When the one whose hand you're holding 
    Is the one one who holds your heart 
    When the one whose eyes you gaze into 
    Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
    When the one you think of first and last
    Is the one who holds you tight,
    And the things you plan together 
    Make the whole world seem just right,
    When the one whom you believe in 
    puts their faith and trust in you,
    You've found the one and only love
    You'll share your whole life through

    ‘The Promise’ by Eileen Rafter

    The sun danced on the snow
    with a glittering smile,

    As two lovers sat quietly,
    alone for a while.

    Then he turned and said, with
    a casual air,

    (Though he blushed from his
    toes to the tips of his hair)

    “I think I’d quite like
    to get married to you.”

    “Well then,” she said,
    “well there’s a thought,

    But what if we can’t vow
    to be all that we ought?

    Can you promise me, say, you
    won’t grumble and shout

    If I’m late yet again when
    we plan to go out?
    For I know I can’t say that I’ll learn to ignore

    Dirty socks and damp towels
    strewn all over the floor.

    So if we can’t promise to
    be all that we should,

    I’m not sure what to do,
    though the idea’s quite good.”

    But he gently smiled and tilted
    his head

    Till his lips met her ear,
    then softly he said,

    “I promise, to weave my dreams
    into your own.

    That wherever you breathe shall
    be my heart’s home.

    I promise, that whether with
    rags or with gold I am blessed,

    Your smile is the jewel I shall
    treasure the best.

    Do you think then, my love,
    we should marry, do you?”

    “Yes,” she said smiling

    “I do.”

  • Twilight - Edward

    "It's an extraordinary thing to meet someone who you can bare your soul to, and who will accept you for what you are. I've been waiting, what seems like a very long time, to get beyond what I am. And [now] I feel like I can finally begin...No measure of time with you will be long enough. But let's start with forever." 

  • ‘Captain Correlli’s Mandolin’ by ‎Louis de Berniè

    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 youre roots have so entwined together that it is unconceivable 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 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 blossom have fallen from their branches they find that they are one tree and not two.

  • ‘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.

  • ‘All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten’ by Robert Fulgham

    All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

    These are the things I learned…

    Share everything.

    Play fair.

    Don't hit people.

    Put things back where you found them.

    Clean up your own mess.

    Don't take things that aren't yours.

    Say sorry when you hurt somebody.

    Wash your hands before you eat.


    Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.

    Live a balanced life.

    Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.

    Take a nap every afternoon.

    Be aware of wonder.

    Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

    Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.

    And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

  • Better Together by Jack Johnson

    There's no combination of words
    I could put on the back of a postcard
    No song that I could sing
    But I can try for your heart
    Our dreams,
    And they are made out of real things
    Like a shoebox of photographs
    With sepia-toned loving

    Love is the answer.
    At least for most of the questions in my heart.
    Like: 'Why are we here?', 'And where do we go?',
    'And how come it's so hard?'
    It's not always easy,
    And sometimes life can be deceiving
    I'll tell you one thing:
    It's always better when we're together

    It's always better when we're together
    Yeah, we'll look at them stars when we're together
    Well, it's always better when we're together
    Yeah, it's always better when we're together

    And all of these moments
    Just might find their way into my dreams tonight
    But I know that they'll be gone
    When the morning light sings and brings new things
    For tomorrow night you see that they'll be gone too
    Too many things I have to do

    But if all of these dreams
    Might find their way into my day-to-day scene
    I'd be under the impression
    I was somewhere in between
    With only two
    Just me and you
    Not so many things we got to do
    Or places we got to be
    We'll sit beneath the mango tree now

    Yeah, it's always better when we're together
    We're somewhere in between together
    Well, it's always better when we're together
    Yeah, it's always better when we're together

    I believe in memories
    They look so, so pretty when I sleep
    Hey now, and when I wake up,
    You look so pretty sleeping next to me
    But there is not enough time,
    And there is no, no song I could sing
    And there is no combination of words I could say
    But I will still tell you one thing
    We're better together.

  • The Fault in Our Stars - Augustus

    I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.

  • Love Actually - Prime Minister

    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.

  • An extract from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

    ‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. ‘Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?’

    ‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become REAL.’

    ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

    ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are REAL you don’t mind being hurt.’

    ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

    ‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all; because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’

    ‘I suppose you are real?’ said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse only smiled.

    ‘Someone made me REAL,’ he said. ‘That was a great many years ago; but once you are REAL you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.’

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